24/08/2017 18:08 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

“Steel Woman” of Vietnam

"Steel Woman" is the nickname given by her colleagues and students to Nguyen Thi Nhung, head of the shooting department, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training and chief coach of Vietnam’s national shooting squads. So far, she has been the only female head of a delegation in Asia who has successfully led Vietnam’s national shooting squads to participate in regional and world’s competitions for 11 consecutive years and had outstanding achievements. 
Nguyen Thi Nhung was selected as a member of the national shooting team at the age of 14. Since then, her life has been closely attached to a shooting career.

From 1977-1983, Nhung had no domestic rivals in the 25m pistol category. During her peak years, the International Shooting Union decided to give up female shooting, so she had to leave the sport. She decided to attend a training course for shooting coaches at the Moscow Sports School and with her predestined attachment to shooting, Nhung officially became the chief coach of Vietnam’s national shooting squads in 2006.

Working as the chief coach of Vietnam’s national shooting team for many years, Nhung has made great contributions to the outstanding achievements of Vietnamese shooters. One of them is Hoang Xuan Vinh who won a gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol with 202.5 points at the 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Vietnamese to win an Olympic gold medal. Three days later, Vinh also captured a silver medal in the men’s 50m pistol event and was listed as one of 4 outstanding athletes at the Olympics up to August 10. 


Nguyen Thi Nhung, head of the shooting department, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training
and chief coach of Vietnam’s national shooting squads. Photo: Tat Son

Coach Nguyen Thi Nhung and shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh at the shooting arena at the National Sports and Physical
Training  Centre. Photo: Tat Son


Coach Nguyen Thi Nhung instructs her athletes at the shooting arena at the National Sports and Physical
Training  Centre. Photo: Tat Son


Coach Nguyen Thi Nhung instructs technique on an athlete at the shooting arena at the National Sports and Physical
Training  Centre. Photo: Tat Son


Coach Nguyen Thi Nhung give presents to needy children at a hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Quoc Khanh

Despite acknowledging that Sea Games 2017 held in Malaysia from August 19-31 is the most difficult regional sports festival for Vietnam’s shooting, chief coach Nguyen Thi Nhung said that Vietnam’s national shooting squad would do their utmost to reach the target of 3 gold medals at the competition.
Sharing her own training principles and strategies, Nhung said that only the coach knows the time when athletes can perform their best. Therefore, after his victory at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Hoang Xuan Vinh said: "When competing, I remember what Nhung told me: ‘At the hardest times, athletes need to become the strongest’, so I took a deep breath, calmed down and looked at the target for a long time before pulling the trigger”.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents the Labour Medal, 2nd class, to coach Nguyen Thi Nhung at the ceremony on congratulating on shooting athletes who had high achievements at Olympic 2016. Photo: Thong Nhat


The National Shooting Team is welcomed at Noi Bai airport after competing successfully at Olympic Rio 2016. Photo: Minh Son


Fans prepare flags and flowers to receive shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh, coach Nguyen Thi Nhung
and members of the National Shooting Team at Noi Bai Airport. Photo: Minh Son

 
Although Vietnam’s national shooting team has attained many achievements in recent years, Nhung, who is now the General Secretary of Vietnam’s Shooting Union for the 2016-20120 term, still sets new targets for herself and her athletes. She said, “Everyone knows that there is great pressure to break the old records to set new ones”.



For this very reason, despite being 50, the chief coach tries her best to look for shooting talents like Hoang Xuan Vinh and hopes that Vietnam will have a modern shooting area that helps Vietnam’s shooting get more success in the international arena.

 

Chief coach of Vietnam’s national shooting team Nguyen Thi Nhung has helped the national team have many achievements for 11 years, including 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals at ASIAD 15; 1 silver and 1 bronze at ASIAD 16 and 1 gold medal and 1 silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

 
Story: Thao Vy - Photos: Tat Son, Thong Nhat, Quoc Khanh and Minh Son