ASG 2024 athlete steps out of superstar sister's shadow

Jun. 05, 2024

As this article goes to press, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn has officially begun his competition at the 13th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG 2024) in Đà Nẵng.

He is one of the Vietnamese student-athletes anticipated to shine. Younger Brother of Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên Nguyễn Quang Thuấn is one of the 33 student-athletes registered to compete in swimming at the 13th ASEAN Schools Games. This young man from Cần Thơ is highly expected by experts to excel in the pool, bringing the expected results for Vietnamese student sports.

Quang Thuấn is widely known as the younger brother of former national swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên. When Ánh Viên was still competing for the national team, demonstrating her prowess in Southeast Asia and international competitions, Quang Thuấn was just starting to swim. Former head coach of the Vietnamese swimming team, Đặng Anh Tuấn, who trained Ánh Viên, once acknowledged that Quang Thuấn had great potential due to his passion for swimming, similar to his sister. However, Ánh Viên's overwhelming fame led to constant comparisons between Quang Thuấn and his sister. At any competition, the media always highlighted that he was Ánh Viên's younger brother.

Family members and experts understand the close bond between Ánh Viên and Quang Thuấn. Whenever they competed together in domestic competitions, they always practiced together, providing the best support for each other. Quang Thuấn has shared that in any competition where he achieves remarkable results, the first person he calls is his sister, Ánh Viên, before sharing the news with other family members. As he grew up, there were times when both siblings competed for the Military Swimming Team, winning medals in domestic competitions. Now, Ánh Viên has retired, while Quang Thuấn continues to pursue his goals.

Stepping Out of His Sister’s Shadow

Quang Thuấn is not one to frequently appear in the media. However, in the few interviews he has given, this Vietnamese swimming team member expressed that he never felt pressured by being Ánh Viên’s younger brother. "For me, being Ánh Viên’s brother is a source of pride. I am honored that people recognize me as the brother of one of Vietnam's top swimmers. That’s why I strive to achieve results comparable to my sister," shared Quang Thuấn.

This year, Quang Thuấn turned 18, the prime age for any swimmer. In terms of medals, he once said he couldn't count how many he had won, but each one, whether from domestic or international competitions, is a testament to his hard work and is cherished at home. Throughout his career, Quang Thuấn has won medals at the SEA Games, participated in the ASIAD, and the World Championships, rivaling any swimmer. Two years ago, Quang Thuấn debuted in the Vietnamese national team at the SEA Games 31 in Vietnam.

In his first career home competition, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn won a silver medal in the men's 400m individual medley at the age of 16. A year later, he continued to earn the trust of the Vietnamese swimming team, competing in the SEA Games 32 in Cambodia, where he again won a silver medal in the same event. A significant milestone in his career was participating in consecutive World Championships in 2022 and 2023.

“Competing in such events allows young swimmers like Quang Thuấn and others to mature, as facing strong international opponents helps us understand what we need to improve in our skills,” a representative of the swimming department (General Department of Physical Education and Sports) once explained.

Six months ago, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn competed in ASIAD 19, finishing seventh in the 400m individual medley, his specialty. Participating in numerous major international competitions has shown that Nguyễn Quang Thuấn is a highly anticipated figure in Vietnamese swimming, expected to achieve the highest results. In 2022, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn won his first career medal at the SEA Games 31 at home.

Now, two years later, he is competing in another Southeast Asian Games at home, the 13th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG 2024). Still a student, Quang Thuấn’s participation in the Vietnamese student swimming team for ASG 2024 is entirely legitimate. Eleven years ago, swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên began her illustrious career at ASG 2013, held in Vietnam. Now, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn aims to achieve the highest results and bring glory to Vietnamese student sports at home.

Awaiting a True Gold Medal "I initially had no intention of pursuing a swimming career. But when I was lazy to study, my father made me swim a lot, and over time, I got used to it and began to love swimming. For me, when competing in the water, my goal is to win, and the feeling of success brings me excitement. Therefore, I am always determined in any competition I participate in,” said Nguyễn Quang Thuấn.

Just before arriving in Đà Nẵng to compete at ASG 2024, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn participated in the National Youth Swimming Championship, winning 12 gold medals in various events. In February 2024, he was a member of the Vietnamese swimming team at the Asian Youth Championship 2024 in the Philippines, contributing to the team’s overall result of 14 gold medals. In 2023, Quang Thuấn also won numerous medals at the Southeast Asian Youth Championship. Every medal from these competitions is a result that Quang Thuấn values.

However, the young man from Cần Thơ always believes that he must win a gold medal at the SEA Games at least once, and possibly multiple times. Quang Thuấn has already won silver medals at two SEA Games, but that is just the beginning. To make a significant mark, winning gold medals at the SEA Games is the most prestigious result. To achieve this, each athlete (including Quang Thuấn) must prepare and hone their skills.

After training and competing in the pool, Nguyễn Quang Thuấn also enjoys a balanced personal life. He has shared that he has personal interests and takes time to relax his mind, ensuring that he is not solely focused 100% on training and competing, as balance is key to effective mental well-being. Now, Quang Thuấn is ready to conquer challenges at ASG 2024, and if he wins the highest medals, he will surely receive even more enthusiastic support.

Reference: Hoai Viet - Báo Lao Động