|Making waves: Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is hoped to win Best Athlete of the Year for the second time in a row. — Photo phunuonline.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is expected to defend her title at the Best Athletes and Coaches of 2014, which is being held today in three cities across the nation.
The 18-year-old delivered an outstanding performance this year, bringing home countless titles and records.
Vien is the first swimmer of Viet Nam to win a medal at the Asian Games. The Can Tho Province-born athlete placed third in the women's 400m medley and 200m backstroke events during the Incheon Games held three months ago.
She is ranked amongst the world's top 10 swimmers in the current event.
Vien triumphed in the 200m medley and set a national record in the first Youth Olympic Games in China, which was held in August.
She was voted the best athlete in the 16-18 age group during the ASEAN Swimming Championships. She also won nine gold, four silver and three bronze medals. She set nine records during the event as well.
The talented athlete also swept the national competition with 18 golds and 14 records after winning a berth in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.
Vien was voted the Best Athlete of 2013, with 916 points, leaving her rivals far behind in the tally.
Her possible rivals this year include marksman Hoang Xuan Vinh and weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan.
Vinh's best achievement is a gold medal and a world record in the men's 10m air pistol at the World Cup held in the United States in March.
He maintained his excellent performance throughout the year and will participate in the Brazilian Olympics.
Tuan showed off his impressive skills by winning a gold medal at the World Youth Weightlifting Championships and setting two records in the men's 56kg category. He was honoured as the world's best player in this category.
He won one gold and two silvers and set 11 records (world, Asian, ASEAN and national) during the world tournament.
Tuan came in second and pocketed a record in the snatch event at the South Korean Asian Games.
He will also join Vien and Vinh at the Olympics.
Apart from the athletes, the votes from sports officials, experts and journalists will also be considered for the awards for Best Coaches, Best Athletes with Disabilities and Best Coaches of Athletes with Disabilities.
Other athletes who might be included in the top 10 are Asian Games winner (wushu) Duong Thuy Vi, world U12 champion (chess) Nguyen Anh Khoi, world No 50 (badminton) Vu Thi Trang, and world champion (bodybuilding) Pham Van Mach. World winner (taekwondo) Chau Tuyet Van and ASIAD silver medallist (cycling) Nguyen Thi That are also expected to be part of the list.
One new rule will be applied in this year's selection of winners.
The athletes and coaches included in the top 10 will be stripped of their titles if they break any laws and regulations in training and competing.
According to Hoang Du, head of the organising board, the new rule aims to not only encourage sporting spirit but also limit bad behaviour that could strongly influence the reputation of national sports. Unacceptable behaviour includes fighting, using swear words to intimidate rivals and referees in the competition, and refusing to serve the national teams.
The results of the top 10 will be announced tomorrow. — VNS