Life Life

11/11/2020 - 08:35

Willpower at new moon age

That day, on the highest rostrum of the U14 women's team, the National Taekwondo Clubs Championship - the 2020 Korean Ambassador Cup at the Provincial Sports Center, a little girl raised the gold medal with eyes dewed with tears…

Le Thi Hong Phuong (second, left) always strives to overcome difficulties for fine performances in competition

Female boxer is a "top scorer"

In 2016, in the women's football match in the framework of the Provincial Phu Dong High School Youth Games (PDHSG), a tall, thin and long-stride female player of Huong Tra Town team, who constantly attacked the opponent's defense, strongly impressed Head of Provincial  Taekwondo Division Pham Ngoc Thanh. He told himself that this little football player had to be recruited at all cost.

“At the end of the tournament, I did not know how Huong Tra team was ranked, but I still remembered Le Thi Hong Phuong, who was in 5th grade at Van Quat Dong High School (Huong Phong - Huong Tra), won the title of Top Scorer of the tournament,"  said Head of  Provincial Taekwondo Division Pham Ngoc Thanh.

However, it was not effortless to persuade Phuong to become a member of the provincial Taekwondo. This was because she was still a little girl; her parents did not want her to be away from her family. Therefore, Mr. Thanh had to go back and forth to Van Quat Dong Village - the Phuong family’s house - with the "support" from her teacher before her parents agreed to let her daughter pursue martial arts.

But everything was not over despite the parents’ agreement. Because of her passion for football, at first, Phuong definitely did not pursue martial arts, for the simple reason that "I find football more exciting than ... fighting."

Determining not to lose a young talent with the qualities to become a professional Taekwondo athlete and the ability to shine in the big arenas, after many times of fruitless persuasion, Head of Taekwondo Division Pham Ngoc Thanh finally decided “emphatically”, "Hue currently has no female football training class, how can you develop your talent? Instead, you switch to practice Taekwondo for a while if I don't feel interested, I will send you back ”…

At the "risk" of having no chance to play football for long, Phuong resigned herself to nodding in agreement. However, it was not until 1 year later, in 2017, that she officially joined the provincial Taekwondo talent team.

“For the first few months, I trained her and worried that she would be bored, asking to return home. But after a period of staying, training, playing, and studying with the team, Phuong gradually loved and determined to stick with this martial art,” said Head of Taekwondo Division Pham Ngoc Thanh.

Although little, after 3 years of training, Phuong has repeatedly contributed to building up the medal collection of the provincial Taekwondo. The most recent were the gold medal at the Youth Championship in August in Ho Chi Minh City and the gold medal for the U14 women's team at the National Clubs Championship - the Korean Ambassador Cup 2020 ended on October 17 at the Provincial Sports Center.

And the gold medal for the U14 women's team at the National Clubs Championship - the 2020 Korean Ambassador Cup is a touching story about the extraordinary willpower of 14-year-old female athlete Le Thi Hong Phuong. 


On October 12, Phuong heard about the bad news from her relatives. Her dear father in the hometown was seriously ill and could not survive. At that time, like many other provincial localities, the water level in Huong Tra was rising. After many times of catching boats, Phuong finally came home; however, it was too late for her to listen to her father's final instructions.

The day after her father’s death was the time for her to complete a number of procedures to compete in the U14 individual opposition on the 14th day at the National Clubs Championship – the 2020 Korean Ambassador Cup at Provincial Sports Center. At that time, Phuong quit the competition because she could not overcome the shock of losing her beloved father.

According to the schedule, October 15 was the day when Phuong continued to finish the procedure to compete in the registered female team’s opposition on October 16. At that time, Phuong's pain could not be relieved, and once again, Phuong asked her master not to enter competition.

However, after asking permission, the little girl’s heart was constantly torn by her quitting competition that would affect the efforts of her teammates during the past time as well as the expectations of the teacher she regarded as her second father.

The 14-year-old girl decided to suppress the pain, asked her family to go to Hue to complete the competition procedures on the morning of October 15. Then she returned to, together with the family, take the father to the final resting place on the morning of October 16. Afterwards, in the afternoon of the same day, Phuong and his teammates entered the competitions and recorded their names in the highest position in the U14 women's team.

“No sooner had I entered the mat than I thought I could not stand up. But with the encouragement from master Thanh and the thought that my father certainly did not want to witness my easy knock-down, I dismissed all my grief and focused on the sole target of, together with my teammates, trying my best to win as a gift to my father,” Phuong said in tears.

Translating the pain into action was not a rare thing in the past. However, not many people at Phuong's age could do such a thing.

And with the admirable willpower combined with agility, long stride, stamina and flexible reflex, in the coming time, that Phuong can compete for participation in the 2021 Southeast Asia Youth Taekwondo Championship and will be the core force of the provincial Taekwondo team at the 2026 National Sports Games is within her reach, as commented by Head of Taekwondo Division Pham Ngoc Thanh.

Story and photo: Han Dang