Viet Nam News
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên of Việt Nam swims to win the women’s 100m backstroke in the Malaysian SEA Games yesterday. She set up a new Games’ record. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên won the first gold medal and set a new record at the Malaysian 29th Southeast Asian Games yesterday.
Viên finished first in the women’s 100m backstroke with a time of 1min 1.89sec, a new record.
The old record of 1:02.11 belonged to Tao Li of Singapore made in 2011 in Indonesia.
Nurul Fajar Fitriyati of Indonesia was second, followed by Phiangkhwan Pawapotaco from Thailand.
Earlier, Viên shocked the whole region after failing to preserve her title in the 200m butterfly.
The Vietnamese swam it in 2:12.61, slower than what she did in the heat. She even could not enter the top three. Two years ago in Singapore Viên topped the event with a record time of 2:11.12.
Yesterday, Jing Wen Quah of Singapore won the gold with a timing 2:12.03. Lê Thị Mỹ Thảo of Việt Nam pocketed a silver at her first SEA Games tournament. Patarawadee Kittiya of Thailand stood third.
“I am really disappointed for competing poorly in the 200m butterfly. I am sorry,” Viên said after her 100m backstroke victory ceremony.
“I have been encouraged by my coaches and teammates and I was successful in the second one. I will do my best tomorrow to win all the categories that I have registered in,” said Viên who has entered in 12 events and is expected to win 10.
The other Vietnamese swimmers who grabbed medals yesterday were Lê Nguyễn Paul, who was third in the men’s 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly, and 15-year-old Nguyễn Hữu Kim Sơn, who took a bronze in the men’s 400m freestyle.
Paul has Vietnamese parents but was born in the US. It is the first time he has worn the Việt Nam national jersey at the SEA Games.
He said he was happy with his Games debut and was proud to wear a Việt Nam flag on his chest.
The 25-year-old said he would train to swim faster and bring more golds for Việt Nam.
First fencing title
Vietnamese fencer Vũ Thành An defended his title at the SEA Games yesterday.
An defeated Thai Voragun Srinualnad 15-6 to take the title in the men’s individual sabre event, making it the seventh gold for Việt Nam after two days of competition.
“He (Srinualnad) is a talented athlete from Thailand. I asked myself to do the best for a gold. There is a challenge in every competition; I am excited and happy to overcome the challenge in this SEA Games to defend my top position,” said An, who was the national flag bearer at the opening ceremony on Saturday.
"An displayed his top level by easily dominating his rival in the final match. In this SEA Games, I did not see anyone who could make it difficult for him. His win will be a good boost for his teammates in the next days," said Phùng Lê Quang, head of Fencing Department of the National Sports Administration.
Fencer Vũ Thành An (right) attacks his Thai rival Voragun Srinualnad in the men’s individual sabre event. — Photo zing.vn
Srinualnad beat Vietnamese Nguyễn Xuân Lợi 15-14 in the semi-finals, which saw An win 15-7 over Ahmad Huzafah Bin Saharudin of the Philippines.
Lợi burst into tears behind the stage, as he lost the semi-final match because of the referees’ verdict.
When the score was 14-14, both the sides joined in an attack and they celebrated thinking they had scored a point.
However, the referee gave the decisive point to the Thai and sent him into the final.
“Lợi was robbed of two points by controversial decisions by the referee; one was the winning point. However, we have to accept it, it is part of the game,” said Quang.
Lợi and Saharudin shared the third position.
In wushu, Phạm Quốc Khánh claimed a silver in the men’s nandao (Southern broadsword) and nangun (Southern staff) combination event. He grabbed 19.32 points and was behind Myanmar’s Thein Than Oo, who earned 19.34 points. Malaysian Ho Mun Hua came third.
Nguyễn Thùy Linh took the second silver in the women’s nandao and nangun combination. She was below Juwita Niza Wasni of Indonesia. Malaysian Tai Cheau Xuen was third.
All SEA Games winners, apart from their medals, will be given a sapling that would be planted along Peninsula Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine.
The stretch includes a series of reserve forests in Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu.
More than 5,200 trees, made up of various native Malaysian jungle species, will be planted between October and March next year. These will be grown below the viaducts where animals can safely cross the highways that run through the forests, thestar.com.my reports. — VNS