|Proud moment: Nguyen Tien Nhat show his gold medal won in the fencing event, Viet Nam's first title at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. — Photo ngoisao.net
HA NOI (VNS) — Nguyen Tien Nhat claimed Viet Nam's first gold medal at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore yesterday.
Just minutes later, his teammate Vu Thanh An also struck gold, pushing Viet Nam up to second place in the medals table.
Singapore are on top with five gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
Nhat overcame host athlete Lim Wei Wen 15-8 in the final of the men's individual epee event.
Lim scored early points with strong support from the home fans, but Nhat, who was the first Vietnamese fencer to compete an Olympics in London three years ago, quickly found his confidence and took the lead. He led 6-3 in the first set and made it 15-8 in the second to bag the title.
"I am very happy to be the first Vietnamese to win a SEA Games gold this year. My rivals in the semis and final were Singaporean who had strong support from their fans. I was a little worried at the start, but just tried to give it my all and attack Lim. I have met him several times but did not think I would win by such a large gap," Nhat said after the medals ceremony.
|Nhat (right) overcame host athlete Lim Wei Wen 15-8 in the final of the men's individual epee event. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh
"I have prepared carefully for this SEA Games and practiced regularly with South Korean athletes for two months to make sure my skills improved," the 25-year-old Nhat said.
Nhat beat Singapore's Lee Mun Huo 15-9 in the semi-finals after his 15-8 win over Haerullah Muhammad of Indonesia in the quarter-finals.
It is Nhat's first SEA Games gold medal, although he has dominated the ASEAN Championships for five years in a row.
An triumphed in the men's individual sabre event, defeating Choy Yu Yong of the hosts 15-11 in the final.
Earlier, Viet Nam's Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu finished third in the women's individual foil event.
Thu lost 6-15 to Filipino Tinio Justine Gail in the semi-final to share third place with Chantasuvannasin Nunta of Thailand.
Host athlete Wang Wenying went on the take the gold, beating Gail 15-7 in the final.
Wang became the first Singaporean to secure a gold at this year'd Games. This is the fourth title Singaporean women have won in SEA Games history.
In the table tennis, Viet Nam pocketed a bronze medal in the mixed doubles event.
Dinh Quang Linh and Mai Hoang My Trang took the medal after losing 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 5-11 to Singaporean duo Yu Mengyu and Yangzi in the semi-finals.
The host athletes defeated Thailand's Suthasini Sawettabut and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 11-7, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 to win the gold medal.
Yu credited her partner's performance for the swift win in the mixed doubles final, saying: "After our team members' loss (in the other semi-final), we prepared well. My partner's performance really helped. We did not expect the match to go so smoothly."
It is the second bronze for the table tennis team who yesterday finished third in the men's doubles. — VNS