January, 23 2014 10:12:00

‘Mermaid' voted nation's top athlete

Flying high: Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has been declared the best athlete of 2013 after glittering performances. — Photo phunuonline.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS)  — Teenage swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has been voted Viet Nam's top athlete in 2013.

Vien received 917 votes from sport reporters to top the national Best Athlete and Coach of the year awards that were given yesterday at a ceremony organised by The Thao Viet Nam (Viet Nam Sports) newspaper in Ha Noi and HCM City.

Vien received the votes for her outstanding performances during the year, winning 50 international medals including 26 titles, apart from victories in many local competitions.

In the most recent tournament, the 27th SEA Games that were held last month, the 16-year-old pocketed three gold, two silver and one bronze medals and set two new event records.

She made history as the first ever Vietnamese swimmer to win at the SEA Games since its debut in 1959.

Earlier the ‘little mermaid' had won one title at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and three others at the second Asian Youth Games.

Vien has received funding of US$200,000 to train in the US before competing at the 17th Asian Games later this year in South Korea where she is expected to win gold.

International Grandmaster Le Quang Liem came in second in the sportsperson of the year contest with 662 points.

Liem won the world and Asian blitz chess championships. The HCM City-born athlete bagged a gold and a bronze at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and two titles at the SEA Games. He was quarter-finalist at the World Chess Championships, Viet Nam's best result in the tournament so far. He also defended his title at the international HDBank competition, the Viet Nam Open.

Masksman Hoang Xuan Vinh came in third in the national contest with 597 points. In 2013, Vinh ranked fifth in the world. took home a World Cup and was fifth-placed athlete at the International Sport Shooting Federation's World Cup Final.

Dang Anh Tuan, who coaches the women's swimming team, was selected Coach of the Year, followed by Nguyen Thi Nhung (shooting) and Nguyen Binh Minh (track and field).

The top three best athletes with disabilities were Cao Ngoc Hung (track and field), Le Van Cong (powerlifting) and Nguyen Thi Hai (track and field).

The top coaches for athletes with disabilities were Dong Quoc Cuong (swimming), Dang Van Phuc (track and field) and Le Thuy Nga (badminton). — VNS

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