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Archer Nhi aims high in Games debut



SEA Games

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhi practises at the Hà Nội Sports Training Centre to prepare for the 31st SEA Games. Photo

Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhi is going to take part in her first Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The competition will be memorable for her as she will compete on home ground as the Games returns to Việt Nam for the second time.

Nhi is a new face of the national team but is expected to top the podium after being a phenomenon at this year’s National Top Archery Champions.

At the tournament, the 21-year-old was against many strong rivals, including Tokyo Olympian Đỗ Thị Ánh Nguyệt in the recurve disciplines.

But these strong competitors could not scare Nhi, and the Huế City-born athlete grabbed top positions in the five categories of the 30m, 50m, 60m, 70m, and all-round recurve, and two silvers in other classes.

“It is the first time that an athlete has made such incredible results,” said Phan Trọng Quân, a member of the organising board. “No one has grabbed five individual titles in one tournament like Nhi before.”

Her successful performance gave coaches no choice but to pick her for the national team.

Newbie in a new sport

As the youngest of a five-child family, Nhi has been pampered by her parents and siblings. She was expected to become a regular civil servant like her parents.

The turning point was when the 14-year-old was in a fitness lesson at school and was asked if she wanted to try archery, a new sport in Huế in 2015.

“I did not know what it was. But the scout chose me. I thought ‘it was a strange sport, but why not,'” Nhi said. “I thought the bow was like what I had seen in cartoons. I just picked it up and shot.”


Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhi (left) competes in the national championship, winning her first gold medal in 2019. Photo

But things were not easy.

The first days of anything are always tricky. The trainers, equipment and facilities were virtually at zero.

“We have to borrow everything from other sports and use self-made bows and arrows to practise. Two years later, when my team won the first national gold medal, we were invested with three bows,” said the head of the Thừa Thiên Huế Province’s archery department, Lại Đăng Quang, who used to be a tennis coach.

But Nhi was not allowed to practise with those bows, which were for her senior teammates. Nhi had to use a rubber band.

Week after week, month after month, Nhi picked it up, aimed, and put it down.

“Doing the same action for several days is okay, but for months it becomes so boring. But both coaches and athletes encouraged each other to overcome that feeling and keep working,” said Nhi, who got her own bow when some senior athletes got bored and quit.

Three years after the first days, Nhi earned her first medal, finishing third at the National Sports Games in 2018.

A year later, she was given a VNĐ100 million, which helped her win the first national gold. It also played a crucial role in her success today. 

“My first gold was my milestone. I was shaking because of happiness. I had got my highest place ever,” Nhi said. 

She often nearly quit due to tiredness and exhaustion.

“But my parents did not agree and encouraged me, saying that it was my choice, so I had to follow and grab success,” she said.

Four months after the first gold, Nhi stepped to a higher level as she broke the national record, which was held by veteran Nguyễn Thị Hương for 12 years. Her new record of 352 points in the 30m recurve was one point more than the old one.

SEA Games debut

The five-gold breakthrough results this year were a push for Nhi to compete in her first SEA Games and second international tournament.

“My two targets this year are to take my college certificate and play well in the SEA Games,” Nhi said.

Nhi is one of 16 members of the archery team. They are targeting two to four golds in Hà Nội.

“It is my first SEA Games, and I will compete on home soil. I have felt a little pressure which is a con in archery, as it requires a strong mind and iron mentality,” Nhi said. 

“But I think that seven medals at the national tournament will be a strong force for me. It will help me feel more confident.”


Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhi expects good results in her first time SEA Games. Photo

In the upcoming Games, Nhi will compete against big rivals from Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, but her biggest opponent is herself.

“They are strong, but anyone can be beaten. But the strongest one is me. If I don’t work hard and prepare well, I cannot complete my task, she said.

“I have not set any targets for myself but will try my best to win. It would be great if I could win,” said Nhi, who will compete in the individual and team 70m recurve in this Games.

“I am lucky because my family strongly support me. They follow, encourage and comfort me, win or lose, and ask me to be confident,” Nhi said.

“I told myself that on choosing a sport, I have to move forward. Only by going ahead can I find victory.”




Thai judokas take top spot in mixed event



Nguyễn Ngọc Diễm Phương (in white) competes with Myat Neo Wai Chu of Myanmar in the mixed event at the SEA Games 31 on May 22. VNA/ Photo Quang Quyết

Thanh Nga

HÀ NỘI — The Thai judokas brought home the gold medal in the mixed event on May 22.

The event was held at Hoài Đức Gymnasium in Hà Nội.

In the final, Thailand competed with Indonesia with six pairs of athletes in six weight classes. Thailand defeated Indonesia 4-2 to take the gold.

The Indonesian team won silver.

The bronze medal went to Việt Nam as they defeated Myanmar 4-2. The Vietnamese team had Hà Thị Nga competing in the women’s +70kg category, Nguyễn Châu Hoàng Lân in the men’s +90kg, Nguyễn Ngọc Diễm Phương in the women -57kg, Nguyễn Hải Bá in the men’s -73kg, Nguyễn Thị Hường in the women’s -70 kg and Lê Anh Tài in the men’s -90kg.

Although it rained heavily, many fans came to the gymnasium to cheer for the martial artists.

After five days of competition, Việt Nam topped the team’s rankings with nine gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

Head Coach of the Vietnamese judo team Nguyễn Duy Khanh expressed his satisfaction with the efforts and results of the Vietnamese team. After the SEA Games, the athletes will prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic qualifiers.


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Historical play on President Hồ Chí Minh released



The image of Uncle Hồ was depicted faithfully in the play “The 72nd Letter”.  — Photo courtesy of Lệ Ngọc Theatre

HÀ NỘI — The newly premiered play ‘Lá đơn thứ 72′ at Lệ Ngọc Theatre evoked strong emotions in the audience due to its accurate depiction of President Hồ Chí Minh, who always fought for the underprivileged.

Hoàng Thanh Du, the play’s author, said that it was based on real documents of lawyer Nguyễn Trọng Tỵ,  former Judge of the Supreme People’s Court, who helped clarify many wrongful conviction cases.

Lá đơn thứ 72′ (The 72nd Letter) tells the story of Đỗ Minh, a Party member and former local official who was sentenced to eight years in prison for murder.

To prove his innocence, Minh penned a series of letters pleading for help while in prison. After 72 consecutive letters, his request reached President Hồ Chí Minh.

Uncle Hồ then sought a re-investigation of this case after noticing Minh’s compliance with prison regulations and his practice of setting aside a small amount of money to pay the Party fee.

He believes that for a Party member with such strong faith in the Party, his sentence may be unjust.

People’s Artist Lê Tiến Thọ, who participated in the staging of the play, said that this is one of the theatre’s best scripts depicting President Hồ.

The creative team faced a significant task, in his opinion, in conveying the message to follow Hồ Chí Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle on stage.

“We try to set up the stage, get the sound, light, actors’ performances, and artists’ language to work together so that the audience, especially young people, can enjoy this play. Hopefully, it will be a special theatrical work to celebrate the 132nd anniversary of President Hồ Chí Minh’s birthday,” Thọ said.

People’s Artist Vương Duy Biên said when reviewed the screenplay, he envisioned a tranquil Hà Nội from previous decades on the stage.

Biên added that he was touched when he read documents about Uncle Hồ’s trips and will aim to faithfully portray Hồ Chí Minh on stage.

In addition to ‘Lá đơn thứ 72′, Lệ Ngọc Theatre also staged a new play named ‘Truyền tích Chùa Một Cột’ (The Legend of One Pillar Pagoda).

It’s a play of history and mystery, written with the aim that the young generation can appreciate this unique heritage more.

The drama recreates the Lý dynasty’s golden era through the story of the One Pillar Pagoda’s foundation.

The image of King Lý Thái Tông, the second king of the Lý dynasty, stands out. He thought that the country and its people should be ruled with humanity in mind.

The show also helps people learn more about the One Pillar Pagoda, which is a unique symbol of Buddhist culture in Việt Nam.

With intricate staging, fascinating scripts, and captivating plots, the two theatrical pieces are certain to evoke unforgettable feelings in the audience. VNS


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PM congratulates Vietnamese women’s football team



Vietnamese players celebrate their victory. VNA/ Photo

Bảo Ngọc

HÀ NỘI — State leaders have congratulated the Vietnamese women’s football team on winning the gold medal on May 21.

President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc praised Huỳnh Như and her teammates for their successful competition, which brought endless joy to fans throughout the country. President Phúc also praised coach Mai Đức Chung, the coaching staff, and the players for their accomplishments.

He thanked the sports fans for bringing the love of sport and national pride together at Cẩm Phả Stadium and across the nation, creating spiritual strength for the “female warriors” to go through each match, especially the final, to bring glory to the country, and pride for Vietnamese women’s football.

Shortly after the final match, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính sent a letter of congratulations to the Vietnamese women’s soccer team.

PM Chính expressed his delight that the players successfully defended their top place at the SEA Games for the seventh time. 

“With courage, determination, and intelligence, the women’s football team once again shone and contributed an outstanding gold medal to the 391 SEA Games medals of the Việt Nam delegation,” he wrote. 

PM Chính congratulated the women’s football team on their victory and emphasised that it would inspire the Vietnamese sports delegation to be more determined and succeed in upcoming competitions.

After the final match, the players also received congratulations from National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ through the President of Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) Trần Quốc Tuấn.

According to Tuấn, the VFF decided to award VNĐ2 billion (US$86,000) to the Vietnamese women’s team following their final match. He stated that it was a miracle accomplished by Vietnamese players under the intelligent direction of head coach Mai Đức Chung.

In addition, Quảng Ninh Province also awarded the players VNĐ1 billion, Tuần Châu Group and Thanh Niên Newspaper awarded VNĐ1 billion, TTP Coal Corporation gave them VNĐ500 million in rewards, and the SEA Games Organising Committee offered a bonus of VNĐ100 million for their efforts.

Notably, FE Credit Company also decided to award VNĐ3 billion to the team.

The total reward for the Vietnamese women’s football team for the final night has reached VNĐ7.6 billion ($328,000). —  


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