Vietnamese gymnast takes 2nd straight gold for vault at Toyota Cup

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Phan Thi Ha Thanh, Vietnam's top female gymnast, won the gold medal in the women's vault event at the Toyota International Cup in Japan on Sunday.

Thanh, 21, also took the gold at last year's event. She successfully retained her title after scoring 14.925 points, ahead of host gymnasts Mai Murakami (14.475) and Ryu Wakiko (14.212).

Oksana Chusovitina of Germany, the European champion, finished fourth with a score of 13.725.

After winning the bronze medal in the women's vault event at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo in October 2011 and earning a berth to the 2012 London Olympics, Thanh has continued to perform superbly at international events.

She landed gold medals at the Senior Asian Artistic Championships in Fujian, China in early November, and at the Challenge Cup Grand Prix in the Czech Republic in vault event later that month.

In addition to the gold medal in the vault event on Sunday, Thanh also won the bronze medal for the balance beam event, scoring 12.950 points, behind two host athletes Minobe Yu (14.225 points) and Shintake Yuko (13.375 points).

With three gold medals at important international events, 2012 has been an incredibly successful year for Thanh.

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