Icons of Asia: Phan Thi Ha Thanh

Born in 1991 in the Vietnamese city of Hai Phong, Phan Thi Ha Thanh became the first gymnast from her country to win a medal at the World Championships when she won the bronze medal on the Vault at the 2011 event in Tokyo.

After winning the gold medal in the team event of the Southeast Asia Games in her home country in 2003 as a 12- year-old, she made her international debut at the SEA Games in Thailand four years later in Thailand, where she won the gold medal in the vault.

Her first taste of competition outside the Asian continent was at the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, but she was unable to score sufficiently in any of the preliminaries to qualify for the finals.

She continued to excel in Asian competitions over the next couple of years, but finally announced herself on the world stage when she won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships, which earned her a berth in the London Olympics the following year.

In the British capital, she failed to progress past the qualifying stage for any of the events, although she was named as one of the reserves for the Vault, which has been her best apparatus throughout her career.

The 2013 season was something of a disappointment for Phan, after she fell during the Vault final at the World Champs when attempting a difficult Yurchenko entry with two-and-a-half twists stretched.

By 2014, though, Phan was back to her best, winning a World Cup title on the Balance Beam in Osijek before winning two medals at the Asian Games in Incheon – silver on the Balance and Bronze in the Vault.

Following two World Cup titles on the Balance Beam (Doha and Varna) in 2015, she went on to win the most gold medals (3) of any gymnast at the 2015 SEA Games.

Major Achievements

World Championships: Bronze (1)
Asian Games: Silver 1, Bronze (1)
Asian Championships: Gold (1), Bronze (1)
Southeast Asia Games: Gold (8), Silver (2), Bronze (2)