Thanh Phuc walks her way to London Olympics

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Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc won the bronze medal at the 20km Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi City, Japan on Sunday, in the process winning an Olympic berth as well.

The South East Asian Games women's champion finished the 20km in one hour, 35 minutes, significantly better than the 1h 38 minutes 30 seconds required for a berth at the London Olympics later this year.

Twenty-one-year-old Phuc, who participated in an international contest for the first time at the SEA Games in Indonesia in 2011, has become the first Vietnamese athlete to win an Olympic place.

Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, said, "Phuc's achievement is excellent. Hopefully, this will set a good example for other athletes to try and win more Olympic berths."

Phuc's younger brother Nguyen Thanh Ngung did not win an Olympic berth but his result of one hour, 27 minutes 57 seconds at the contest was better than his SEA Game bronze medal result of one hour 35 minutes 48 seconds.

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