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Golfers to tee off for kids next month

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The 2019 Swing for the Kids golf tournament raised about VNĐ1.8 billion ($77,400) to support students. This year’s event will be held on November 21 in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of VIR

HÀ NỘI — The 2020 Swing for the Kids golf tournament will tee off on November 21 at the BRG Kings Island Golf Resort in Đồng Mô, Sơn Tây Town, about 46km from Hà Nội.

The 14th event has been delayed for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants will compete in four groups, including one for ladies, classified by their handicaps.

Besides top prizes for the overall champion and the winners of each group, the organisers will present awards for the longest drive, nearest the pin and hole-in-one.

The annual charity competition aims to raise funds to support poor students who have excelled academically.

After 13 competitions, more than VNĐ17.5 billion (US$755,000) has been collected and delivered to more than 16,000 students as well as used to upgraded school infrastructure around the country.

At a press conference yesterday in Hà Nội, the organisers presented seven scholarships to outstanding students at universities in the capital.

“Over the past 13 years, Swing for the Kids has attracted kind-hearted people who wish to support underprivileged students nationwide, especially those from rural, mountainous and island areas,” said Lê Trọng Minh, editor in chief of Việt Nam Investment Review and head of the organising board.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone but could not stop us from continuing our task. We believe that our support will help reduce students’ difficulties and challenges and push them to higher results,” he said.

Speaking at the briefing, Thái Việt Dũng, a representative of Exness, one of the tournament’s sponsors, said: “We know have a corporate social responsibility and through Swing for the Kids, Exness is honoured to be taking part and contributing to fulfilling the dreams of disadvantaged children in Việt Nam.”

Padungsak Thanakij, a representative of Banpu Company, said supporting education had been on Banpu’s sustainable development agenda since its establishment. This was Banpu’s first year Việt Nam and we were lucky enough to find Swing for the Kinds as our strategic partner for implementing CSR projects here, he said.

At the briefing yesterday, the organisers also decided to contribute VNĐ1 billion ($43,000) to people in the central region who have been strongly affected by floods and landslides recently. — 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/sports/803875/golfers-to-tee-off-for-kids-next-month.html

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Athletes to compete at Hà Nội Open Table Tennis

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Athletes compete at last year Hà Nội Open Table Tennis tournament. Photo hanoimoi.com.vn

HÀ NỘI — The annual Hà Nội Open Table Tennis tournament promises competitive matches in its eighth edition on December 3-6.

The event, known as the Hà Nội Mới Newspaper Cup, will feature more than 300 athletes, many more than the previous year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the organisers.

“The deadly pandemic has forced many tournaments to be postponed and cancelled through the year. Currently, the situation seems to be well controlled, so we decided to choose this time for the event,” said Nguyễn Hoàng Long, editor-in-chief of the newspaper and head of the organisers.

“As it is one of the rare tournaments held this year, the cup receives attention and registration from athletes from 62 teams nationwide,” he said.

Athletes will compete in 11 categories based on ages and genders in professional and amateur disciplines.

“This year we will see the participation of famed players such as Phan Huy Hoàng, winner of the 2020 National Table Tennis Team Championship’s men’s singles, Nguyễn Văn Ngọc, gold medalist of the 2020 National Table Tennis Team Championship’s men’s team, Mai Thanh Thúy and Vũ Thị Thúy, winning duo of the 2020 National Table Tennis Clubs Championship,” said Long.

The tournament is free for supporters at Trịnh Hoài Đức Gymnasium but people are asked to follow instructions to avoid COVID-19 transmission.

Organisers will also carry out sterilisation of the facilities each day after matches.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/sports/816979/athletes-to-compete-at-ha-noi-open-table-tennis.html

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Alexandra Huynh lives out Serie A dream with Napoli

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Alexandra Huynh on the ball for S.S.D. Napoli Femminile. Photo from Alexandra Huynh’s Instagram page

Peter Cowan

HÀ NỘI – It’s the dream of many Vietnamese football fans to watch stars like Nguyễn Quang Hải strut their stuff against the best in Europe, but few know that one woman of Vietnamese heritage is already living out that dream.

Vietnamese Australian footballer Alexandra Huynh recently signed for S.S.D. Napoli Femminile in Italy to compete week in and week out against the best Serie A has to offer and harbours dreams of one day playing for the Vietnamese women’s national team.

Huynh arrived in Italy in early October after ending an eight-year spell with the Western Sydney Wanderers, who play in Australia’s top women’s league. Prior to that, Huynh turned out for the Newcastle Jets in Australia as a teenager before playing for Colorado and Troy universities in the US.

While the newly-promoted Napoli are rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table and struggling against better-funded men’s team-affiliated clubs like AC Milan and Juventus, Huynh is enjoying the challenge of playing in the football-mad city that recently mourned the passing of the beloved Diego Maradona.

“Yeah, honestly, on the field. I love it. Like I love how physical it is,” she told Việt Nam News.

“There’s not as much like build-up play in Italy as there is in Australia. But in saying that there’s a lot of like, raw talent here. And there are so many people, so many girls play football, and in Italy, that’s just part of the culture, it’s part of their blood,” she added.

Football brought Huynh to Việt Nam for her only visit in 2011 when she lined up for the Young Matildas Australian women’s U19 team in the AFC U19 Women’s Championship in HCM City, which also served as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 U20 World Cup.

“I think that it was very eye-opening because I’ve obviously never been to Việt Nam before. It was really humbling. It was a really good experience, and I do really want to go back.

“But when you’re 17 I don’t think you really understand the impact of what that trip meant, you know what I mean? So at the time, I was just there to play football, I think I wasn’t really too focused on anything else.

“But looking back, it made me want to learn Vietnamese, you know, maybe want to kind of learn a little bit more about my history,” she said of the trip.

While Huynh hasn’t made the step up to the senior Australia team, she’s excited at the prospect of potentially playing for the up-and-coming Vietnamese team.

“I think it’s very exciting where Vietnamese female footballers are at the moment, I think that they’re at that stage where they really take the next step and ready to be more competitive in the Asian leagues.

“So I think, especially with the World Cup coming in 2023, and an extra Asian team qualifies, it’s a super exciting opportunity.”

The citizenship procedures for a person of Vietnamese heritage to become eligible for the team are daunting, as Czech Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen has discovered, and while Huynh recognises that, she’s enthralled by the possibilities of representing Việt Nam.

“I honestly just get goosebumps,” she said when asked what playing for Việt Nam would mean to her.

“I just think that it would make me feel content in a sense. Like, it’s like exploring a part of me that hadn’t really explored before,” she added.

Having been around the top levels of the women’s game in three countries, Huynh knows a thing or two about what Việt Nam need to do to go to the next level and qualify for their first World Cup.

“I think just the biggest thing that separates great programmes from good programmes is just investment. And it comes down to, doesn’t matter what level it’s at, whether it be grassroots or national team, it all just comes down to investment.

“So it’s like how much money are you willing to invest in that team? What resources are you willing to invest, what facilities you’re willing to invest?” she said. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/alexandra-huynh-lives-out-serie-a-dream-with-napoli_320598.html

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Vietnam up one place in FIFA ranking

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In the latest update of FIFA ranking, Vietnam climbed to 93rd place despite not playing any international matches in 2020.

Vietnam are currently ranked on 1,258 points, unchanged since the start of 2020 since Madagascar, who previously peaked at 92nd with 1,264 points, relinquished seven points by losing to Burkina Faso in a friendly and drawing and losing against Ivory Coast in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers during November.

Vietnam national football team celebrate after beating Indonesia in World Cup 2022 Asian qualifiers on October 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Vietnam national football team celebrate after beating Indonesia in World Cup 2022 Asian qualifiers on October 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam have played no international matches in 2020, with World Cup 2022 Asian qualifiers and AFF Cup moving their calendars to next year. The Golden Dragons had to also cancel some friendlies to guarantee squad safety.

With their new position, Vietnam continue to lead the Southeast Asian region for the 39th consecutive month. Following them are Thailand (111th), who ascended two places, the Philippines (124th), Myanmar (137th), and Malaysia (153th).

In Asia, Japan lead the region (27th), followed by Iran (29th), and South Korea (38th).

The world’s top five positions are the same, with Belgium on top, followed by France, Brazil, England and Portugal.

At 93rd, Vietnam reached their second-highest FIFA ranking in history. The peak position was achieved in September 1998, when it was ranked 84th.

In 2021, Vietnam will have a chance to climb the rankings further following three World Cup 2022 Asian qualifiers against Malaysia, Indonesia and UAE in March and June, as well as AFF Cup in April.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/football/vietnam-up-one-place-in-fifa-ranking-4199849.html

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