|Lê Thanh Tùng performs in the men's team's parallel bars event at the 32nd SEA Games. Tùng and teammates win a gold medal. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's gymnastic team secured their first gold medal at the 32nd SEA Games on Monday, in the men's team event at the Olympic Stadium Centre's Marquee Tent in Phnom Penh.
Lê Thanh Tùng, Đinh Phương Thành, Nguyễn Văn Khánh Phong, Đặng Ngọc Xuân Thiện, Văn Vĩ Lương and Trịnh Hải Khang dominated the podium with 313 points.
Despite having world star Carlos Yulo in the team, the Filipinos could secure only 305.25 points to place second.
Malaysia were at third with 295.5 points.
Tùng also won silver in the individual all-round while teammate Thành took a bronze.
|The national men's gymnastic team on the podium to receive their gold medal. — VNA/VNS Photo|
"I only practised occasionally for the SEA Games because of my long-time heel injury. I also could not sleep and needed pain killers every day. I have gout which strongly affects my training and competing activities," said Tùng.
"I am happy with my performance and my team does best to win gold."
Phan Thùy Linh, general secretary of the Việt Nam Gymnastics Federation said that her team was a combination of veteran and young athletes.
"It is good that they are young but have strong minds and competitive spirit," she said.
"They just competed in a World Cup event and nearly reached the top three. With the support of the veterans, they will grow strongly.
"There are good understanding and coordination between the two generations in my team."
Today, the team will compete in individual events in which they will defend golds in pommel horse, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
Coach Trương Minh Sang said: "We knew that when we are against strong rivals we would meet with many difficulties. But we also learned a lot from them to develop. The important thing is that we will never give up. We will fight for our national pride."
Successful martial artists
Việt Nam's karate team wrapped up their SEA Games tournament with two more golds in the men's and women's kumite (combat) team event.
The female fighters had no problems against the Philippines beating them 2-0 with Nguyễn Thị Ngoan and Hoàng Thị Mỹ Tâm easily overcoming their rival. With two wins the Vietnamese did not need to compete in the third match.
|Hoàng Thị Mỹ Tâm (left) helped Việt Nam win the women's kumite team gold. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Tâm, who earned her second gold in Cambodia, said: "I am really excited with the win. We faced with strong Indonesian in the semis.
"A win against them pushed us up in the final where we have persuasive victory."
Tens minutes after their female teammates' victory, the male competitors faced archrivals Malaysia in the final.
Việt Nam went ahead with a win by Trần Lê Tấn Đạt who suffered a hand injury. His teammates Lò Văn Biển and Đỗ Mạnh Hùng, however, could not beat their rivals. Malaysia went ahead to lead 2-1.
It was Võ Văn Hiền who came from behind to take the second win for Việt Nam, pulling the match level.
Chu Văn Đức became hero of the team as the 18-year-old beat his rival 9-6 in the last 10 seconds to secure Việt Nam's 3-2 win.
"They (Malaysia) are strong but my teammates and I made great effort in this match," said Đức who cried after his dramatic win.
"When fighting, I thought about my country, my motherland. It is key force to help me win.
Coach Dương Hoàng Long said: "It was such an emotional victory. I can't explain my feelings. My athletes did a good job, winning an amazing gold medal match.
"Two thirds of my team are young fighters, but they showed great spirit and determination."
The karate team ended their SEA Games journey with six golds, doubling their target.
Earlier, the winners were the men's and women's kata (performance) teams, Đinh Thị Hương in the women's 68kg and Tâm in the women's 55kg.
Việt Nam also won golds in other martial arts on Monday.
Phạm Thị Phương was moved when she won a title in her SEA Games debut. She defeated Leang Sreynoth of the hosts in the women's 45kg bokator.
|Phạm Thị Phương is the first Vietnamese to win a SEA Games bokator title. —VNA/VNS Photo|
Later, her teammate Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tuyền beat Filipino Alyssa Kylie to take her gold in the 50kg category.
The vovinam team also secured a gold in the women's self defence thanks to Nguyễn Thị Hoài Nương and Nguyễn Hoàng Dũ.
|Nguyễn Thị Hoài Nương and Nguyễn Hoàng Dũ won women's self-defence gold. —VNA/VNS Photo|
Meanwhile, the track-and-field team won their second gold in the campaign after Nguyễn Thị Oanh defended her title in the women's 5,000m event.
She finished first with a time of 17min 0.28sec slower than she ran last Games at 16.44min because of the rain.
|Nguyễn Thị Oanh (No 561) defends her title in the women's 5,000m event. — VNS Photo Quý Lượng|
Teammate Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ again came second to Oanh.
Earlier, 20-year-old Trần Thị Nhi Yến secured a silver in the women's 200m in her first SEA Games.
Her male teammate Ngần Ngọc Nghĩa came second in the men's event which saw defending champion and record holder Puripol Boonson of Thailand fall due to an injury.
Boonson may miss his chance to defend his title in the 100m event on May 12. VNS