December, 20 2013 09:24:05

Field day for VN athletes

Well ahead: Nguyen Van Lai heads to the finish line of the men's 10,000m event at the 27th SEA Games. Lai pocketed his second gold yesterday with a time of 29:44.82, setting a new national record. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut

HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese athletes enjoyed a bumper harvest on the final day of track and field competition, demonstrating power, speed and grit to win five gold medals in Myanmar.

Long-distance runner Nguyen Van Lai opened the floodgates with a victory in the men's 10,000m event, his second track and field gold medal at the ongoing 27th Southeast Asian Games.

Lai applied the same strategy that had helped him win a gold medal in the men's 5,000m event on Tuesday. He ran closely behind the race leader for much of the time, before speeding up to overtake him on the last lap.

Lai's strategy and effort paid off as he completed the race with a time of 29:44.82 to take first prize. Thai Boonthung Srisung came in second at 29:46.61 and Agus Prayogo of Indonesia came in third at 30:25.33.

Duong Van Thai's win amends for his failure to defend the men's 800m on Tuesday, as he retained his title in the men's 1,500m event and shared first prize with a Malaysian athlete following a dramatic finish.

A photo finish showed both athletes crossed the line at 3:58.02.

Do Thi Thao also will have a year of success after winning her second gold medal at the Games, when winning the women's 1,500m event, completing the race with a time of 4:22.64 to finish in first place.

Nguyen Van Hung won Viet Nam's fourth gold medal of the day in the men's triple jump event, when his sixth and final attempt was measured at 16m67.

High jumper Duong Thi Viet Anh completed one of the most memorable days in Viet Nam's track and field history at the Games, winning a fifth gold medal.

The title holder lived up to expectations by successfully defending her title. Anh's best jump was only 1.84m, but it was still enough to beat out all other jumpers.

The silver medal belonged to Boonwan Wanida of Thailand, while Vietnamese jumper Pham Thi Diem claimed a bronze medal.

Nguyen Thi Oanh, Quach Thi Lan, Nguyen Thi Thuy and Nguyen Thi Thuy helped bring home one more silver medal in the women's 4x100m replay event.

With five gold medals today, Viet Nam achieved its pre-Games goal of winning at least 10 gold medals, a record number of gold medals, which Viet Nam won in track and field at the Games.

In Vovinam, a Vietnamese traditional marital art, Nguyen Van Cuong, Nguyen Binh Dinh, Huynh Khac Nguyen and Tran Cong Tao brought home a gold medal, scoring the highest points in the men's leg attack take-down event.

Khanh Trang won Vovinam's second gold medal when she beat Myanmar 2-0 in the women's 50kg combat final. Vovinam's third gold medal was won by Nguyen Duy Khanh after defeating another Myanmar athlete in the men's 60kg combat event.

Judo also had a successful day with two gold medals being won. Van Ngoc Tu remained unrivalled in her category, with an easy win over a home athlete with an ippon point in the final.

This is her fifth gold medal in five successive SEA Games.

Ho Ngan Giang also had an easy win over another the home athlete, 11-0, to retain his title in the men's 60kg category.

Also, Nguyen Dinh Loc won a silver medal in Judo, after losing in the final.

The taekwondo team won a silver medal as Nguyen Thanh Hien lost in the women's 67kg final.

Football battle

Viet Nam and Thailand will be battling for three gold medals in women's football, and women's and men's futsal (indoor football), today.

The final of women's football match will be the most anticipated game when the defending champions, Viet Nam, take on runners-up Thailand, who lost to Viet Nam on a penalty shootout during the final, four years ago in Laos.

There is much at stake for both teams since the winner will not only become the new champion of the Games, but will also be recognised as the most successful country of all time in the 54-year history of the Games, with five titles.

Both Thailand and Viet Nam have won four titles since the women's football competition debuted in the Games in 1985.

In men's futsal, Viet Nam will face Thailand at 4pm (Myanmar time) in the final at the Wunna Theikdi Futsal Stadium in Naypyitaw, while in women's futsal, Viet Nam will take on Thailand at 1pm.

The country is still seeking its first gold medal in futsal. — VNS

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