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31ST SEA GAMES: UPDATES MAY 17

SEA Games 31: badminton world champion and his golden dream

Loh Kean Yew, who was crowned badminton world champion last December, desires to shine at Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), and this year's Games held in Vietnam will be the Singaporean athlete’s fourth which he holds particularly close to his heart.

"SEA Games is one of the Games where you can represent Singapore with the rest of the contingent. It'll feel different," the world No. 10 told Channel News Asia.

Loh has never won a gold in SEA Games. He secured a silver in 2019, losing to Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the final. 

"I've gotten bronze and silver in the individual event, but have never gotten gold before. Naturally, that is my goal, my target," he said.

The last time Singapore won the men's singles at the SEA Games was in 1983 on home soil, courtesy of Wong Shoon Keat.

SEA Games 31: Thailand top Group B in men’s football

Thailand topped Group B in the men’s football of the ongoing SEA Games 31 after a 1-0 win over Laos on May 16, and will face Indonesia in the semi-finals.

Although head coach Alexandre Polking made many changes in Thailand’s line-up compared to the previous match against Cambodia, his team still asserted dominance over Laos.

Thailand took the lead in the 18th minute thanks to an own goal of a Lao defender.

Also in Group B, Malaysia advanced to the semi-finals and will play the hosts Vietnam.

The Vietnam-Malaysia match is scheduled to take place on May 19 at Viet Tri Stadium of northern Phu Tho  province, while Thailand will play Indonesia at Thien Truong Stadium in northern Nam Dinh province on the same day.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam’s Pencak Silat team finish first in medal table

Vietnam’s Pencak Silat team has topped the medal table of the sport at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).

With 16 competition events, Vietnamese athletes won six gold, two silver and five bronze medals.

They were followed by Singapore with four golds, three silvers and four bronzes; and Malaysia with two golds, three silvers and nine bronzes.

Vietnam yielded 20 gold medals on May 16 – the fourth official competition day of SEA Games 31, raising the total to 88. With 88 golds, 54 silvers and 55 bronzes, Vietnam now top the medal tally.

Thailand come second with 36 golds, 38 silvers and 53 bronzes, and the Philippines stand in the third place with 30 golds, 34 silvers and 44 bronzes.

SEA Games 31: Vietnamese swimmers complete medal target

Vietnamese swimmers have bagged six gold and seven silver medals so far, basically completing their medal target set for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).

On May 16, swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang broke his own record, with a time of 3 minutes, and 48.06 seconds (old record: 3 minutes and 48.08 seconds) and won a gold medal at the men’s freestyle 400m freestyle event.

Meanwhile, Tran Hung Nguyen finished the men’s 200m backstroke with a time of 2 minutes and 1.58 seconds and pocketed another gold medal for Vietnam.

Also on May 16, Vietnamese swimmers also brought home a gold medal in the 4x100m relay, with a time of 3 minutes and 39.76 seconds.

At SEA Games 31, the Vietnamese swimming team set a target of wining of from 6 to 8 gold medals.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam enjoys good start in shooting

Vietnamese shooters secured a gold and one silver on May 16, the first competition day of shooting at the ongoing SEA Games 31.

Ha Minh Thanh defeated his Malaysian opponent Hafiz Adzha to win gold in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol with 27 points.

Young shooter Phi Thanh Thao bagged a silver medal after scoring 246.2 points in the women’s 10m air rifle, only 0.8 point behind gold medallist Mubarokah of Indonesia in the final.

Preliminaries and finals of men’s 10m air rifle and 50m slow fire pistol are set to take place the next day.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam wins fourth gold medal in fencing

Vietnamese fencers on May 16 won the fourth medal at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in the men’s sabre team event.

The Vietnamese team, including Vu Thanh An, Nguyen Xuan Loi, Nguyen Van Quyet, and substitute To Duc Anh, defeated the Thai team 45-28 to bag the gold medal.

In the women’s epee team event, Vu Thi Hong and her teammates failed to reach the final round and shared the bronze medal with the Philippine team.

On May 16, fencers contributed four gold and three bronze medals to the Vietnamese sport delegation at SEA Games 31.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam gain five bronzes in dancesport

Vietnamese dancers brought home five bronze medals on May 16, the second and last competition day of dancesport at the ongoing SEA Games 31.

Three of them were brought by Nguyen Duc Hoa and Nguyen Thi Hai Yen in Waltz, Tango and five Standard Dances.

Vu Hoang Anh Minh and Nguyen Truong Xuan won two in Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.

On the day, the Philippines gained four gold and two silver medals; and Thailand pocketed two golds and four silvers.

In total, both Vietnam and the Philippines won five gold medals across 12 categories. The hosts bagged one silver and five bronze while the Philippines had five and two, respectively.

SEA Games 31: Vietnamese taekwondo team have good start with four gold medals

The Vietnamese taekwondo team won four gold and one silver medals in the very first day of competition at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) on May 16.

In the mixed freestyle team poomsae event, the Vietnamese team, comprising three women and five men, scored 7.799 points to bag the gold medal. 

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese athletes surpassed those from the Philippines with 7.782 points in the men’s team poomsae event to win the second gold medal.

In the women’s team poomsae event, the Vietnamese team triumphed with a score of 8.016 points, higher than the runner-up of Thailand with 7.882 points.

The fourth gold medal came to Pham Quoc Viet with 8.049 points in the men’s standard poomsae event.

At the same time, Le Tran Kim Uyen brought home a silver medal at the women’s standard poomsae event.

Taekwondo competitions will continue in Hanoi on May 17.

SEA Games 31: Gymnast Dinh Phuong Thanh wins two gold medals

Artistic gymnast Dinh Phuong Thanh brought home two gold medals in the men's horizontal bar and parallel bar events at the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) on May 16.

With 15,133 points, Thanh surpassed world champion Carlos Edriel Yulo Poquiz from the Philippines in the parallel bar event.

Another Vietnamese gymnast, Le Thanh Tung, won a bronze medal in the event with 14,500 points.

In the horizontal bar event, Thanh shared the gold medal with his Philippine rival Carlos Edriel Yulo Poquiz with the same points of 13,867, while Tung secured another bronze in the category for Vietnam.
 
On the day, female gymnast Pham Nhu Phuong earned two bronze medals for the host country.

SEA Games 31: Four more gold medals for Vietnamese runners

Runners earned Vietnam additional four gold medals on May 16, raising the country’s total golds at SEA Games 31 in athletics to 13.

The third day of athletics competition witnessed the rise of young runners. Among them was Le Tien Long, who triumphed the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, clocking 9 minutes and 2.84 seconds. It is the first gold medal the 21-year-old athlete from the central province of Ha Tinh has ever secured in his career.

SEA Games 30 gold medalist Do Quoc Luat finished second with the time of 9 minutes and 6.44 seconds.

Vu Thi Ngoc Ha also overcame ASIAD 18 champion Bui Thi Thu Thao to dominate the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.39m, 1cm farther than her senior teammate. It is Ha’s first SEA Games gold.

The Vietnamese team received two other golds on the same day, one won by Bui Thi Nguyen in the women’s 100m hurdles with the time of 13.51 seconds and the remainder by Khuat Phuong Anh in the women’s 800m, 2 minutes and 8.74 seconds.

Vietnam have so far claimed the highest number of medals in athletics – 13 golds, 11 silvers and three bronzes. The team aim for 15 – 17 SEA Games golds this year.

They are followed by Thailand with nine golds, five silvers and three bronzes; and the Philippines, three golds, four silvers and ten bronzes.

SEA Games 31: badminton world champion and his golden dream

Loh Kean Yew, who was crowned badminton world champion last December, desires to shine at Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), and this year's Games held in Vietnam will be the Singaporean athlete’s fourth which he holds particularly close to his heart.

"SEA Games is one of the Games where you can represent Singapore with the rest of the contingent. It'll feel different," the world No. 10 told Channel News Asia.

Loh has never won a gold in SEA Games. He secured a silver in 2019, losing to Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the final. 

"I've gotten bronze and silver in the individual event, but have never gotten gold before. Naturally, that is my goal, my target," he said.

The last time Singapore won the men's singles at the SEA Games was in 1983 on home soil, courtesy of Wong Shoon Keat.

SEA Games 31: Thailand top Group B in men’s football

Thailand topped Group B in the men’s football of the ongoing SEA Games 31 after a 1-0 win over Laos on May 16, and will face Indonesia in the semi-finals.

Although head coach Alexandre Polking made many changes in Thailand’s line-up compared to the previous match against Cambodia, his team still asserted dominance over Laos.

Thailand took the lead in the 18th minute thanks to an own goal of a Lao defender.

Also in Group B, Malaysia advanced to the semi-finals and will play the hosts Vietnam.

The Vietnam-Malaysia match is scheduled to take place on May 19 at Viet Tri Stadium of northern Phu Tho  province, while Thailand will play Indonesia at Thien Truong Stadium in northern Nam Dinh province on the same day.

SEA Games 31: Athletes prove “old is gold”

Malaysia’s Buda Anak Anchah, at the age of 50, has proven that old is gold in bodybuilding at the ongoing SEA Games 31 in Vietnam, according to the SEA Games 31 Organising Committee. 

The muscle-man secured a silver medal in the men’s 70kg category in Hanoi, which ended his long wait for a SEA Games medal. This is Buda’s third SEA Games. 

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officer has won medals at world and Asian levels, including a silver in the World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last year, but he has not been successful when it comes to the SEA Games.

Meanwhile, 68-year-old billiard player from the Philippines Efren Reyes is the oldest athlete at SEA Games 31.

He has won more than 100 international championship titles and two golds at previous SEA Games. 

Reyes has been a tough opponent for young players in the 3 tape carom.

The Games also saw the participation of a 54-year-old billiard player from Singapore, Peter Gilchrist, who has competed in seven consecutive SEA Games since 2009, and pocketed golds in British billiards.

Hanoi arranges 28 tours for visiting SEA Games 31 fans

Travel companies in Hanoi have organised 28 tours for coaches, athletes and guests to the 31st Southeast Asian Games, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

The tours have been arranged to fit in with the guests’ schedules, and focus on the cultural, historical and architectural values of Hanoi, along with scenic spots and ancient villages on the city’s outskirts.  

They include tours visiting President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - Ho Chi Minh Museum, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, a cycling tour to Bat Trang pottery village and Co Loa Citadel, along with the chance to discover local cuisine in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Tourism companies are also offering trips to Ninh Binh, Sa Pa and Mai Chau, and Vietravel Tourism Company is selling tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.

The Hanoi Transport Corporation is also arranging free tours on double-decker buses all delegates, including athletes, coaches and reporters throughout May.

The buses, running between 9am and 5pm every day, can be identified with the Games’ logo and the line ‘Official bus tour for SEA Games 31’.

The service, named Hanoi City Tour, is the first of its kind in the capital. The buses carry passengers through 25 streets and have 15 stops at key local tourist destinations such as the Hanoi Opera House, St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi Flag Tower, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Hoa Lo Prison, and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.

The vehicles are also equipped audio guides in 10 languages and operate every hour.

SEA Games 31: dancesport ‘mine gold’ for Vietnam

Dancesport became a “gold mine” for Vietnam at the 31st SEA Games with five golds and one silver added to the country’s medal tally on May 15, the first day of competition.

Dancesport events are taking place on two days, May 15 and 16 at Long Bien competition hall in Hanoi, with the participation of athletes from six countries - the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The pair Nguyen Trung Kien - Pham Hong Anh of Vietnam walked away with gold in Samba and Rumba, and silver in Cha cha cha.

Meanwhile, gold medals in Paso Doble, Jive, and Latin Five Dance went to the pair of Nguyen Doan Minh Truong and Dang Thu Huong also of Vietnam.

At the end of the first day of the dancesport competition, the Philippines team had one gold, three silver, and two bronze medals. The Thai team brought home two silver medals and four bronze medals.

On May 16, athletes will compete in five categories: Waltz, Viennese waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Tango, and Quickstep.

Cyclist Quynh successfully defends SEA Games cross country title

Cyclist Dinh Thi Nhu Quynh successfully defended her women’s SEA Games mountain bike cross-country title after finishing first at an event held in Hoa Binh city, the northern province of Hoa Binh, on May 16.

The Vietnamese athlete earned a gold medal in the same category in SEA Games 30 in the Philippines three years ago.

Quynh competed against 14 others from six Southeast Asian countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – in the 15.6-km race. Her Vietnamese teammates Ca Thi Thom and Vu Thi Kim Loc also vied for the title.

Quynh clocked one hour, 18 minutes and 6 seconds. Zainal Abidin Nur Assyira from Malaysia crossed the line in one hour, 22 minutes and 14 seconds to claim the second spot, followed by Soon Natahsya, also from Malaysia, who finished third just 46 seconds later.

The men’s cross-country event will take place in the afternoon the same day.

SEA Games 31: Vietnam’s athletics top Southeast Asia: Singaporean newspaper

Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper on May 15 ran an article spotlighting the progress and successes of Vietnam’s athletics at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

The article by Sazali Abdul Aziz reported that after two days of track and field competitions at the SEA Games 31 in Hanoi, Vietnam topped the medal table.

For nearly two decades following Thailand, Vietnam finally usurped their rivals to emerge as the top nation in athletics in the 2017 Games in Malaysia.

They followed it up with another table-topping show two years later in the Philippines, and are looking to make it three in a row.

Vietnam are aiming for at least 15 gold medals out of 47 on offer and already won nine as of late May 15, nearly double that of the Thais, who are the next-best nation with five.

The author cited Nguyen Manh Hung, general secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, as saying that their recent rise is a result of a heavy focus and investment which the nation's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism placed on Olympic sports in 2015.

Some 100 billion VND (4.3 million USD) was pumped into the project, which aimed to deliver medals at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, as well as the 2018 Asian Games.

At Rio 2016, shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh delivered Vietnam's first gold medal and two years later, Quach Thi Lan (400m hurdles) and Bui Thi Thu Thao (long jump) delivered the nation's first triumphs in track and field at the Asian Games in Indonesia.

But Thailand are not sitting still and with the SEA Games returning to Bangkok in 2025, they are out to reclaim their supremacy and pride. In Hanoi, they have targeted at least 12 gold medals, the article added.

SEA Games 31: U23 Vietnam vs U23 Malaysia in semi-finals

U23 Vietnam will take on U23 Malaysia in a semi-final match of the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games after the latter and U23 Cambodia shared point in a 2-2 draw and U23 Thailand beat U23 Timor Leste 1-0 on May 16.

The Vietnam vs Malaysia match is scheduled to take place at Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho province at 7pm on May 19, while the other semi-final match between Thailand and Indonesia is slated for 4pm of the same day at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh.

Malaysia performed unsteadily at the U23 ASEAN Football Federation championships and at SEA Games. They lost Vietnam 4-3 and 2-1 in semi-finals of the 2003 and 2005 SEA Games respectively, but overwhelmed Vietnam 1-0 in the final match at the 2009 SEA Games. They then lost 5-1 to Vietnam in a group match at the 2015 SEA Games, and even finished third after Myanmar and Cambodia in a group at the 2019 SEA Games.

Park Hang-seo, chief coach of the U23 Vietnam squad, said that he had not watched live Malaysia play in group matches, but through TV, and they were well organized.

He assured that U23 Vietnam would try to improve their skills to pass the semi-finals and reach the final.

U23 Vietnam and I will strive to have the best performance, he said.

Meanwhile, several Malaysian outlets reported that taking on Vietnam – the defending SEA Games champions – would be a tough task for Malaysia.

However, coach Brad Maloney said he was not too worried about the coming clash with hosts Vietnam, because either Vietnam (Group A winners) or Indonesia (second place winners) were all powerful. He expected a good result for Malaysia on May 19.

'Moments of SEA Games 31' photo contest opens for entries

Khoảnh Khắc Sea Games 31 (Moments of the SEA Games 31), a photo contest aimed at capturing the best moments of the 31st Southeast Asian Games, has opened to celebrate the Games being held in Việt Nam.

The contest, organised by the Việt Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VNAP), is calling for entries from both amateur and professional photographers from across the country.

It is a special activity to accompany other major and important events across the country, honouring outstanding people in various fields and the unforgettable sporting moments during the SEA Games 31, which is held with the theme "For a Stronger Southeast Asia" from May 12 to 23.

Beautiful images, including those about training, practice and performances of athletes, fans cheering and other event-related activities, are encouraged to be sent to the organising board of the contest.

Entries must be digital, in colour or black and white, and must be taken during SEA Games 31. In addition, submissions can either be a single image or a set of photos.

The board says it encourages the authors to renew methods and thinking in art creation related to themes, topics and creative ranges to clearly expose the athletes' aspiration to rise up and overcome their own limits to win in competitions.

Each entrant can send up to 20 photos to  www.KhoanhkhacSeagames31.com before June 10.

Long jump champ proposes to girlfriend

SEA Games winners have their own way to celebrate their victories.

Nguyễn Tiến Trọng, who won the long jump event on May 15 for Việt Nam in the Mỹ Đình Gymnasium, marked a golden day when he proposed to his girlfriend right after stepping off the podium.

Trọng got his gold medal for his 7.8m jump.

Trọng revealed the plan to some of his team members a long time before. He was determined to win the gold medal and then give his girlfriend the ring at the gymnasium.

The lucky girl was Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh, an athlete on the national sepak takraw team. Phương accepted the ring after returning from a match at the Hoàng Mai Gymnasium.

Trọng’s family was there to cheer him on during the event and witnessed the proposal.

Trọng, 25, stands 1.93m and is a military second lieutenant.

He joined the military’s track and field team when he was 13 and studying in Grade 8.

Trọng in the decisive long jump on May 15. 

SEA Games 31 update: Marksman, canoeist pocket golds on May 17 morning

Vietnamese athletes clinched two gold medals in shooting and canoeing on the May 17 competition day as part of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

Tran Quoc Cuong topped the men's 50m pistol series, winning the first gold medal for the Vietnamese shooting team at SEA Games 31.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese canoeist Nguyen Thi Huong also finished first in the women's single 500m, recording a time of 5 minutes 0.752 seconds.

As of 11:30 a.m. on May 17, Vietnam had won 88 gold, 54 silver, and 55 bronze medals, ranking first in the medal table. Thailand came in second with 36 golds, 38 silvers, and 53 bronzes, whilst the Philippines were in third with 30 golds, 34 silvers, and 44 bronzes.

Vietnamese athletes are expected to continue competing at PUBG Mobile, athletics, swimming, basketball, billiards, badminton, chess, and archery on May 17.

AKP leading official impressed by Vietnam’s SEA Games 31 organisation

Hun Yuthkun, Deputy General Director of Cambodia's news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP), has expressed his impressions on Vietnam’s organisation of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).

He told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that during this third trip to Vietnam, he is impressed by the strong development of Hanoi and the overwhelming atmosphere of the Games.

Hun Yuthkun said he saw many people in and outside the National My Dinh Stadium during opening day, and wonderful performances staged by Vietnamese artists at the opening ceremony.

Work has been well done at sport venues in Hanoi as well as other localities that host the Games, he said, commending host Vietnam for creating conditions for foreign audiences.

As the host news agency, the VNA has dispatched its reporters to sport venues, and quickly provided information and photos featuring the biggest regional sport event, the AKP Deputy General Director noted.

He highlighted the agency’s special website on SEA Games 31, at  http://seagames.vnanet.vn, through which it has shared information and images free of charge with domestic and foreign press agencies.

Lauding the VNA’s capacity in the information work, Hun Yuthkun said he has learnt from Vietnam’s experience in this regard to serve the SEA Games 32 to be hosted by Cambodia in 2023.

Source: VNA/VNS/VNN/VOV

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