Tuesday, 03 October 2017 11:02

Hanoi Relay

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A new running event in Hanoi looks to bring together runners of all levels for a day of fun and competition.

Hanoi Relay is the brand-new team running event from Topas Travel, organisers of Vietnam Mountain Marathon. Set in Hanoi’s Ecopark area, it will bring people of all ages and abilities together to enjoy a running festival atmosphere along with music, food, games and team spirit.


Following the success of Vietnam Mountain Marathon, which has attracted huge numbers to trail running for the first time, Danish-Vietnamese event organizer Topas Travel created Hanoi Relay, a shorter distance team event which will allow more people to take up running.


The format includes a 4 x 5km relay and will take place on Sunday, Nov. 19. Hanoi Relay is inspired by a relay series in Denmark which sees 500,000 people take part annually in events all across the country. While plenty of running clubs join in, the event is known as the “world’s biggest company running festival” because huge numbers of businesses enter staff teams as a team building event.


“In Hanoi we will begin with a far more modest number in the first year, but we expect it will grow significantly as the concept becomes more widely known here and many companies use it as a team building event like in Denmark," says David Lloyd, director of sport at Topas Travel.


“The key to the event is team spirit.”

Like other races organised by Topas Travel, there will be a charity element with various charitable organisations entering teams to raise money and awareness. The number of running events in Northern Vietnam generally has increased significantly in recent years.


“When we started Vietnam Mountain Marathon in 2013 there was very little choice of running events and very few Vietnamese joined,” says Lloyd. “However, we have seen massive growth in running.


“There is plenty of appetite for running in Hanoi and particularly for something different, which is what Hanoi Relay provides.”


Lloyd foresees adding a Danang Relay next, and next year the company will also hold the Vietnam Jungle Marathon in Pu Luong in May and Vietnam Mountain Marathon in September.


For more information, visit hanoirelay.com.

Sports in Brief


Vietnamese Star Makes Mark in Karate


A young karate artist made history for Vietnam in Germany last month after winning gold in freestyle fighting (kumite) at the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League.


Nguyen Thi Ngoan, 19, beat Canada’s Haya Jumaa in the women’s 61-kg kumite event at the ongoing competition in Leipzig.


This is the best-ever result in international competition for Vietnamese karate in the kumite discipline.


Inspired by her impressive victory against the title holder, Ngoan made a comeback in the bout and beat her Canadian rival Jumaa to bring home a historic gold medal.


The Karate1-Premier League, organised by the World Karate Federation, is the sport’s most important competition. This year’s event attracted 1,384 martial artists from 87 countries.


Chinh to Train in the US


Vietnamese athlete Le Tu Chinh, who has emerged as the queen of sprinting in Southeast Asian (SEA), will undergo training in the US this year, according to Vietnam News.


Chinh will train at the IMG Track & Field Academy in Florida until 2020, with an annual expenditure of some VND2 billion (US$87,000), according to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


Chinh will be accompanied to the United States by coach Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong. At the SEA Games which concluded in Malaysia last month, Chinh dominated the short dashes, winning the 100m in 11.56s and 200m in 23.32s. The talented 20-year-old then teamed up with Nguyen Thi Mong Tuyen, Tran Thi Yen Hoa and Do Thi Quyen to win the 4x100m in a time of 43.88, a Games record.


Rookie Squad Plays Veteran Hoops in VBA


The first-season Thang Long Warriors secured their second win in the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA), beating hosts Ho Chi Minh City Wings 79-71 last month, according to Vietnam News.


Despite strong support and home advantage, the Wings, last season’s runners-up, found it hard to solve the Warriors’ defence. Bilal Richardson provided a bright spot for the Wings in the defeat.


Trieu Han Minh and Henry Nguyen lifted the hopes of the Wings with consecutive three-point throws in the third quarter, but the Warriors’ To Quang Trung did even better. The Wings staged a late comeback, but to no avail.


Meanwhile, in their first match, Hanoi club Warriors beat the defending champions Danang Dragons 96-65, before losing 78-86 to the Saigon Heat.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 11:14
Harry Hodge

Harry Hodge has written for publications across Canada and Asia, including Metro Edmonton, 24 Hours Toronto, the Korea Herald and many more. In Vietnam you've either read his sports column or seen him pitching skin cream in Vietnamese TV commercials. Follow him on Twitter at @hodgedude or send him a note about your sports events at harry@wordvietnam.com.

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