|Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên at the finish of the women’s 800m freestyle. — Photo danviet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Lê Thị Linh Chi won a silver for Việt Nam in the women’s 10m air pistol event on August 24 morning in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.
Chi did not start impressively, but came back quickly in the later shots and finished in second place with 232.1 points. Myanmar’s May Poe Wah, 29, took the gold, and was just 2.3 points ahead.
“I thought of a gold for Chi when I saw her points rising. But Wah was an iron shooter, and she did not give Chi the chance to win. I congratulate her and Chi too,” said Việt Nam’s coach Nguyễn Thị Nhung.
In shooting, Phùng Lê Huyên and Nguyễn Văn Quân advanced to the final of the men’s 50m rifle.
Meanwhile, swimmer and golden girl Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên secured two final berths in the three categories that she took part in on August 24. She came first in the 800m freestyle, clocking 8:35.55, and finished second in the women’s 200m individual medley with a time of 2min 18.17. She, however, failed to advance in the 100m breaststroke event, ranking fifth in 1:17.11, which was not enough to push her to the final.
Other Vietnamese swimmers also made it to the final berths. Trần Duy Khôi will represent the country in the men’s 200m individual medley after he finished third in the qualifier with a time of 2:6.94. He was among the top eight athletes in the 100m backstroke, and ranked No. 5 in the heats, with a time of 1:00.10.
Lê Nguyễn Paul will join Khôi in the 200m individual medley; he clocked 2:07.95 and was the eighth qualifier.
The men’s 100m freestyle will see two Vietnamese swimmers: Hoàng Quý Phước, who claimed a silver in the 200m freestyle on August 23, and Ngô Đình Chuyền, a new face. Phước ranked second with 50.93sec, while Chuyền was fifth with 51.47sec in the qualifier. They will vie for the gold medal against title favourite Joseph Schooling of Singapore, who topped the heat at 49.58sec.
In karate, Khánh Ly, Nguyễn Thị Phương and Nguyễn Thị Hằng booked their berth in the final of the women’s team kata (performance) against Malaysia, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Hall 1. Their teammates in the kumite (combat) squad have also entered the final of the women’s team event.
In football, the women’s team will play their last match against hosts Malaysia. A big win over the team, considered the weakest in the five-side event, would get them their fifth SEA Games trophy.
Defending champion Thailand also have their last match on August 24’s night against the Philippines. Thailand are on top of the table with seven points, as many as Việt Nam, but they are at No. 1 because of a goal difference, theirs being seven compared to Việt Nam’s five.
Even if Thailand win, they will have to wait for the result between Việt Nam and Malaysia to know if they defended their title. Việt Nam have an advantage in the race to the top as their match will begin only after the Thailand vs the Philippines game is over, so players will know how many goals they have to score to beat Thailand.
On the men’s side, Việt Nam will play Thailand in the last round match of Group B. Việt Nam need just one point from the match, but Thailand must win to advance to the semi-finals. In case one of the team wins this match and Indonesia beat Cambodia in another game, Indonesia and that winning squad will be through to the semis.
Việt Nam are likely to meet with some difficulty as midfielder Đỗ Duy Mạnh suffered a leg injury in the game against Indonesia on Monday and is out of the tournament. He was a key player in coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng’s plan.
On the other side, the Thais have the strong motivation of winning a bonus of 1 million baht (US$30,000), if they beat Việt Nam. After hearing about the Thai award, Vietnamese businessman Đào Hồng Tuyển announced a higher award of VNĐ700 million ($31,400) for the Vietnamese team if they win. In case of a draw, it will be half the amount.
“Other individuals and enterprises have also planned to offer bonuses for Việt Nam. If they can be one of the semi-finalists, they will receive more than VNĐ1 billion ($45,000),” said Lê Hoài Anh, general secretary of Việt Nam Football Federation.
Việt Nam currently rank third with 27 golds. Malaysia are strong at first with 52 golds, followed by Indonesia who have grabbed 27 golds and 24 silvers, four more than Việt Nam. — VNS
|Lê Thị Linh Chi (centre) wins a silver for Việt Nam in the women’s 10m air pistol event. — Photo sggp.org.vn|