Time for Vietnamese swim team to move past controversies

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It is time to lift the pressure off swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc, said Dinh Viet Hung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Aquatic Sports Association.

Hung made the statement upon returning from the US after spending 10 days there addressing problems that arose within the Vietnamese swimming team on their training mission in the US.

"I can say that sending the swimmers to the US for training has achieved some good results. Female swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has met the B standard for the Olympics, for example. There are some problems with the team but they are not too bad," Hung said.

Asked why Phuoc had to change his training location and why he was not registered for the Indianapolis swimming event, Hung said the Vietnamese swimmers were divided into two groups from the beginning.

The first group consisted swimmers who had not met the B standard for the Olympics. Kim Tuyen, Thanh Nguyen and Anh Vien were in the group being coached by Dang Anh Tuan.

Phuoc was in the other group because he had met the B standard. He was trained by longtime coach Nguyen Tan Quang for the purpose of meeting the A standard.

Each swimmer had a suitable training plan developed by their coaches with support from the US experts, so there were not serious problems, according to Hung.

The change of location was intended to give the swimmers more training time. And Phuoc did not compete in the Indianapolis event because he came to the US later than the other swimmers and it was impossible to register him, Hung said.

It was not due to ill will that head coach Dang Tuan Anh did not register Phuoc in the Indianapolis contest, Hung added.

Asked why a report by coach Dang Tuan Anh and information provided by coach Nguyen Tan Quang and swimmer Phuoc were not the same, Hung said, "I met both sides to settle all the differences. They said they were still happy together.

"Perhaps the two coaches had some different points of view but they had to work toward the goal of a successful Vietnamese swimming team. I also saw that Phuoc was happy with the team."

Hung said when he first arrived, coach Quang and swimmer Phuoc wanted to stay in the US for their training; but later they said they wanted to return to Vietnam and then go to China for their training.

"I know Quang and Phuoc are under heavy pressure after such problems. But now it is time to lift all pressures off Phuoc so that he can concentrate on training to show his ability," Hung said.

According to Hung, things can be solved in two ways. Either Phuoc's problems should be settled so that he could stay in the US to train and compete in two international events in May, or he should be allowed to return to Vietnam and go to China to train as he wishes. Hung has reported these options to the General Department of Physical Training and Sports for its decision.

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