In their debut at the upcoming Olympics, Vietnamese rowing duo Pham Thi
Thao and Pham Thi Hai will have to overcome challenges to make their
dream come true.
The pair arrived in London on July 20
and will have only one week to make themselves familiar with a rented
boat at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre, around 30km west of the city. It
is acclaimed as one of the finest rowing venues in the world.
A limited budget prevented them from bringing their own boat to
England . Despite the fact that their boat reaches international
competition standards, it will take Thao and Hai at least four days to
master the new craft.
Meanwhile, the venue will also pose an obstacle for them.
In Vietnam , they train and practise on West Lake which is a natural
lake. In Eton Dorney, they will compete on an artificial lake, which
according to experts will create the best conditions for rowers, but
will be difficult for them to adjust to.
Joseph Donnelly, Vietnam 's Australian trainer, it is a decisive time
to decide their ability for the competition on July 29.
Competing in the women's light-weight double scull 2km event, there are
17 teams. The Vietnamese hope to make the final round which will see the
top six pairs battle it out.
"We have been happy to
return home with medals [from recent tournaments], thanks to many
people's support. We are determined to make it to the final of the
Olympics, so all of our hard work does not go to waste," said Thao, some
days before her departure.
However, the girls will be
competing with practically no knowledge of their rivals, except for the
first two pairs from Japan and the Republic of Korea who also
secured their tickets at an Olympic qualifier in April in the RoK.
Japan are the best in Asia followed by the RoK and Vietnam .
In their event, they will face world championships Greece , silver
medallists Canada and bronze medal winners Great Britain .
The Vietnamese duo have won remarkable fame after being paired together
earlier this year. After four months under Donnelly, a former
professional rower from Australia , they pocketed a bronze from the
Asian championships and went through to London .
Knowing that there are many challenges awaiting ahead, the duo said they
wanted to make their dream come true because: " Donnelly , Vietnam
's fairy godfather, is right by our side."-VNA