2022 has ended after an impressive year for sports. Vietnamese athletes have had an incredible year with milestone achievements in domestic and international competitions. Việt Nam News selects the best events of the year.
1. 31st Southeast Asian Games
|Artists perform at the closing ceremony of the 31st SEA Games in May in Hà Nội — VNA/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam organised the second biennial regional sports festival, the 31st SEA Games, in Hà Nội and 11 surrounding cities and provinces from May 12 to 23.
Thousands of athletes arrived in Việt Nam to compete in 40 sports. They made an impressive event, showcasing their talents, connecting people and strengthening regional solidarity.
Việt Nam ranked first in the medal tally with 205 gold, 125 silver, and 116 bronze medals. The hosts set up a new record in the number of titles, beating Indonesia's old record of 194 golds in the 19th Games in 1997. Thailand (92 golds, 103 silvers, 136 bronzes) placed second, and Indonesia (69 golds, 91 silvers, 81 bronzes) third.
2. 11th Para Games
|Vietnamese athletes at the 11th Para Games. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam ended third at the 11th Southeast Asian Games for people with disabilities (ASEAN Para Games), organised from July 30 to August 8 in Indonesia.
The 153-strong team won 65 golds, 62 silvers and 56 bronzes at the event that lured almost 1,300 competitors in 14 sports.
Their outstanding effort helped them exceed their target of 35-40 golds set up before their departure for the Surakarta Games. Hosts Indonesia topped the ranking with 177 titles. Thailand were second with 117.
3. Women’s World Cup 2023
|The national women's team members are honoured when returning home with the 2023 World Cup berth. — VNS/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam national women's team grabbed the first-ever spot at the world's largest football competition, the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Việt Nam are the fifth representative of Asia at the July 20-August 20 event.
The Southeast Asian champions are in Group E with defending champions United States, first runners-up the Netherlands and a winning team from play-off matches.
4. National Sports Games
|In December, athletes compete in the men's cycling event at the National Sports Games in Hòa Bình Province. — VNA/VNS Photo|
The ninth National Sports Games were organised in Quảng Ninh Province and some other localities from December 9-21. It was the largest Games in history, with more than 17,000 participants, including almost 10,000 competitors who vied for medals in 43 sports.
After nearly two weeks of competitions, Hà Nội defended their No 1 position with 175 golds, 143 silvers and 157 bronzes. HCM City stood second, earning 128 golds, followed by the Military Team with 82 and Thanh Hóa with 40.
Athletes set up 53 new national records and 96 new Games records.
5. 2022 World Cup's third qualifier
|Việt Nam national men's football team got further than ever with their competition at the 2022 World Cup third qualification. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam's national football team competed in the third qualification round of the 2022 World Cup.
It was the first time that Việt Nam reached the last qualifier.
They grabbed a historic 3-1 victory over China on February 1 after losing 4-0 to regional powerhouse Australia on January 27.
The team tied world No 24 Japan 1-1 on March 29 after losing 1-0 to Oman four days earlier.
6. ASEAN U23 Championship
|The U23 football team create a miracle by winning the regional championship title before advancing to the Asian championship's quarter-finals and gold from the 31st SEA Games. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam triumphed at the ASEAN U23 Football Championship after beating Thailand 1-0 in the final match on February 26 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The road to the team's victory will stay with the squad forever.
Coach Đinh Thế Nam faced trouble when many of his players had positive tests for COVID-19. With only ten men, Nam was forced to call for reinforcements. Ten other players immediately flew from Việt Nam to join their teammates.
The unexpected team struggled but made it to the final to beat Thailand 1-0, thanks to late-comer Trần Bảo Toàn, to lift the trophy.
The team then took part in the Asian U23 Championship in June in Uzbekistan and advanced to the quarter-finals.
They also defended their title at the 31st SEA Games, beating archrival Thailand 1-0 in the final.
7. SwissUltra Triathlon champion
|Vũ Phương Thanh of Việt Nam wins a title at the Swiss Ultra Deca Continuous Triathlon World Championship. Photo of Thanh Vũ|
After 14 days of competition, Vietnamese Vũ Phương Thanh won a gold medal in the Swiss Ultra Deca Continuous Triathlon World Championship - the toughest triathlon competition in the world in August.
Thanh finished first in the women’s category, clocking 328hr 27.55min, about an hour faster than her closest rival.
There were 23 athletes worldwide participating in the tournament, in which they must complete 38km swimming, 1,800km cycling and 422km running. Thanh was the only representative of Việt Nam at the event.
8. Ironman World Championship
|Lâm Túc Ngân has twice competed in the Ironman World Championship. Photo of Lâm Túc Ngân|
Lâm Túc Ngân was the only Vietnamese athlete who qualified for the Ironman World Championship.
In Hawaii in October, she finished the race (3.8km swimming, 180km cycling and 42.2km running) in 14hr 21.23min, setting her personal best.
She finished 78 out of 86 athletes in the 25-29-year-old group, 1,000 from 1,202 women and 1,905 of more than 2,300 competitors.
Ngân, 29, is one of the best triathletes in Việt Nam. She has competed in the Ironman Vietnam many times, winning the 2018 season.
She won the Half Ironman 70.3 Philippines age group in 2019. She also competed in the Ironman 70.3 world championship in South Africa in 2018.
9. Players go abroad
|Midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải (right) and striker Huỳnh Như have put on impressive performances when playing abroad. — Photo danviet.vn|
Midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải and striker Huỳnh Như were the first Vietnamese players to sign for a foreign club permanently.
Hải joined Pau FC in the French Ligue 2 in June on a two-year deal with an extension of another year. His presence in the new home helped the club lure a great number of followers; an increase of 16 times across ten days.
The 25-year-old has scored one goal for the team to date.
Như landed in Lank Vilaverdense FC of Portugal in August. She signed a one-year contract with an agreement of 12 months upon expiry.
The captain of Việt Nam scored a double for her club in a 2-2 draw against Famalicao on November 5. She was awarded best player of the match and named in the best XI of the sixth round. Two weeks later, she grabbed another double in the 5-0 win over Ovarense.
10. Beach handball success
|The women's beach handball team celebrate their Asian championship title. — Photo nld.com.vn|
The national beach handball of Việt Nam scored remarkable success in 2022.
The women's team secured the Asian championship title. The team grabbed their berth to compete in the world championship, where they placed No 13 with two wins over Mexico and the US in Greece in June. They also qualified for the World Games in July in the US but failed to join the competition because of visa issues.
The men's team bagged their best-ever result with a bronze medal at the Asian championship in March, beating the Philippines 2-0 in Iran.
At the 31st SEA Games, they successfully defended their title with one game in hand. VNS