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Gold-Medal Runner Nguyen Thi Oanh Named Vietnam's Athlete of the Year

She won the award over well-known swimmers and footballers.

According to Tuoi Tre, Nguyen Thi Oanh, 23, was named the 2019 Athlete of the Year by Vietnamese sports journalists on Monday.

Nearly 200 reporters from newspapers across Vietnam took part in the voting, and Oanh won 846 points, beating swimmers Nguyen Thi Anh Vien and Nguyen Huy Hoang, who received 772 and 704 points, respectively.

Oanh had a stellar showing at the recent Southeast Asia Games in the Philippines, where she won gold in the women's 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters steeplechase, as well as the 5,000 meters hurdles. These are among the most difficult track-and-field events, and even more remarkably, she won the the latter two races on the same day while breaking the SEA Games record in the 5,000 meters hurdles.

The superstar swimmer Anh Vien also had an incredible SEA Games, winning six gold medals and two silvers. She was named Female Mega Athlete by the sports journalists; Nguyen Huy Hoang won two gold medals and a silver while setting two new SEA Games records.

Men's football, which dominated sports coverage this year, was also represented in the awards, with Nguyen Quang Hai and Do Hung Dung rounding out the top five in Monday's vote.

After receiving her award, Oanh told Tuoi Tre: "The title 'Vietnam's No. 1 Outstanding Athlete of the Year 2019' is the most precious award that I've ever received." In 2014, the runner was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, an inflammation in the kidneys that can cause severe complications.

[Photo via Bong Da 24H]