Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Long jumper Bùi Thị Thu Thảo scored a double triumph at the Victory Cup gala for the best players and coaches of 2018 yesterday in Hà Nội, winning the awards for Female Athlete of the Year and Most Favourite Athlete of the Year.
The Hanoian outstripped strong contenders in Female Athlete of the Year voting, including runner Quách Thị Lan and cyclist Nguyễn Thị Thật.
This was the second time in a row she took the award. The 26-year-old won a gold medal at the Asian Games (ASIAD) in Indonesia.
"Last year when I accepted the award I promised to win the Asian Games gold,” said Thảo on stage. “And I did it.”
"It is really a great honour to have a chance to stand here and be recognised for what I have tried my best to do through the year,” she said. “To achieve such success I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to my coach Nguyễn Mạnh Hiếu and my former coach Nguyễn Trọng Hổ, who did not work with me but always takes care of me as a manager.”
The Male Athlete of the Year prize went to talented young footballer Nguyễn Quang Hải.
Hải played a key role in Việt Nam’s silver medal at the Asian U23 Football Championship, its fourth place finish in the ASIAD and the famous AFF Cup victory.
He was the country’s best footballer of the year and the best player in the AFF Cup at the age of 21.
"I am happy because I have contributed my labour to the success of the national football team in 2018,” Hải said. “I hope that people will continue supporting us so that we can bring home more and more victories.”
Hải and four teammates also represented the national team to accept the award for the Team of the Year.
Defender Đỗ Duy Mạnh received the Image of the Year award. After Việt Nam lost to Uzbekistan in the last second of the U23 Championship, Mạnh placed the national flag on top of a snow pile, rising up the Vietnamese spirit.
It was the fourth edition of the event which is considered the ’Oscars of Vietnamese sports’. Unlike other awards which highlighted top 10 athletes, the Victory Cup honoured athletes in separate categories.
Long jumper Bùi Thị Thu Thảo wins Female Athlete of the Year status and the Most Favourite Athlete at the Victory Cup 2018. -- Photo courtesy of organisers
This year, there were new classes for Foreign Coach of the year and Teammates of the Year.
With his brilliant success with the national football squads, South Korean Park Hang-seo was the top choice for the coaching award.
Park did accept his award in person as he is in his hometown for a month of rest after a busy year.
He sent his ’thank you’ to Vietnamese people for the award, saying that in fact it was for the whole team, players, coaches and staff.
Teammates of the Year went to four women on the rowing team who won the first gold medal for Việt Nam at the ASIAD.
Young Athlete of the Year went to swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng, who pocketed one silver and one bronze at the ASIAD after winning a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Argentina.
"Some years ago I watch Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên win this award,” Hoàng said. “I asked myself to do the same as her, and this year I am here. Thank you for voting for me. I will have to work harder in the coming years."
The Athlete with Disabilities of the Year award honoured swimmer Võ Thanh Tùng.
"It is the third time I am nominated and this time I won,” Tùng said. “People recognised my labour under the strong support of my family and managers. The award will be a strong push for not only me but also for every athlete to a reach higher level in their career.”
The Coach of the Year title went to coach Nguyễn Mạnh Hiếu while former footballer Lê Thế Thọ was presented a Lifetime Achievement award. – VNS