31ST SEA GAMES: UPDATES MAY 23
Cambodia earned a total of nine gold, 13 silver and 41 bronze medals at SEA Games 31 hosted by Vietnam, ranking eighth in the medal tally, which is a giant leap compared to the 30th edition in the Philippines in 2019 when the country brought home only four gold medals, six silvers and 36 bronzes.
Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of National Olympic Authority of Cambodia (NOCC) and the National Organising Committee of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games 2023 (CAMSOC), praised the hard work of all Cambodian athletes and coaches at this year’s Games in Vietnam
The achievement is building more confidence of Cambodian athletes to perform well at the 32nd SEA Games hosted by the country next year, he added.
At the closing ceremony of SEA Games 31 slated for May 23 evening, Cambodia is to stage a 10-minute art performance following the handover of the SEA Games Federation flag from Vietnam.
Official theme and song for the upcoming Games will be revealed during the event, which also features a performance of bokator – Cambodia’s traditional martial art, according to Chamroeun.
The 32nd SEA Games is scheduled to take place on May 5-16, 2023. It will be the first time that Cambodia has hosted the biennial regional sporting event.
Vietnamese weightlifters set six new records at SEA Games 31
Vietnamese weightlifters have established six new SEA Games records and claimed three gold, four silver and four bronze medals at the region's biggest sport event.
On the last day of competition on May 22, Vietnam earned two silvers in the men’s 89kg and over 89kg categories and a bronze in the women’s over 71kg.
Pham Thi Hong Thanh set three new records in snatch, clean and jerk, and total lift in the women's 64kg event held a day earlier.
Thanh lifted a total of 230kg – 104kg in snatch, and 126kg in clean and jerk, 6kg and 2kg higher than the old records, respectively. Her total lifting was far higher than the previous SEA Games record of 214 kg.
Despite an injury, Hoang Thi Duyen, from Giay ethnic minority group, managed to break two SEA Games records in snatch and total lift in the women’s 59kg category.
Meanwhile, Lai Gia Thanh has also set a new record in snatch for the men’s 55kg category.
Thailand continued dominating in weightlifting this year, winning six golds to lead the medal tally.
Malaysia ends SEA Games 31 in sixth place
The Malaysian team concluded the SEA Games 31 hosted by Vietnam at the sixth place on the medal tally, winning a total of 174 medals, including 39 golds, 45 silvers and 90 bronzes.
Although the country has realised its set target of 36 golds, its ranking is considered the ‘worst performance in 40 years’.
Traditionally a regional sport power, Malaysia is usually in the regional top five and the last time it settled for sixth was in 1983, when only eight nations took part, compared to the current 11.
Malaysia made a strong start at the SEA Games 31, winning all eight golds in diving, with the rest of the medals scattered across other sports.
The exposure gained at the SEA Games is crucial for the country to achieve more success in other multi-sport Games like the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, said Minister of Youth and Sports Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
The Malaysian government slashed sports spending in 2021 to 289 million MYR (about 67 million USD) from 940 million MYR the year before.
It also cut down its full-time number of athletes from 432 to 288, months after earning one silver and one bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Singapore meets medal targets at SEA Games 31
Singaporean athletes have achieved their targets set for the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Vietnam, said Chief of the Singapore Sports Institute Dr. Su Chun Wei at a press conference on May 22.
The Singaporean sports delegation gave their best at SEA Games 31, and showed determination and resilience, perseverance and ambition to take to win, he said.
Sports administrators of Singapore hailed the “bright future” ahead for Singapore sport after the showing by its athletes at the SEA Games, with over a third of the 161 medals garnered claimed by debutants.
The Singaporean contingent of 424 athletes competed in 33 sports at SEA Games 31 and clinched 47 gold, 44 silver and 70 bronze medals as of May 22.
The total haul so far is already Singapore’s third-best showing at an away SEA Games, behind only the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (58 golds) and the 2019 edition in the Philippines (53 golds).
Singaporean athletes set five Games records, 12 national marks. Singapore currently ranks fifth as host nation Vietnam tops the overall medal tally.
Swimming continues to be Singapore's strength at the Games with 21 golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes. The Singaporean athletics team have also shown the best performance since 1993 when they won 1 gold, 3 silvers and 7 bronzes.
Vietnam’s SEA Games men's football championship makes RoK headlines
Vietnam’s 1-0 victory over Thailand in the SEA Games 31 men’s football final on May 22, helping it to successfully defend its title, has made headlines on the Republic of Korea (RoK)'s news outlets.
Yonhap News Agency described head coach Park Hang-seo as a magic man helping Vietnam beat Thailand to become the champions of the regional Games for two consecutive times.
After its SEA Games title claimed in 2019, U23 Vietnam competed in this year’s Games right on their home soil with huge expectations and pressures.
Coach Park has led the Vietnamese players to the SEA Games’ final match, which was also the last SEA Games for the Korean coach before new coach Gong Oh-kyun takes over.
Yonhap said the Games remained quite balanced with the two teams playing out a 0-0 draw in the first half. Nham Manh Dung headed the ball into Thailand’s net in the 83rd minute to open the score. The goal into the far left corner sent the home crowd wild and Vietnam held on to its narrow lead until the end of the match.
U23 Vietnam triumphed at SEA Games for two consecutive times under Park Hang-seo’s leadership, Chosun Ilbo reported.
Previously at SEA Games 2019 in the Philippines, Vietnam had to wait 60 years to re-claim the Southeast Asian crown, it said.
SEA Games 31: Vietnamese team takes top spot in muay event
Vietnamese team topped muay competitions on May 22 at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) with four gold medals in total.
After a convincing victory in the first rounds, in the women's 54 kg category final, Bui Yen Ly beat Ruchira Wongsriwo of Thailand 30-27, bringing home the first gold for the Vietnam muay team.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat proved his strength when defeating his Thai opponent Chonlawit Preedasak 29-28 after three rounds in the men’s 60kg category.
Similarly, Bang Thi Mai won victory over Sirosopa Sirisak of Thailand with 29 points in the women’s 60kg category, just one more than her rival while Nguyen Thi Phuong Hau defeated Thai muay martial artist Kamtakrapoom in women’s 63.5kg category.
In other matches, Wansawang Srila-or of Thailand beat Nuramisha Binti Azrilrizal of Malaysia to earn the first gold medal for the Thai team.
Concluding SEA Games 31 muay competitions, Vietnam topped the team’s rankings with four gold, five silver and one bronze medals, surpassing the initial target of one or two golds.
The Thai team came second with three gold, four silver and four bronze medals while the Philippines were third with two gold. Malaysia and Cambodia each won one gold at the event.
SEA Games 31: Vietnam’s shooting team surpass set target
Vietnam ranked second in the medal table of this sport, after Indonesia with eight golds, six silvers and four silvers.
This is an outstanding achievement demonstrating huge efforts of the host’s shooters as the team won no gold in the 2019 Games and just one in the 2017 edition.
Thailand came third with three gold, two silver and 10 bronze medals, followed by Singapore (2 gold, three silver, three bronze) and Malaysia (two gold and three silver medals).
In the men’s individual event, Ngo Huu Vuong and Tran Hoang Vu pocketed the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Meanwhile, Phan Xuan Chuyen brought a bronze medal for Vietnam in the men’s 25m air pistol.
Nguyen Hoang Diep added one more gold to the host’s medal tally after earning the highest score in the men’s trap event.
Vietnam fulfils target in SEA Games 31 billiards
Competing at the ongoing SEA Games 31 with 14 cueists, the Vietnamese team has fulfilled its target of two golds.
The host nation also secured two silver and four bronze medals.
Billiards competitions of the regional sporting event wrapped up on May 22 after an all-Vietnamese final in three-cushion carom between Tran Quyet Chien and Nguyen Duc Anh Chien. The former proved why he’s the world No. 3 in three-cushion carom after beating his compatriot 40-24.
Despite being one of the best carom players, this is the first SEA Games gold medal for Quyet Chien as this category is rarely held at the SEA Games.
Also on the day, James Wattana of Thailand clinched the gold in the men's snooker singles after winning over Lim Kok Leong of Malaysia.
Many spectators cheered for the athletes during match days held at Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi.
Nguyen Khac Huan, residing in the capital city’s Cau Giay district, said this was his first time to watch billiards games directly and SEA Games 31 has helped Vietnamese people show their love for sports.
SEA Games 31, themed “For a Stronger South East Asia”, is being held in Hanoi and 11 neighbouring provinces and cities until May 23.
It features 40 sports with 523 events, attracting around 10,000 participants. The biennial event was initially slated for late 2021 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese Judo tops team rankings
Vietnam topped the team’s rankings in judo with nine gold, one silver and three bronze medals after five days of competition at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).
On the last day of competition on May 22, Vietnamese jukokas brought home a bronze medal in the mixed event held at Hoai Duc Gymnasium in Hanoi after they defeated Myanmar 4-2.
Thailand beat Indonesia 3-2 and walked away with the gold, while Indonesia pocketed the silver.
Head coach of the Vietnamese judo team Nguyen Duy Khanh expressed his satisfaction with the efforts and results of the Vietnamese team.
Although it rained heavily on May 22, many fans came to the gymnasium to cheer for the martial artists, he said, adding that the enthusiastic cheering of the audience at Hoai Duc Gymnaniusm over the past few days has helped enhance the judokas' competitive spirit.
Thailand takes lead in SEA Games 31 boxing
Thailand triumphed in boxing of the ongoing SEA Games 31 with four gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
It was followed by Vietnam and the Philippines who both won three golds, but the host nation earned two silvers while the latter took one.
Eleven boxing finals took place in the northern province of Bac Ninh on May 22, of which Thai boxers won three while those from the Philippines snatched two victories.
SEA Games 31 confirms Vietnam’s dominance in vovinam
Vietnam on May 22 bagged one more gold medal in vovinam on the last competition day of the martial art, affirming its lead in the ongoing SEA Games 31.
The gold was obtained by Le Thi Hien in the women’s 60kg fighting, who won over Kesinee Tabtrai of Thailand 5-2 in the final.
At this SEA Games, martial artists of the host nation bagged six gold, six silver and two bronze medals in vovinam. Vietnam triumphed in all the three times the art was featured in the regional sporting event.
Vietnam is calling on all the 10 other regional countries to send athletes to compete in vovinam at the upcoming SEA Games 32 in Cambodia, head coach of the national team Nguyen Tan Thinh said.
He added that cheering from fans at Soc Son Gymnasium greatly contributed to the success of the martial artists.
Vietnamese finswimming team win 10 golds in total
The Vietnamese team topped the finswimming competitions at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) with 10 gold medals in total.
On May 22, the last day of competition, Vietnamese finswimmers set four new SEA Games records and pocketed five gold medals.
Veteran Nguyen Thanh Loc finished first in the men's 50m surface, setting a record of 15.60 sec.
Indonesian Wahyu Anggoro Tamtomo was second (15.83 sec) and Thai Khet Chamnanwat third (16.12 sec).
Pham Thi Kim Thuong overcame all other rivals in the women's 800m surface with her personal best of 7:19.18 min.
Indonesian Andhini Muthia Maulida (7:28.67 min) and her compatriot Katherina Eda Rahayu (7:31.72 min) were second and third, respectively.
In the relay event, the Vietnamese triumphed the men's 4x100m surface. Their time of 2:25.57 min is a new SEA Games record.
Thailand (2:30.74 min) and Indonesia (2:31.06 min) were the two runners-up.
The last record went to the women's 4x100m surface team as the hosts claimed their gold in 2:47.23 min.
Indonesia (2:47.66 min) and the Philippines (3:05.57 min) came second and third.
Earlier, Vietnam also won in the mixed 4x100m bi-fin event (3:06.78 min).
Concluding SEA Games 31 finswimming competitions, Vietnam topped the sport's medal tally with 10 gold, 5 silver, and three bronze medals. The Indonesian team came second with three gold, six silver and three bronze medals. Thailand were third with two silver and five bronze medals. The Philippines and Cambodia each won one bronze.
Vietnam claims another gold in esports
Vietnam won over the Philippines in the esports’ League of Legends on May 22 to secure a gold medal at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31).
With overwhelming attacks, Vietnam quickly controlled the first round of the game and claimed a victory with 26 points.
Though the Philippine gamers caused some difficulties for their Vietnamese rivals in the second round, they could not keep it longer than the 27th minute when the host took a win with 21 points.
Vietnam gave no chance to the Philippine opponents in the last round, settling a 3-0 victory to secure another gold in esports.
Ly Hoang Nam pockets gold in men’s tennis singles
The top two tennis players of Vietnam faced each other in the men’s singles final, held in Tu Son city of Bac Ninh province as part of SEA Games 31, on May 22.
As No. 1 in Southeast Asia, Ly Hoang Nam asserted his level by dominating his teammate, thus winning 6 - 1 in two sets and successfully defending his SEA Games gold medal.
Nam noted his triumph was partly thanks to good luck since Trinh Linh Giang had been tired after competing with the region’s leading players in the quarterfinal and semifinal.
For his part, Giang said the silver was beyond his expectation as he had only hoped for a bronze medal in the men’s singles. Besides, he also obtained a bronze in the men’s doubles.
Meanwhile, the bronze medal in the men’s singles belong to Yuttana Charoenphon of Thailand and Mick Lescure Sadettan of Laos.
Vietnam triumph in SEA Games 31 three-cushion carom
Tran Quyet Chien proved why he’s the world No. 3 in three-cushion carom after beating Nguyen Duc Anh Chien in an all-Vietnamese final of the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) on May 22.
Despite being one of the best carom players, this is the first SEA Games gold medal for Quyet Chien as this category is rarely held at the SEA Games.
The final got off to a very even start with both players closely following each other on every point.
However, against one of the world’s best, Anh Chien couldn’t keep his momentum and missed a few tough shots when the match was getting more intense.
And that Quyet Chien left his compatriot far behind as the 38-year-old showed his class, scoring consecutive points to take a big 31-16 lead.
Anh Chien’s massive late effort helped the world top 20 player to narrow the gap to 35-24 before Quyet Chien sealed the final with five world-class shots to be crowned the champion.
With his first SEA Games title, Quyet Chien became the second Vietnamese player to win the SEA Games in this category after Nguyen Quoc Nguyen’s gold in 2011.
On his way to the final, Quyet Chien had a once–of–a–lifetime opportunity when he faced the legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes.
After surpassing the Filipino pool master with a score of 40-10, he knelt before Reyes with respect, creating one of the best images of sportsmanship at this year’s Games.
Quyet Chien is currently the top 3 player in the world with his most outstanding achievement being the 2018 World Cup title in Ho Chi Minh City. He is considered one of the most difficult players to beat in three-cushion carom.
Despite losing in the final, Anh Chien, who ranks in the world’s top 20 and was a World Championship finalist in 2019, was able to show his class and will be a contender in the next Games.
SEA Games 31 closing ceremony to be cosy, friendly: Director
Vietnam will deliver the dearest and warmest farewell to regional friends during the 90-minute closing ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) to be held at Hanoi's My Dinh Indoor Athletics Arena on May 23 evening, according to Tran Ly Ly who is director of both opening and closing ceremonies of SEA Games 31.
While the opening ceremony featured mass performances and spectacular visual effects, the closing will be a more cosy and friendly kind of event, with a motto “Coming together to shine”, she said.
Athletes have gone through many competitions and made their talents known, so the closing ceremony will be a moment for everybody to honour and praise them, and promote sportsmanship, she explained.
Ly further noted that a total of up to 580 sqm of indoor LED display screens will be installed for the event and there are a main centre stage, covering some 611 sqm, and two 315-sqm side stages to create the best sound and light effects.
It will be the biggest and most modern indoor stage in Vietnam ever, she said.
There will be music performances featuring Vietnamese “quan ho” (love duet) folk songs, such as “Moi trau” , “Gia ban”, and “Nguoi oi nguoi o dung ve.” Renowned contemporary singers Uyen Linh, Van Mai Huong and Duong Hoang Yen are also scheduled to take to the stage.
The SEA Games 31 closing ceremony will take place at 8:00pm on May 23.
Thai media comment on Vietnam’s win in women’s football final
The media in Thailand ran many articles on the women’s football final between their country and hosts Vietnam at SEA Games 31 on May 21.
Vietnam won over Thailand 1- 0 in the match, freshly following which State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent their congratulations to the team.
In its story, the Daily News said the final, held on Cam Pha Stadium of Quang Ninh province, was a game between equally talented teams, but Vietnam were in the lead thanks to a goal by Huynh Nhu at the 59th minute to grab the gold medal.
The newspaper also mentioned the Vietnamese team’s top place in the region for seven times, including golds at three consecutive SEA Games. Meanwhile, Thailand earned the silver medal for straight three times and the gold at the region’s biggest sporting event for five times.
Siam Sports reported despite encouragement from Nuanphan Lamsam, nicknamed “Madam Pang” - manager of Thailand’s football teams, who promised bonuses for the female footballers if they won the final, they once again failed to defeat Vietnamese rivals.
Therefore, the men’s football final on May 22 will be a chance for Thailand to “recover the debt” from Vietnam, according to Siam Sports.
Covering the match, Thairath cited Thailand’s coach Miyo Okatomo as saying that prior to the final, she had told her players about the enthusiastic atmosphere created by Vietnamese fans, and that they needed to keep calm.
This game revealed many things they need to improve, especially the situation leading to their loss, she said, noting that the Thai team had created many goal-scoring chances but failed to grasp.
It was now the time for his team to return to Thailand and focus on preparing for coming tournaments, including the World Cup play-offs, she added.
Thailand take golds in singles badminton
Badminton players from Thailand brought home golds in the men’s and women’s singles at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Bac Giang province on May 22.
In the women’s, the gold went to Pornpawee Chochuwong. Her teammate Phittayaporn Chaiwan pocketed the silver. Meanwhile, Putri Kusuma Wardani and Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia both won the bronze.
Kunlavut Vitidsarn also from Thailand bagged the gold in the men’s singles. The silver came to Loh Kean Yew of Singapore. Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh and Singapore’s Jia Heng Jason shared the bronze.
Chen Tang Jie-Peck and Yen Wei from Malaysia secured the gold in the mixed doubles. Their rivals from Malaysia - Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Yee See – fetched the silver, and two duos - Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari; and Adnan Maulana and Mychelle Crhystine Bandaso, from Indonesia, got the bronze.
Indonesian athletes also shone in the women’s doubles, with the gold claimed by Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Benyata Aimsaard and Nuntakrn Aimsaard pocketed the silver and Insyirah Khan and Zhi Rui Benrnice Lim (Singapores), and Cheah Yee See and Cheng Su Hui (Malaysia) shared the bronze.
In the men’s doubles, two others from Indonesia - Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin triumphed. They were followed by Pramudya Kusuma Wardana and Yeremia Erich YocheYacob Rambitan from Indonesia.
Do Tuan Duc and Pham Hong Nam from Vietnam and another pair from Singapore - Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Yew took the bronze.
Earlier on May 17, hosts Vietnam won another bronze in the women’s team after defeating competitors from Malaysia.
With the three bronzes, Vietnam surpassed the target of 1-2 medals at the regional sport event.