“Golden Girl” of Vietnam’s Wushu

Even though she has won over 60 medals for qiangquan and broadsword of Wushu contests, both in Southeast Asia and Asia, Duong Thuy Vi has not stopped practicing hard because for the 21 year-old martial arts master, Wushu is not merely a sport but also her life and breath.

We met Duong Thuy Vi, the girl with a small stature, at the National Sports Training Centre at a time when she was focusing her mind and strength on preparing for the National Young Wushu Contest 2014. Vi talked with us about what enticed her to practice Wushu during her break.

At the age of eight, ThuyVi and her cousin to study the martial arts under the instruction of martial arts master Nguyen Tung Lam in Gia Lam District, Hanoi. Seeing Thuy Vi’s innate talent for Wushu after two years of practicing, master Tung Lam introduced her to Hanoi’s Wushu team. Not long after that, she won a silver medal at the Asian Youth Wushu Championship in Singapore in 2005. “It was the first time I participated in an international contest, so I only hoped to learn from others. However, I tried my utmost when competing and surprisingly I passed the qualification rounds for the final,” recalled Vi.

Duong Thuy Vi, the “golden girl” of Vietnam’s Wushu. Photo: Thong Hai/VNP

Duong Thuy Vi on the platform to receive a gold medal at ASIAD 17. Photo: VNA

Duong Thuy Vi’s medal collection. Photo: Ha Thu

She is good  at the competing contents with a broadsword and a spear. Photo: Thong Hai

Preparing for a competition. Photo: Ha Thu

To maintain her competitive ability, Thuy Vi tries her best to complete
a hard practice programme set by the coaching staff. Photo: Ha Thu

Thuy Vi and her teammates during physical strength practice. Photo: Ha Thu

Practicing hard to prepare for the National Young Wushu Competition 2014. Photo: Thong Hai

Despite difficulties, she and her teammates have made a great effort to obtain high prizes at competitions. Photo: Ha Thu

After practicing, Thuy Vi and her teammate exchange ideas with the coaching staff to learn more. Photo: Thong Hai

In 2007, Thuy Vi started practicing with the Vietnam National Wushu Team and accumulated a lot of combat skills from older athletes. In 2008, she won a gold medal at the World’s Traditional Martial Arts Festival, becoming Vietnam’s Wushu star. Unluckily, at this festival she suffered a serious knee injury that might have stopped her promising career. However, difficulty and pain did not discourage her and she gradually recovered after two months thanks to her great effort and assistance from her family, friends and martial art instructors.

In 2009, she won a gold medal at the Asian Indoor Games and a gold medal at ASIAD 17 held in Incheon, South Korea that marked an important milestone in her career.

With her successful performance with broadsword and spear and rod plays, Duong Thuy Vi won over her rival, Li Yi from Macau, to capture a gold medal that was of great significance for Vietnam’s Wushu because it was the first time Vietnamese Wushu athletes won at such a prestigious competition where Vietnam’s world Wushu champions Nguyen ThuyHien, Dam Thanh Xuan, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Oanh and Nguyen Thanh Tung have never won.

“Duong Thuy Vi practices very hard and learns by herself to create beautiful movements when performing. I hope that she will continue bringing into full play her strength and performance at any competition to bring the country high honors,” said Nguyen Van Chuong, Chief Coach of the Vietnam National Wushu Team./.

Story: Ngan Ha – Photos: Thong Hai, Ha Thu and VNA