Gymnasts and wushu martial artists pushed Viet Nam up the medal tally to the second place on the third day of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
Dinh Phuong Thanh and Phan Thi Ha Thanh bagged gold in men’s and women’s all-round events in artistic gymnastics, respectively.
While Thanh successfully defended her title, Thanh won his second gold in this SEA Games.
Thanh made 53.650 points from four single’s events.
Abdul Hadi Farah Ann of Malaysia came second, followed by Nathan Nadine of the hosts.
“Yesterday’s poor results had affected me slightly. However, my coaches and teammates encouraged me and I came back strongly to give a successful performance today,” Thanh said, admitting to suffering a knee injury just before her event.
Thanh’s was not her peak performance at the women’s all-round team event on Sunday, causing her to drop to No 4 position overall.
Meanwhile, Thanh’s title in the men’s all-round event marked the historic win for Viet Nam.
It is the first time Viet Nam have taken this title in a SEA Games.
“I had not thought about winning a title before arriving here. I just feel it closer after each single event,” Thanh said about his Games debut.
Thanh noted that he performed best in the parallel bars event, which has been his strong point and has got him the highest result of 15.800 points in his total 86.150 points.
“I think confidence and peace of mind are important factors for winning. I am very happy and hope it will motivate me to compete well in coming events as well,” said Thanh who won a bronze in last year’s Asian Games.
“Thank you everyone for strongly supporting me to achieve this victory,” Thanh remarked, while expressing his hope to win the individual horizontal bars and parallel bars events.
Coming at the second place in this event is veteran Pham Phuoc Hung, also a Vietnamese. He has 85.250 points to his credit.
“This is the second time in a row that I’m taking only a silver medal; it is still great as my younger teammate has won and we have made Viet Nam the best team,” said Hung who made a mistake in the pommel horse event.
The third place went to Gan Gabriel of Singapore, with 79.350 points.
Coach Truong Minh Sang praised his athletes’ accomplishments.
“Thanh surprised me with his performance today. He was really confident and excellent. I believe he will be much better in the future,” said Sang, a former SEA Games winner.
“In the region, Viet Nam now have no worthy rivals in the men’s all-round event. The two Vietnamese have the same points but they leave their rivals far behind. What we need to do is continue to strengthen our No 1 position,” Sang observed.
Last evening was great for wushu as well.
Tran Xuan Hiep finally took his gold after a six-year hunt.
The 26-year-old triumphed in men’s optional broadsword, scoring 9.72 points.
Hulaefi Achmad of Indonesia took the silver and Nguyen Manh Quyen won the bronze.
“I waited for six years. My efforts have yielded sweet results,” remarked Hiep who grabbed a silver medal in optional cudgel and a bronze in optional changquan in previous days.
Hiep had been participating in the SEA Games since 2009 and had managed to take only a silver and a bronze.
Just hours later, Hoang Van Cao overcame Solis Francisco of the Philippines 2-0 in men’s sanshou 60kg class.
His teammate Nguyen Van Tai earned the fifth gold of the day for Viet Nam, with his 2-0 victory against Myanmar’s Tun Kyaw Lin in men’s 65kg pool.
Asian Games winner Duong Thuy Vi performed below expectations and took a silver in women’s optional spear.
In swimming, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien bagged a silver in women’s 100m freestyle and a bronze in 50m backstroke.
Tran Duy Khoi came from behind to take a silver in men’s 200m backstroke.
The table tennis players made a silver in the men’s team event.
The Vietnamese also grabbed eight bronze medals in canoeing, diving, table tennis, boxing, and petanque.
With 41 gold medals, Singapore remain the best delegation. Thailand come close after Viet Nam, with 23 titles.