|Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng (centre) is the Best Male Athlete and Most Favourite Athlete of 2022. — Photo of organisers|
HÀ NỘI — Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng grabbed a hat-trick of titles at the Victory Cup Awards Gala on January 11 in Hà Nội, the Oscars of Vietnamese sports that honours the best athletes, teams and coaches who worked hard to achieve high results in 2022.
Hoàng, 22, had an outstanding year, securing five SEA Games gold medals (four individual and one team) and setting two new Games records in May in Hà Nội.
He was voted the best male athlete of the year.
"It is my third time on the stage to take the honour, but I am still shivering from nerves," said Hoàng.
"I don't know what to say. This Cup is to honour leading national athletes, and I can't believe I am the winner. I had to overcome many strong candidates for it."
"Thank you, thank you to the sports leaders who created the best conditions for me in training and competing. Thanks to my supporters who strongly encouraged and loved me.
"I promise I will try harder at the coming SEA Games and the Asian Games to make Việt Nam proud," said Hoàng, who also won the title in the 2019 season.
Earlier, the Quảng Bình Province native was awarded the Most Favourite Athlete and Best Teammates of the Year along with Hoàng Quý Phước, Nguyễn Hữu Kim Sơn and Trần Hưng Nguyên who together won a gold and set a Games record in the men's 4x200 freestyle event.
Speaking to the audience at the Gala, veteran swimmer Hoàng Quý Phước said he was happy and proud to represent the quartet lifting the trophy.
"We are over the moon being best teammates of each other. Thank you to the judges and supporters for voting for us. The cup and the SEA Games victory will be forever in our memories. We beat the powerful defending champion Singapore and set new heights," he said.
|Runner Nguyễn Thị Oanh receives the Best Female Athlete of the Year trophy. — Photo of organisers|
On the women's side, Nguyễn Thị Oanh took the limelight as the Best Female Athlete after her amazing performance at the 31st SEA Games.
The tiny runner grabbed three golds and set a new record, contributing to Việt Nam's top place in the track-and-field medal tally.
"I am moved and happy standing here holding this trophy. It is my first time winning this title after finishing in the top three previously," said Oanh.
"This cup is a sweet ending for what I have done in 2022 and a strong push for me in 2023. Thank you for voting for me," she added.
In other categories, coach Mai Đức Chung was the Best Coach of the Year. The 72-year-old guided the women's football team to win the SEA Games title and secured a berth in the 2023 World Cup.
It was his second time taking the cup after the first time in 2017.
|Coach Mai Đức Chung and his players won the Best Team of the Year award. — Photo of organisers|
Earlier, he represented the team to receive the cup for the Best Team of 2022.
Coach Park Hang-seo of the national men's football teams received his second cup in a row as the Best Foreign Coach of the Year.
Under his charge, the team advanced to the third qualification round of the 2022 World Cup for the first time in history.
|Coach Park Hang-seo is a two-time Best Foreign Coach of the Year. — Photo of organisers|
He also took the U23s to defend the SEA Games title successfully.
"Thank you for presenting me with a valuable award," Park said through an interpreter.
"I still have work to do in the last days of my contract with Việt Nam, two final matches at the AFF Cup. I will try to do a good job and end my five beautiful years in the country."
The Young Athlete of the Year title went to 19-year-old swimmer Nguyên who took four SEA Games golds and one record. He was also voted in 2019.
|Swimmer Đỗ Thanh Hải overcame many title favourites to be the Best Athlete with Disability of the Year. — Photo of organisers|
Swimmer Đỗ Thanh Hải was the Best Athlete with Disability of the Year. In July, he won five golds and set four records at the ASEAN Para Games in Indonesia.
Nguyễn Hồng Minh, former Việt Nam Olympic Committee Vice President and former Chief-de-Mission of Việt Nam Sports Delegation in many SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the nation's sports development.
The Cup, which delivered a total of VNĐ700 million (US$30,000) to the winners, is back after two years of absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is co-organised by the Việt Nam Sports Administration (VSA), Việt Nam Cable Television and Vietcontent Sports. — VNS