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Khổng Mỹ Phượng - Vietnam's Rising Star

Name: Khổng Mỹ Phượng

Location: Vietnam

Weight Category: -45kg

Age: 20

Personal Bests: Snatch 78kg | Clean & Jerk 93kg

Vietnamese weightlifter, Khổng Mỹ Phượng, has been sporty from a very young age, specifying in to weightlifting when she was just twelve years old. In 2015 she entered the World stage, wining gold at the Youth World Champs when she was just 15!

Khng competes in the lightest womens weight class. At just 45kg she has snatched over 1.7x her bodyweight and acheived a clean and jerk of over 2x bodyweight!

In 2019 Khng had a very successful year, securing her place as Junior World Champion, with gold medals for the snatch and total, and silver for the clean and jerk. She also placed an amazing 5th place with a bronze medal in the snatch at the Senior worlds!

Read our interview to hear how Khng overcame injury and extreme circumstances to achieve great results at the World Cup in Rome this year!

CS: How old were you when you started weightlifting and how did you get interested in it?

Khong: I am 21 this year! I started practicing weights when I was 12 years old, so I have practiced for 9 years! I have been gifted in sports since I was young, most sports I can play except basketball because I'm short, haha! (150cm)

CS: Do you have any advice for girls who are just starting out in weightlifting?

Khong: When a new girl starts to lift weights I would advise that they start learning the movements first with light weights. It’s best to learn the technique and work on it before going heavy and risking injury!

CS: What are your current best lifts and what are you focusing on improving at the moment?

Khong: At the moment I snatch 78kg and clean & jerk 93kg! My front squat is 100kg and back is 125kg, pulls are 105!

Clean & jerk is my weakness so I always try to improve it! I snatched 78kg before when my clean & jerk was just 85. At the end of my training sessions I spend 30 minutes working out the muscles to get stronger. I have stuck with this for a long time and that's why my training & performance improved.

CS: What is your training routine and how do you stay so motivated?!

Khong: I think that to keep winning, I have to practice more than others and never give up! I always persevere, I think that's my inspiration. Monday, Wednesday & Friday I'll practice all day, morning and afternoon. Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, I will practice one time in the morning and Sunday is my day off!

CS: How do you like to relax when you aren’t training, do you have any hobbies outside of weightlifting?

Khong: Aside from weight training I like to play the guitar and sing, I love to travel but now I can't because of the schedule.

CS: Who is your coach and what is the best advice they have given you?

Khong: My coach’s name is Huynh Huu Chi, who also is the coach of Thach Kim Tuan (a men’s 61kg international lifter). My coach is very funny, but he often reminds me that “weightlifting is hard work and every day my job is to overcome it”.

CS: What has been your most difficult and your favourite times of your weightlifting career so far?

Khong: When I achieved the 2015 World Youth Gold Medal that was my first time attending the tournament, I always set the goal for the following years to try to achieve the Gold Medal again… I also achieved a gold medal in 2016 but in 2017 I failed and didn't have a medal. You know, I was quite depressed and wanted to give up, a year of failure! I kept practicing normally but I had no goal until 2018, when I achieved a bronze medal in the Asian Youth Championship. 2019 was then the most successful year for me, but the only regret is that I could not win a (snatch) gold medal at the world championship, all I needed to do was snatch 78 to win a gold medal.

I also had a shoulder injury and had to take a break for almost 2 months! And then just days before the Rome tournament earlier this year I was involved in a hit and run accident with a motorbike rider! He hit me and ran away, people tried to chase after him but they didn’t catch up! My leg was bandaged up for the competition but I was very lucky to still win the gold medal! When I look back on it now it scares me!

CS: Is there a weightlifter that you particularly admire or enjoy seeing compete?

Khong: I really admire Kuo Hsing-Chun from Taiwan's weightlifting... She also suffered many injuries but always performs so well when she competes.

For more videos of Khng check out this link for video from the IWF

We would like to thank Khng again for chatting with us for this interview! It was very interesting to hear how she overcame her injury to do so well in Rome, and to get an idea of her fighting spirit! We can't wait to watch her at her upcoming competitions, and wish her many more successes!

- Team Canterbury Strength


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