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Việt Nam make history breaking 16-year athletics record

Update: August, 26/2017 - 09:00
Việt Nam’s 4x100m team celebrate their gold medal and new record at the SEA Games. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI —Việt Nam made history after winning for the first time the women’s 4x100m event at the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia yesterday.

Quartet Lê Thị Mộng Tuyền, Đỗ Thị Quyên, Trần Thị Yến Hoa and Lê Tú Chinh dethroned powerhouse Thailand to take the title with a time of 43.88sec, setting a new SEA Games record.

The old record was 44sec set by Thai runners in the 2007 Games on their home turf.

Thailand have dominated the category for many years since 2001. Việt Nam could only take the second and third places.

However things have changed.

The Vietnamese girls did an outstanding job with rapid sprints from the first to the fourth leg and ran away from the rest of the pack.

Thai athletes tried hard to narrow the gap but they could only be second with 44.62sec.

The Philippines were at third, clocking 44.81.

Coach Vũ Ngọc Lợi said it was considered a lifetime success of Việt Nam as four members just gathered together three months ahead of the Games.

“It is incredible. My runners could do such a huge job, beating Thailand in an event they had dominated for decades,” said Lợi who earlier enjoyed the win of another athlete, Nguyễn Thị Huyền, in the women’s 400m and 400m hurdle.

“They were really strong. We have never managed to overcome them. Our best and latest result was a silver at an open tournament in Bangkok. However, we believe we could win this time because we had the best runners than ever before. It is a perfect team of experience and power of youth. And we made it,” he said.

With the gold, Chinh, the fourth runner of the team has completed her hat-trick in Malaysia. The ‘super star’, as the international media called her, earlier won the 100m and 200m, in her first SEA Games.

“Before the Games, I practiced very hard. Despite a good preparation I could not think of winning three golds,” said the 20-year-old from HCM City.

“My achievement was supported by my coaches, my teammates, my family and thousands of fans. Thank you!” Chinh said.

It was a day of women athletes who earlier won gold in the long jump and 5,000m events.

Asian Grand Prix Bùi Thị Thu Thảo triumphed in the first event with a jump of 6.68m made at her fourth attempt.

She knocked out her arch-rival Maria Natalia Londa of Indonesia to take her title after in two recent SEA Games editions and the Asian Games in 2014 Thảo was behind her.

Londa was second with a jump of 6.47m. Marestella Sunang of the Philippines was third, on 6.45m.

It was a big step up of the 25-year-old jumper who had quit jumping to work as a construction worker.

She first competed in the SEA Games in 2013 in Myanmar and brought home a bronze. In the next Games in Singapore two years ago she secured a silver and now the gold.

“It is time to say ‘thank you’ to my father who encouraged me a lot to return to training when I wanted to quit. He gave me more power and energy to harvest a victory today,” Thảo said.

“I suffered no pressure when facing Londa because I knew how to beat her after previous losses and I used to jump 6.71m, better than SEA Games record, during training. Today I do not have best result but it is not important, I have my gold,” she said.

An hour later Nguyễn Thị Oanh grabbed her second title in 5,000m.

Oanh finished her race with a time of 17min 23.20sec. Her teammate Phạm Thị Huệ was second with 17:33.45.

Indonesian Triyaningsih, the defending champion, came third with 17:36.98.

“It is great to win the event while my teammate is second. We overcame Triyaningsih who has won this event four times since 2007,” a teary-eyed but smiling Oanh said.

On Thursday, Oanh championed 1,500m.

Huệ, standing next to the champion, was also moved with her medal.

It was sweet revenge for her after losing to Triyaningsih in 10,000m on Thursday.

She said she did not think about being in the top two. It was very special feeling although he was not in the top position.

In shooting, Nguyễn Duy Hoàng won a silver medal in the men’s 50m three position with 441.9 points. He was below Napis Tortu of Thailand who scored 444.7 points.

In volleyball, the Vietnamese women defeated the Philippines 26-24, 25-12, 25-23 to top group A.

They will play Indonesia in the first semi-final match today.

Both two futsal teams won yesterday.

The women beat Myanmar 4-1 to keep their hope of winning a bronze.

Việt Nam will have to beat Indonesia in their next match on Sunday to rank third in this event.

The men’s side trounced Indonesia 4-1 in their last match of the round robin tournament.

The team has seven points after four matches and ranks second temporarily.

Việt Nam will have to await the result of the match between Malaysia and defending champions Thailand on Sunday to know their final place. If Thailand can beat Malaysia with at least two goals Việt Nam will take the silver. Otherwise, they will finish as the bronze medallist.

After six official days of competitions, Việt Nam currently rank second with 43 golds, 28 silvers and 34 bronzes.

Malaysia are on top with 68 golds. The third place goes to Singapore who takes 39 golds. — VNS

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