|Trần Hưng Nguyên of Việt Nam competes in the 200m individual medley on May 18. VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên|
Singapore, Thailand and Việt Nam took two gold medals each in the swimming events on May 18.
Gan Ching Hwee won her fourth individual gold at this year's Games, cruising to victory in the women's 1,500m freestyle with a time of 16:36.73.
The 18-year-old also claimed a unique piece of history in becoming the first winner of this event, which is making its maiden appearance at the Games.
She finished well ahead of Vietnamese Võ Thị Mỹ Tiên (16:55.88) and Yarinda Sunthornrangsri from Thailand.
Singapore won a second gold through Bonnie Yeo, Letitia Sim, Quah Jing Wen and Quah Ting Wen, who clocked in 4:07.62 to win the women's 4x100m medley relay.
The crowd at the Mỹ Đình Water Sports Palace also witnessed another significant moment when sprint queen Amanda Lim lost the women’s 50m freestyle title that she had held since 2009.
She touched the wall in 25.39sec, behind Thai Srisa-Ard Jenjira (25.12). Compatriot Quah Ting Wen was third in 25.49sec.
"That said, I'm very happy for Janjira because she’s been around for quite some time as well and she's an awesome sprinter. And she's been on form and most importantly, Singapore got onto the podium and I’m very happy that Ting is there with me as well."
Asked if she is aiming to reclaim the title in Cambodia next year, she replied: "Well, I would say yes. I don't think I'm going to retire the next year that’s for sure. This just makes me a bit more hungry to get my gold medal back. I've been just starting to train under a new coach (Gustavo Schirru, an assistant coach at the National Training Centre) as well - we've been doing very specific sprint work. So hopefully, by next year, we will be in a top position for sure."
The Thais won the second gold in the women's 400m individual medley as Kamonchanok Kwanmuang came first with a time of 4:49.98. Her teammate Jingutha Pholjamjumrus (4:52.32) was second and Indonesian Azzahra Permatahani was third (4:56.42).
Malaysia got their first swimming gold medal at the Hà Nội Games after Khiew Hoe Yean came good in the final 50m lap to win the men's 200m freestyle race in 1:47.81.
He also regained the 200m freestyle title that teammate Welson Sim lost at the Philippines SEA Games in 2019.
Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen, already a five-gold medallist in Hà Nội, was beaten to second place in 1:48.20, which was his personal best.
Vietnamese Hoàng Quý Phước, a former champion in the 200m freestyle, took third place in 2:02.89.
Việt Nam's swimmers won in the men's 50m breaststroke by Phạm Thanh Bảo with a time of 28.28m, securing his second gold this Games.
Gagarin Nathaniel Yus of Indonesia took silver (28.31). Singaporean Maximillian Ang was third with a personal best of 28.32sec.
He also claimed a bronze in the 200m individual medley in 2:03.73. The winner of this class was Trần Hưng Nguyên of Việt Nam whose 2:01.22 is his personal best. Dulyawat Kaewsriyong of Thailand (2:02.89) claimed a bronze.
Hưng's gold was the ninth of Việt Nam, who had set a target of eight golds this Games.
There are eight more gold medals up to grab on the last day of the competition on May 19.