|Phạm Thanh Bảo swims in the men's 100m breaststroke event. He set a new SEA Games record of 1min 0.97sec. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Phạm Thanh Bảo set a SEA Games record in the men's 100m breaststroke on May 7 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The Vietnamese swimmer finished first with a time of 1min 0.97sec to take gold, Việt Nam's second at the 32nd Games.
His time was a new record of the competition, beating the 1:01.17 he set at the last Games in Hà Nội.
Bảo is the first Vietnamese to set a record in Cambodia.
|Phạm Thanh Bảo is the first Vietnamese record holder at the 32nd SEA Games.|
Nicholas Rui Karsten Mahabir of Singapore, who was faster than Bảo in the heat competition in the morning, came second, clocking 1:01.22. He was followed by Ang Maximillan Wei, another Singaporean, who swam in 1:02.21.
"This gold medal is for my grandmother who passed away when I was training in Hungary for the SEA Games," said Bảo.
"I am really happy with the title. I will try better in the next days and the next events. Thanks to my coaches and supporters who believed in me."
Minutes after Bảo, the men's relay team came from behind to secure gold for Việt Nam in the 4x200m freestyle event.
SEA Games champions Nguyễn Hữu Kim Sơn and Nguyễn Huy Hoàng were left behind in the first two strokes. Swimmers from Singapore and Malaysia took turns to lead.
But in the third stroke, veteran swimmer Hoàng Quý Phước, who is a master in the 200m freestyle, narrowed the gap. His young teammate Trần Hưng Nguyên began his swimming 2sec after Singapore and Malaysia rivals. But he managed to pass all rivals to finish first with a time of 7:18.51.
|The men's 4x200m freestyle of Việt Nam on the top podium.|
It was Nguyên's second gold in Phnom Penh. He won his 200m individual medley on May 6.
Singapore were second with 7:21.50 and Malaysia third on 7:21.55.
"I am happy with the gold. Although we couldn't set a new record but are pleased because we did our best," said Phước who plans to retire after this Games.
"Prior to the Games, I was a little worried because my fitness is not as good as years ago. I was afraid that we could not defend our title.
"Now I am over the moon, I don't know how to explain my feelings because it will be my last SEA Games. I am proud to be Vietnamese, and have the chance to swim with my teammates, and bring home victory," he said.
His teammate Hoàng confirmed that Singapore did not have Olympic champion Joseph Schooling in the team but they were still a powerful squad.
He said the Vietnamese team won thanks to good tactics and the solidarity of all members.
"I am happy defending our top place. We might not swim our best but gold says everything."
Hoàng will next swim in the men's 200m butterfly, 400m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle later this week.
The Vietnamese swimming team grabbed three golds after two days.
The team set a target of up to 10 titles in this Games. VNS