Host Indonesia remained firmly on top with 87 golds while Thailand got a total of 52 golds.
Le Quang Liem claimed a gold medal for Vietnam when he defeated Malaysian master Mok Tze Meng in blind-fold chess.
It was the first time the event was included in the SEA Games and also Liem’s first trial, but the Vietnamese International Super Grandmaster had no difficulty in defeating his rivals.
Liem drew with his teammate Nguyen Anh Dung in the opening match before winning his next six contests. His only loss was to Dawwin Laylo of the Philippines in the fourth game.
In the coming days, Liem will be vying for another individual title in the rapid chess event.
Liem’s gold medal was the second for Vietnam on November 16. Earlier, mixed pair Dao Thien Hai and Nguyen Thi Thanh An won in the standard chess event with 10 points after 5 rounds.
In swimming, teenager Hoang Quy Phuoc pocketed his second title in the men’s 100m freestyle with a time of 50.79sec. The swimmer surged ahead of the Singaporean rival Yeo Kai Quan in the last metres to win gold.
With this performance, Phuoc set a new national record and earned Vietnam its second gold medal in swimming.
Wrestler Nguyen Huy Ha also won the glory in the men’s 55kg category. Ha defeated a Thai opponent 2-0 in the final match.
His teammate Nguyen The Anh also took home a gold in the men’s 60kg after defeating a Filipino rival 2-0 in the final.
The rowing team joined the medal tally list after winning in the women’s doubles W2 and women’s quartet 2,000m events.
According to coach Pham Thi Ngoc La, there are six events to be organized on November 17 and Vietnamese athletes have a shot at winning them all.
The marksmen on November 16 brought home two more golds in the men’s rifle three positions and 10m mobile target pistol events.
The shooting team successfully exceeded their target of five gold medals, winning in seven out of 14 events organized in Indonesia.
The first medal of the day went to marathon runner Pham Thi Binh who came in third for a bronze, the first ever for Vietnam in SEA Games.
Making her debut at the Games this year, Binh had no expectations of taking home a gold, although her coach Nguyen Tuan Anh predicted that she would place in the top three based on her statistics in training.
Vietnam are expected to get more golds when judo event starts on November 17.
Queen Van Ngoc Tu will attempt her fifth SEA Games crown.
The 24-year-old will compete in the women’s 48kg category and, in the case of her winning this year’s title, will have a record breaking day.
Tu first triumphed at the 23th SEA Games in the Philippines, her international debut, and has dominated the regional tournament ever since.
The Soc Trang province born athlete is also the only in the Southeast Asia to grab a bronze medal from the Asian championships.
The fifth SEA Games gold medal will make her the richest judokas. She will rank among other national icons such as wrestler Mau Ba Xuan, taekwondo artist Nguyen Van Hung and pencak silat fighter Trinh Thi Mui.
In this SEA Games, Tu will have the chance to get more points she needs for a ticket for the London Olympics next summer./.