(VOV) - Vietnam set notable records in both regional and world sports competitions in 2011. We now review the country’s major sports achievements of the past year.
In 2011 Vietnamese athletes won a total of 297 gold medals, including 10 at global tournaments, 37 at the Asian Games, and 222 at various Southeast Asian tournaments.
At the 26 th SEA Games in Indonesia, the Vietnamese delegation won 96 gold medals, surpassing its target of 70 gold medals and finishing 3 rd overall. Athletics, swimming, shooting, taekwondo, judo, and chess contributed the largest number of gold medals to Vietnam at this SEA Games. Swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc set a new SEA Games record of 53.07 seconds in the men’s 100m butterfly event. The previous record of 53.82 was set by Malaysian Daniel Bego at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
“At the 26 th SEA Games, the Vietnamese delegation achieved some very good results, especially in Olympic sports. I think this is an excellent achievement and a big step up for Vietnamese athletics. The youngsters who achieved these results are a promising new generation of Vietnamese athletes,” said Vuong Bich Thang, Chief of Vietnam’s General Department of Sports and Physical Training.
Vietnamese athletes also had great success in Asian and world tournaments last year. Le Quang Liem officially entered the list of the world’s top 100 chess grandmasters. His most outstanding achievements last year were two consecutive championships at the Russian Aeroflot tournament, a championship at the American Spice Cup tournament, and two gold medals at the 26 th SEA Games in Indonesia. Le Quang Liem is now placing the 25 th position in the World Chess Federation rankings.
Vietnamese bodybuilder Pham Van Mach won the gold medal in the Asian Men’s Bodybuilding 55kg category with his excellent performance at the Asian and World Bodybuilding & Physique Sports Championships in Thailand in October.
Phan Thi Ha Thanh became the first gymnast ever to win a world medal for Vietnam, winning the bronze medal in the vault at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo. Thanks to this achievement, Thanh was named Vietnamese Athlete of the Year.
Vietnam’s top badminton player, Nguyen Tien Minh, climbed two rungs into the 7 th place in the latest World Badminton Federation ratings. The 2012 London Olympics qualifying round was an important test for Vietnamese athletics last year. Vietnam has set a target of having 20 athletes compete in the London Olympics this summer. “Vietnam now has five athletes qualified for the upcoming Olympics in London. This is a good start. Vietnam’s athletics has had a successful year and we can all be proud of what our sports sector has achieved, noted Hoang Du, Editor-in-Chief of the Vietnam Sports newspaper./.