Top 10 Vietnamese sports events of 2015

Friday, 2016-01-01 08:00:18
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Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is one of Vietnam's top athletes of 2015.
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NDO – 2015 was an extremely animated year for Vietnamese sports with numerous proud achievements to cheer about, including the national contingent’s encouraging results at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and sparkling performances by athletes at international competitions.

Here is the list of the 10 best Vietnamese sporting events of the year selected by Nhan Dan Online.

1. Vietnam experiences a successful SEA Games

Vietnam fielded just nearly 400 athletes to the 28th SEA Games in Singapore, a modest number compared to the previous editions, with a focus on the key events with strong possibilities for winning medals – a new positive feature and development direction of Vietnamese sports.

The delegation settled for third place overall with 73 gold, 53 silver and 60 bronze medals, exceeding the goal of winning from 56 to 65 golds set prior to the Games. In addition, Vietnamese athletes performed outstandingly breaking 13 SEA Games records alongside many other national records.

Notably, over two thirds of Vietnam’s gold medals won at this year’s Games came from Olympics events, with three key sports - athletics, swimming and gymnastics - accounting for the most golds at 11, 10 and nine respectively.

2. Swimmer Anh Vien makes huge waves on the international scene

Nguyen Thi Anh Vien

Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is one of Vietnam’s top athletes of the year, leaving strong impressions at every international tournament she attended. The Can Tho native almost single-handedly carried Vietnam’s swimming team to second in the medal table at the 28th SEA Games. Her eight golds, one silver and one bronze led all female swimmers at the meet, and trailed only Joseph Schooling of Singapore overall. In addition, Vien broke eight records and met three A standards for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Games.

Alongside the SEA Games success, the 19-year-old swimmer also had brilliant showing at other international competitions such as the 16th FINA World Championships in Russia, the FINA World Cup in Moscow and Paris, the Asian Age-Group Championships in Thailand and the 6th CISM Military World Games in the Republic of Korea.

For these outstanding achievements, Anh Vien was recently named one of Asia's five best female swimmers by famous US magazine Swimswam.

3. Football: Becamex Binh Duong score dual win

Becamex Binh Duong win the 2015 V-League title.

Becamex Binh Duong had a stunning football season with a dual win on both the V-League and the National Cup arenas.

Winning 52 points after 26 matches, including 16 wins, four draws and six losses, Binh Duong successfully defended their V-League championship title and became the team with the most crowns throughout the tournament’s 15-year history.

Shortly after their convincing V-League triumph, Binh Duong went on to put local fans on their feet as they overcame Hanoi T&T 4-2 in the final on the home field to reach their first-ever National Cup title following 21 years of waiting.

4. Vietnam achieves sweet results at ASEAN Para Games

Powerlifter Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan bags a gold medal for Vietnam at the APG2015.

The Vietnamese disability sports contingent produced a successful finish to the eighth ASEAN Para Games (APG2015), finishing in fourth place overall with a total of 48 gold, 58 silver and 50 bronze medals, meeting the target of winning 45-50 gold medals set prior to the Games.

After a week of competition, Vietnam topped the swimming event with 19 gold medals, two more than the runner-up Indonesia. Meanwhile, the national powerlifting team also finished in first place winning a total of six gold medals.

A total of 16 records were broken by Vietnamese athletes during the Games, two of which were Asian records in swimming and powerlifting.

5. Vietnamese weightlifting makes history with three official Olympic berths

Top Vietnamese weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan

Vietnam’s men’s weightlifting team performed brilliantly at the 2015 IWF World Championships in Houston, USA, accumulating 46 additional points to end up in 20th position overall with a total of 93 points, embracing both world competitions in 2014 and 2015.

As regulated by the International Weightlifting Federation, the national teams finishing between 19th and 24th place in the men’s team event after the two world championships will be granted three official berths in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

This is the first time in history Vietnam has simultaneously secured three direct Olympic places in one sport. This achievement has increased the country’s 2016 Olympians to six, after shooters Hoang Xuan Vinh and Tran Quoc Cuong, and swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien.

6. Nguyen Thi Huyen – new queen of Vietnamese athletics

Nguyễn Thị Huyền

A previously unknown athlete, Nguyen Thi Huyen emerged as one of the brightest Vietnamese performers at the 28th SEA Games as she captured three gold medals, broke three Games records and met two 2016 Olympic standards in the women’s 400m sprint and 400m hurdles events.

Huyen’s surprising achievements fired Vietnam’s athletics team to their most successful SEA Games in history with a sparkling collection of 11 gold medals. She will be sent to Russia for training in early January with the hope of becoming the first Vietnamese track and field athlete to book a place in Rio, Brazil next year.

7. Vietnamese girl crowned world under-8 chess champion

Nguyen Le Cam Hien (centre) is the first Vietnamese female player to win the world U-8 chess title.

Vietnam’s little chess master Nguyen Le Cam Hien emerged as the overall winner of the girls’ under-8 age group at the recent 2015 FIDE World Youth & Cadets Chess Championships in Greece.

Despite staging a poor start to this year’s event, Hien gave an extraordinary showing in the remainder of the campaign, winning five consecutive matches to snatch the trophy with nine points over 11 rounds. Hien is also Vietnam’s first female player to win this crown.

8. Ly Hoang Nam sets historic landmarks for Vietnamese tennis

Ly Hoang Nam (left) and Sumit Nagal celebrate after winning the Wimbledon boys' doubles title.

Ly Hoang Nam capped off a splendid 2015 with numerous historic milestones set for Vietnamese tennis. He teamed up with India’s Sumit Nagal to win the extraordinary Wimbledon boys’ doubles title last July before becoming the first Vietnamese player to successfully conquer the ATP’s top 1,000 so far in mid-December.

In regards to this achievement, the Tennis World USA magazine recently ran an article saying that Nam has created history for Vietnam by becoming the country’s first player to “break into the Top 1,000 rankings in the world”.

9. Vietnam’s football teams at different age groups make AFC finals

Vietnam's U-23 football team

Vietnam’s U-23, U-19 and U-16 football teams performed outstandingly in the qualification tournaments and booked places in the final stage of the 2016 AFC Championships. These achievements gave a fresh breath to Vietnamese football in 2015 as men’s and women’s national squads were not successful and the Vietnam Football Federation is fumbling to seek directions for domestic football development regarding both the national team and local club levels.

10. Vietnam exports footballers abroad

Cong Phuong signs a one-year contract with a J2-League club, Mito Hollyhock.

Three players of Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC (HAGL) - Nguyen Cong Phuong, Nguyen Tuan Anh and Luong Xuan Truong - will play for Japanese and Republic of Korea teams next season, which has brought about positive effects to Vietnamese football. Young talented, skilful and well-trained players being recognised and requisitioned by foreign clubs is considered a new direction for many football training centres in Vietnam as well as for the players desiring to become real professionals.