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Phan Manh Linh: From a farm boy to the top

Born into a farming family in Gio Son Commune of Gio Linh District, Phan Manh Linh had just thought of becoming a professional athlete when he joined Quang Binh"s rowing team.

Now at 29, Linh is one of Vietnam"s most outstanding rowing athletes. The glories and medals he has earned at Asian and Southeast Asian rowing competitions are outstanding achievements for the farmboy of Quang Tri Province.

“In 2014, I arrived in Quang Binh to work at a restaurant. Then I met the man that guided and trained me to row,” Linh said. In 2015, realizing his physical advantages, Quang Binh Rowing Team recruited Linh for training, thus forming and nurturing his love for the sport.

Phan Manh Linh: From a farm boy to the top

Phan Manh Linh, from a farm boy to the top rower. Photo: D.C

It was challenging and odd for Linh during the very first days as he had not experienced such a professional training routine before. It took him some time to balance himself on the boat, adapt to the water, and drive the boat in the right direction.

Linh made his progress through extensive training, hard work, resilience, and close management of his coaches. In 2016, he finished third at the National Rowing and Canoeing Championship, winning his first bronze medal. Linh was then merited by the Chairman of the Quang Binh Provincial People"s Committee, marking the first achievement in his career.

In 2017, Linih joined the Ho Chi Minh City Rowing and Canoeing Team. He was in the best conditions and ready to conquer new heights.

Fruitful outcomes

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best rowing and canoeing teams in Vietnam and is home to many outstanding players who have often featured on the national team. Amidst the strong competitiveness, Linh did his best to strengthen his position. As a result, he debuted at the 2017 National Rowing and Canoeing Championship.

Despite many difficulties, the Quang Tri-originated rower stayed firm and determined in his performance. As the championship ended, Linh and his teammates won two silver medals in lightweight and heavyweight coxless four-men races and one bronze medal in the lightweight duel race.

For a freshman, the achievements were impressive and paved the way for Linh to strive and reach higher levels. The farmboy from Quang Tri Province step-by-step became one of the key rowers in the Ho Chi Minh City Rowing and Canoeing Team. Alongside his teammates, Linh performed well and earned high results in national rowing and canoeing races.

Phan Manh Linh: From a farm boy to the top

Nationa rowing athlete Phan Manh Linh at the SEA Games 30 hosted in the Philippines in 2019. Photo: D.C

2018 marked a breakthrough for Linh, as he won two gold medals at the 2018 National Sports Festival and was promoted to the Vietnamese National Rowing squad.

“It was a proud moment for me, knowing that I”ll become a part of the national team. The pressure and training would be hard, but I was ready to take the chance," Linh said.

“I also acknowledged that I would have the opportunity to participate in regional and international games. So I promised myself to maintain the fitness, improve my rowing skills and tactics, and become more determined to return the favor that I had received from my coaches,” he said.

Linh was very serious with his training. He also asked for the experiences of Vietnam"s top-class athletes to improve his performance.

Since 2018, Linh has remained among the top rowers in heavyweight duels and heavyweight coxless four-men rows. Linh"s team has won many gold medals at national competitions, impressed the crowd with outstanding sprints, and overwhelmed their opponents.

Reaching out to the sea

In the national squad, Linh has made comprehensive progress. As long as he is in the game, he fights every inch to help his team win it. At the Asia Rowing Championship, Linh secured one silver and one bronze medal.

Phan Manh Linh: From a farm boy to the top

Phan Manh Linh and his teammates celebrate their victory. Photo: D.C

“I”m happy that I“ve won many international races. I feel stronger when receiving the chants from the supporters and my family,” he said.

In 2019, Linh continued his impressive form and won one gold and one silver medals at the 2019 Southeast Asian Rowing and Canoeing Championship and one bronze medal at the SEA Games 30. Also 2019, he won two gold medals at the 2019 Asian Rowing Championship. Three years later, Linh won a silver medal at the SEA Games 31.

Linh said he will concentrate on his training to achieve the best form for all competitions and strive to earn better results.

“I want to become a coach after ending my player career, so I can continue to live with the sport I love and discover and train new talents for Vietnam,” he said.

Hoai Diem Chi - Huy Anh

Hoai Diem Chi - Huy Anh

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