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Thư shows drive for her Olympic dream

Badminton player Vũ Thị Anh Thư was the only female among 10 talents honoured last week after her outstanding performance brought her three national championship golds and one international bronze.

Badminton

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Vũ Thị Anh Thư is a rising badminton star of Việt Nam. She is expected to be the Vietnamese representative at the 2028 Olympics. — Photo webthethao.vn

Thanh Hà

Vũ Thị Anh Thư took her luggage as quickly as possible after landing home after a Chinese event. She rushed to the HCM City Youth Culture House as she only had a few minutes before the opening ceremony to commend and sponsor the city’s young talents of 2023.

The badminton player was the only female among 10 talents honoured last week after her outstanding performance brought her three national championship golds and one international bronze.

“Grateful. I am grateful as it is the second time that I have received support from the HCM City Youth Talent Fund,” said Thư.

“There were many strong candidates nominated for the list. They were excellent in various fields, so it was my honour to be named here again.”

Thư, 22, a rising star of Việt Nam, plans to wave the national flag again internationally.

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Vũ Thị Anh Thư (centre) is honoured as one of HCM City’s 10 exemplary young talents in 2023. — Photo courtesy of Anh Thư

Born in Đồng Nai Province, Thư played badminton from age 10 and joined the city team after winning a medal at a national tournament for cadets and juniors.

At the national badminton hub, Thư has received strong support to reach a high level in career.

At 16, Thư was guided to target a berth in the 2018 Youth Olympics. It was also the first time she seriously decided to be a professional athlete.

“I played badminton as my destiny, which helps me express myself. When playing badminton, I can get rid of my fatigue and difficulties,” Thư said.

Badminton has always been a strong motivation for her, and she recently made the quarter-finals of the Argentine Games.

“I remember an event in Cyprus which would decide if I could qualify for the Youth Olympics. Three days prior to the tournament, I suffered an injury and it seemed I would not compete,” Thư said.

“Perhaps due to some luck, I successfully won silver and secured my ticket. The Games was the largest event of my junior career.”

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Vũ Thị Anh Thư hopes to take part in international competitions to sharpen her skills and improve her world ranking for the Olympic dream. — Photo Zoominton

Two years later, she made a bang when defeating former Olympian Vũ Thị Trang in the final of HCM City’s Individual Badminton Championship 2020.

At that time, Trang was the strongest player and Việt Nam’s first female badminton athlete to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 and was running to have her second time in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

In the last three years, Thư received strong support to compete internationally and won bronze at the 31st SEA Games in 2021 and two titles from the Croatia Open and Nouvelle-Aquitaine Future Series in 2022. She is expected to be a national champion and even to be an Olympian in the future.

“Thư is young but with huge potential. She is among the national top players of Việt Nam,” said Nguyễn Tiến Minh, the national badminton legend.

“She is hard-working, active and energetic. As a left-handed player, she can rival anyone. What she needs now is a better physique and more opportunities to play abroad. It will help improve her ability and lift her level. Here in HCM City, the coaching board and I will give her the best conditions and strong support to help her go as far as possible.”

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Vũ Thị Anh Thư poses with the women’s team bronze of the 31st SEA Games in 2021 held in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of Anh Thư

Thư knows her strengths and weaknesses. She has set her own target for the next years.

“I favour an attacking style of play, using strong smashes and trying to control my opponents,” said Thư who idolizes former Olympic champion Lin Dan of China and admires South Korean An Seyoung, the current world No 1 female player.

“My technique is not yet perfect. I still need to improve my fitness so that I can stay strong in the most intense competitions,” said Thư.

“In 2024, I want to place higher in the world rankings. The first target will be the top 100 and then the top 80.

“I will fight harder to take international titles, which will make our international friends know more about Việt Nam. Furthermore, I dream of earning a place in the Olympics. I will do my best to make that happen. I will push myself harder so that I can make it to the 2028 Games.”

Theo Vietnamnews