The team, including gymnasts Phan Thi Ha Thanh, Do Thi Ngan Thuong, and Pham Phuoc Hung left Monday for a 10-day training session in London, together with the athletics team.
The medal-competing, or the final round, includes the eight best athletes in each event. The Vietnamese gymnasts have so far been trained only to win a place in the Olympics, rather than to reach a higher target, insiders say.
In October 2011 Ha Thanh was left without a coach after she secured a spot in London as the Chinese expert had to return home to look after his ill mother, while local coach Thuy Giang also quit the job to take care of her child.
While the training equipment at the Hanoi Sports Training Center has become aged and deteriorated, the athletes have little chance to practice abroad with standardized equipment. Their Korean training trip last April was only enough to practice some difficult moves, one of the team’s coaches revealed.
Meanwhile, coach Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy said the gymnasts only had two practice sessions with the standardized equipment during the trip. “That is the equipment that will be used at the Olympics, but unfortunately we failed to use it enough,” she said.
Thanh will compete in Group 5, which includes famous athletes from Slovakia, Chile, the Netherlands, and Egypt, and will start their competition on July 29…