2015 was a good year for Vietnamese sports, and included many high points. Viet Nam News has selected the top ten events of the year.
1 Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is one of Asia's top five female swimmers. At the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in June, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, 19, broke eight records and earned tickets to compete in four categories at the Brazil Olympics next year. Born in the southern province of Can Tho, Vien brought home two silvers and one bronze from the World Cup. She also won one gold and one bronze at the sixth Military World Games.
Due to her outstanding performances, Vien was named one of Asia's five best female swimmers by the prestigious US-based Swimswam magazine.
2 Weightlifters earn three slots to compete in Brazil for the first time. Viet Nam's weightlifting team made history by winning three tickets to compete at the next Olympic Games in Brazil.
The team won two silvers and two bronzes at the World Weightlifting Championships to finish 20th overall. Following the International Weightlifting Federation's rules, teams ranked from 19th to 24th receive three berths for the Brazil Games. It is the first time Viet Nam has qualified for three places in a single sport for the Olympics.
3 Ly Hoang Nam enters Vietnamese tennis history. A first in the nation's tennis history, Ly Hoang Nam became a junior Grand Slam winner – having won the Wimbledon junior doubles trophy in July. Nam, from the southern province of Tay Ninh, has been listed in the top 1,000 players in the world. He also set the standard for other athletes to compete at an international level.
4 Viet Nam rank third at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore in June. The team won 73 gold, 53 silver and 60 bronze medals to finish third in the medals table, exceeding the target of 56-65 golds. Most gold medals were won in Olympic events, easily surpassing the ratio won at the Games two years ago in Myanmar. The three key events were swimming (10 golds), athletics (11 golds) and gymnastics (nine golds). Other events such as rowing (nine golds), fencing (eight golds), taekwondo (five golds) and shooting (four golds) also crowned their success.
5 Chess prodigy triumphs in world U8 category. Nguyen Le Cam Hien won the girls' U8 category at the World Youth and Cadets Chess Championships in Porto Carras, Halkidiki, Greece in November. Dao Thien Hai, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Tran Minh Thang and Nguyen Anh Khoi also triumphed in world junior chess divisions, showing Viet Nam's strength and potential in the world of chess.
6 Viet Nam's disabled athletes delegation surpass targets at ASEAN Para Games. Viet Nam bagged 48 golds and broke six records at ASEAN Para Games in Singapore, surpassing their target. In the past several years, there has been strong development in disabled sports. In the near future, Vietnamese disabled athletes hope to compete at a higher level at the Asian Para Games or Paralympics.
7 Viet Nam U23s qualify for finals of 2016 AFC. Viet Nam U23s earned a spot to compete in the final round of the 2016 AFC U23 Championships to be held in Qatar from January 12-30. The team qualified for the finals as the third best runner-up of the qualification round held in Kuala Lumpur a few months ago, coming second place in Group I with six points. Playing in a continental football event will help Vietnamese football progress.
8 HAGL sells players to foreign countries. V.League 1's Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) training success was marked by international interest in its young stars. Three of the club's players officially signed contracts with foreign clubs this year. Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong signed a two-year loan deal with the K-League's Incheon United, while midfielder Nguyen Cong Phuong signed a one-year loan contract with Mito HollyHock, a second division Japanese football club. Nguyen Tuan Anh signed a one-year loan deal with Japan's Yokohama Football Club. Although sad to see them go, the club is proud to have produced these talented young players.
9 Becamex Binh Duong win fourth V.League title. Becamex Binh Duong beat off stiff competition to triumph in the 2015 V.League 1. The team became the first Vietnamese team to win the national premier league for the fourth time. Their previous titles were in 2007, 2008 and 2014.
10 Shooters off target at Asian event. The national shooting team had a disappointing Asian Shooting Championships in Kuwait in November. The team won just three bronze medals to rank 17th out of the 33 teams that participated at the tournament. The medals were won by the men's teams in the 25m central-fire pistol event and the 10m air pistol event, and in the women's junior individual 10m air rifle event. Viet Nam's shooting decline at the event coincided with under-par performances by prominent sharpshooters such as Hoang Xuan Vinh who was off the mark despite winning bronze medals at the World Shooting Cup at Fort Benning, the US, in May. — VNS