HÀ NỘI - Vietnamese bodybuilder Phạm Văn Mách on May 13 won a gold medal in bodybuilding in the men's 55kg weight division at the age of 46.
In the men's 55kg weight division, Mách competed with Azri Bin Asmat Safri (Malaysia) and Kyaw Min Than (Myanmar).
As the competition ended, the crowd couldn't guess which athlete would win gold. But the crowd exploded when the judges announced that Mách had won.
This is the first time in 17 years that Mach has won gold at the SEA Games.
Before the competition, he was pleased and excited to be on the participating list.
To prepare for the region's biggest sports event, he has spent at least two hours practising every day.
He is one of the oldest athletes in the team and attended the Games held in Việt Nam 19 years ago, in 2003, when he brought home his first gold medal.
Despite the disadvantage of age, with the experience of competing for many years, Mách has completed his target of winning gold.
Speaking after the match, Mách could not hide his happiness. He said that he felt a lot of pressure before the tournament as his opponents were all younger than him and had shown great improvement.
"After the SEA Games, I will compete in a bigger tournament, the Asian tournament to be held next July," he said.
"I will be back in training after the Games to compete at the SEA Games in 2023. Of course, every year, the competition will be different, so I will try my best.”
In the men's 65kg division, athlete Đặng Thanh Tùng won the gold medal. The silver medalist in the weight category was Pongsiri Prommachan (Thailand), and Malvern Abdullah (Malaysia) took bronze.
In the men's 60kg division, the gold medalist was Jiraphan Pongkam of Thailand. Vietnamese athlete Phạm Văn Phước took silver and Kasem Rattanaporn (Thailand) won bronze.
At the end of the first day of the competition, the Vietnamese bodybuilding team won two out of three gold medals and one silver, a surprising success for the country's bodybuilding team.