Miraculous moments of wushu athlete Quoc Khanh

Miraculous moments of wushu athlete Quoc Khanh

Winning gold with a torn ligament


In his 28 years competing in domestic, regional and international arenas, Quoc Khanh has had moments when he could not explain why he had unbelievable energy and determination. One example is the 2008 World Youth Wushu Championship, when Khanh tore a ligament in his leg during practice, right before the tournament. Many thought the 18-year-old athlete would have to give up on the competition under such conditions, but Khanh proved that he was the exception. He went into the ring after 7 injections of pain killers.

The injured athlete beat nearly 400 athletes from around the world to bring home 2 gold medals.

Another unforgettable moment was the time Khanh competed at the 26th SEA Games held in Laos in 2009. Three days before the competition, during a training session, he again tore a ligament in his leg. About 3 hours before the match, Khanh tried to perform a somersault, a difficult move in wushu, and  almost broke his neck. Undeterred, Khanh endured the pain and performed another round of acrobatics and that time it went better and he went on to compete.


Pham Quoc Khanh performs Wushu at SEA Games 31. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP


As Khanh recalls, he felt almost no pain during the competition. In his mind at that time was only the one sacred word “Homeland”. Only after the scoreboard showed his scores and the Vietnamese flag was raised while the fans cheered, then Khanh allowed the pain to wash over him.


Pham Quoc Khanh receives the gold medal at SEA Games 31. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP


With his determination and tireless efforts in practice, Khanh has been gradually winning regional and world wushu tournaments.

Martial spirit 

Since practicing wushu starting at the age of 4, Pham Quoc Khanh has had a career of 28 years. Khanh believes that for him, wushu is not only a profession but a destiny.

Khanh has worked beyond his limits with wushu, and more deeply, Khanh has experienced and understood the martial spirit which is the core of martial arts practitioners, both athletes and coaches.

“After 28 years of training and competing, the martial spirit awoke in me like a predestined relationship. It is something that cannot be explained in words, even if I had days and months to do it. Simply put, it is the culture, the morality, the standard in martial arts practitioners,” he said.


Pham Quoc Khanh with his family pose for a photo after his victory at SEA Games 31. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

That understanding perhaps is why the Chinese coach of the Vietnam wushu team Hoang Thieu Hung offered to take Khanh as a student. It was the only time the world-famous coach, who comes from the home of wushu, made such an offer in Vietnam.


Achievements of wushu athlete Quoc Khanh:

- Gold medal at the World Wushu championships in 2007. - 14 medals (3 gold, 8 silver, 3 bronze) at the Asiad Games.



Even though he is only 32 years old, Pham Quoc Khanh is regarded as a veteran on the Vietnam wushu team. Khanh believes that Vietnamese physical conditions are very suitable to perform wushu and Vietnamese wushu athletes therefore have a high chance of success competing in international arenas. To help the country become a “wushu superpower”, Khanh wants to inject his experience and enthusiasm into generations of young athletes.

Including the 31st SEA Games, Quoc Khanh has participated 9 times in a row at the regional sport event and every time came back with medal. In total, he now owns 4 golds, 5 silvers and 2 bronzes. At the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam, Quoc Khanh participated in 3 events and won 1 gold in men’s namdao and 1 silver in the men’s category. It was a beautiful end note to the memorable young career of Quoc Khanh so that he can open a new chapter in his future.

Story: Phong Thu  - Photos: Thanh Giang & Tat Son  Translated by Hong Hanh