Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Tiến Cương is expected to win the country’s first gold medal in the men’s individual three-string bow (compound) event at the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia today.
At the Games, archery and eight other events including football, futsal, swimming and sepak takraw will kick off before the official opening ceremony on August 19. The remaining events will begin following the festivities.
Cương is considered the most experience member of the archery team, with 14 years of training and competition under his belt. He is world No 72 and is the highest ranked archer in Southeast Asia.
Hanoian Cương marked a milestone for Vietnamese archery by winning a gold medal at the 27th Games held in 2013 in Myanmar. The sport is usually dominated by Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The victory marked the first individual gold medal for Việt Nam.
Two years ago, at the 28th Games held in Singapore, he came home with gold again.
“I am not afraid of pressure at the Games. I will try my best to achieve the best result during the event,” said Cương.
Born in 1988, Cương became familiar with the three-string bow in 2003 when Việt Nam began partaking in this sport.
During the 19th, 20th and 22nd editions of the Games, the Vietnamese archers walked away without any awards, but at SEA Games 24, Việt Nam won the three-string bow team event. Cương contributed to this achievement with his remarkable marksmanship.
Cương also won five gold medals at the Asian Archery Championship as well as many gold medals at the Southeast Asian Archery Championship.
According to coach Cáp Mạnh Tân, Cương is an archer with excellent physical strength and technique. He is the best archer with the three-string bow in the region at present.
Việt Nam will send 16 archers to the tournament, competing in compound and one-string bow (recurve) categories for 10 sets of medals.
To prepare for the Games, Vietnamese athletes took part in the Asian and World Cup in May and June. They have returned home from an intensive training session in South Korea.
“The Việt Nam team are in good form and they are ready for the event,” said Tân.
“Among the categories to be contested in Malaysia, women’s one-string bow and three-string bow, and men’s three-string bow have a great chance of producing medals as Việt Nam’s standard tops the region,” Tân added.
Besides Cương, Lộc Thị Đào is also a golden hope for Việt Nam. She won gold medal in the women’s one-string bow at the Asian event in March.
“My teammates and I are very confident following our time training in South Korea. I hope Việt Nam will perform well at the Games,” said Đào.
Việt Nam will send more than 470 athletes to compete at the Games in Malaysia, which will close on August 30. They will take part in 32 out of 38 sports.
They will meet about 6,000 athletes from 10 other countries in the region.
At the previous games in Singapore two years ago, Việt Nam finished third with 73 golds. Thailand (95 golds) and the hosts (84 golds) secured first and second positions, respectively. — VNS