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Nguyên eyes bigger competition after ASEAN Para Games wins

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Para Games

Trần Văn Nguyên competes in the men’s F40/41 shot put event in the 11th Para Games on August 1 in Indonesia. He bags a silver medal. VNA/VNS Photo

 Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI — Trần Văn Nguyên stands only 1.27m and has short arms and legs. But he has long dominated the top podiums of many competitions. 

Nguyên, who won two titles at the recent ASEAN Para Games, has now set his sight on the stronger, higher, tougher Paralympics in Paris in 2024.

Growing up with dwarfism

Born in 1990, Nguyên was the only child in his four-sibling family suffering dwarfism in Bình Đinh Province.

As he grew up he gradually recognised his difference in terms of size compared with other children. 

“The more I grew up, the shorter I was compared to friends who often tried to tease me. First, I was angry with them. But then, it became a shame and inferiority complex,” Nguyên said.

“Every day, I lived in torment, asking God why I was like that.”

However, time is a miracle cure. Nguyên knew he could not be pessimistic about his life but stood up to build it his own way.

“He (God) did not give me a perfect stature, but I have the right to build a beautiful life,” he said.

Earning his college certificate, Nguyên found his job in an electronic company in HCM City’s Củ Chi District in 2017.

Trần Văn Nguyên poses with a javelin gold medal of the 11th ASEAN Para Games. Photo courtesy of Trần Văn Nguyên

Nguyên believed that a job would bring his life to a new chapter. It did, but in a different way from how he imagined.

Nguyên noticed a woman the same height as him practising javelin throwing.

“I admired her. She could do such an extraordinary job. Why couldn’t I? I asked her help and was introduced to the city’s training centre for athletes with disabilities,” he said.

After several tests, coaches found talent in their new athlete, and Nguyên was recruited to practise more.

“My first throws surprised coaches because they were much better than those who had practised for months. Coaches came to measure me and said, ‘yes, his height is suitable for the dwarfism category,’ and I became an athlete,” he said.

Nguyên grabbed three gold medals in the shot put, javelin and discus throws at the national championship for the disabled.

He was called to the national team preparing for the Malaysian ASEAN Para Games in the same year. It was only three months before switching from worker to a competitor.

“The more I practised, the more I loved athletics, and my results improved. It seemed that I had ability and grew up in a working family that gave me strong arms that were helpful in throwing,” Nguyên told Việt Nam News.

In his Para Games debut, Nguyên championed two javelin events and the shot put.

“I was nervous because I just was a new fish in the tank. I had not even been familiar with domestic tournaments yet. However, by a miracle, my results were even better than in practice. I was excited with the achievement,” he said.

He continued his outstanding performance with two bronzes in the javelin. He did well at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia and bagged a javelin gold in China’s 2019 World Para Athletics Grand Prix.

Paralympics plan

Nguyên was a favourite candidate to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. However, a shoulder injury in 2020 prevented him from participating in qualification tournaments. He fell out of the world’s top six whereby he would have automatically qualified.

Trần Văn Nguyên (left) and an athlete pose for a photo after they competed in the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Rades Stadium in Tunisia. Photo courtesy of Trần Văn Nguyên

“It was sad to see such a big chance running away from my reach. I regretted that I could not join in the world’s biggest sports festival for people like me,” he said. “But I will make it another time.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Nguyên and many athletes to stay away from competitions for almost two years. 

But when the tournaments resumed, he returned to his habit of being on top of the podium.

Nguyên was among Vietnamese winners at the 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Rades Stadium, in Tunisia, in June.

He took gold in the F40/41 javelin event and a silver in the shot put.

At the 11th Para Games, which ended on August 6, he gained double titles in the discus and javelin throws, and a silver in the shot put.

“My result in shot put could be better if my shoulder was not hurt. But it is okay. I feel good with these medals. I believe my family is proud of me too,” said Nguyên, who will welcome his third child this December.

The Para Games was over. It means that he could have little relaxation time and bonuses from his medals to organise his dream wedding with his wife.

“As an athlete, I could only visit home on Saturday. My wife has to take care of everything for the family. When we got married, we had just signed the Marriage Certificate but had not had a party because, at that time, we were too poor for such an event,” said Nguyên, whose family is still living in a rented house.

“A wedding is what we have planned for a long time. And if possible, I will try harder to give my family a real home.” 

Trần Văn Nguyên and his wife hope to organise a dream wedding they have wanted for a long time. Photo courtesy of Trần Văn Nguyên

And he will be focused on practising quickly after that because the next Para Games will be within 10 months. After that, the Asian Games will be coming and then the Paralympics.

“I will do my best at my first Paralympics. It will be the biggest milestone in my career,” he said. VNS

 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/nguyen-eyes-bigger-competitionafter-asean-para-games-wins_336353.html

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Tears of joy in Japan after nail-biting win over Spain

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TOKYO — Japan erupted in cheers and tears after the national team’s 2-1 win over Spain early on Friday, with crowds packing public viewing areas in the pre-dawn cold shrieking with joy as they stunned another global football power at the World Cup.

Japan, who had also shocked Germany in their opener in Qatar, finished top of Group E to reach the last 16, a stage where they have faltered three times before.

They will play 2018 runners-up Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals. 

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Fans in Tokyo watch Japan v Spain - Tokyo, Japan - December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate at the Shibuya Crossing after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Fans in Tokyo watch Japan v Spain – Tokyo, Japan – December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate at the Shibuya Crossing after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

“Doha Delights Again!” one newspaper headlined its online edition, evoking memories of what the media called the “Miracle in Doha” after Japan’s win over the Germans.

Fans chanting “Nippon” poured into Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya crossing before sunrise, jumping up and down and shouting “Fight, fight, fight!” as police struggled to control the crowd.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Fans in Tokyo watch Japan v Spain - Tokyo, Japan - December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate at the Shibuya Crossing after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Fans in Tokyo watch Japan v Spain – Tokyo, Japan – December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate at the Shibuya Crossing after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

“I never thought Japan would advance first place in the group. Thank you Japan! I love you guys!” said 19-year-old Yusei Sato, wearing Japan’s Samurai Blue national team jersey.

Takuya Kudo, 23, was in tears as soon as he saw Japan win.

“I’m just so happy,” he said. “Honestly, I never thought Japan would do this well. I’m just really thrilled.”

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group E - Japan v Spain - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate outside the stadium after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group E – Japan v Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate outside the stadium after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Fans lingering in Shibuya pressed high-fives on bleary commuters making their way to work from one of Tokyo’s busiest stations.

Social media exploded with joy, exulting “Samurai Blue!” and “Came from behind to win!,” with some fans posting manga-style drawings of a cheering player in a team uniform.

Another posted a cartoon of three dragons draped in national flags. The Japanese dragon was roaring while the Spanish dragon eyed Germany, which looked befuddled.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group E - Japan v Spain - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate outside the stadium after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group E – Japan v Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – December 2, 2022 Japan fans celebrate outside the stadium after the match as Japan qualify for the knockout stages. Photo: Reuters

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka’s tribute was a manga-style depiction of the Japanese team, while even Elon Musk tweeted, “Congratulations, Japan!”

The sense of triumph rose even to Japan’s normally staid political heights, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida telling reporters the win was “historic” and telephoning Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu and Japan Football Association President Kozo Tashima to offer congratulations.

“I told them they gave the Japanese people courage and energy,” Kishida said on Twitter. “We are looking forward to the last 16. Fight on, Japan!”

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/sports/20221202/tears-of-joy-in-japan-after-nailbiting-win-over-spain/70288.html

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Dortmund chiefs predict bright future for VN football

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Nguyễn Tiến Linh (22) celebrates after levelling the score on the 36th minute. VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Anh

Paul Kennedy & Lê Mai Hương

Borussia Dortmund were brought crashing down to earth in Hà Nội on Wednesday night, losing to the Vietnamese national team by two goals to one.

And although this was only a friendly game with many of the German stars absent from the starting eleven due to the Qatar World Cup, the victory gave the Bundesliga team food for thought about Vietnamese players.

Dortmund’s Managing Director Asia, Suresh Letchmanan, has been tasked with not only building a strong bridge between Germany and Asia, but also potentially finding, and developing, future stars.

He feels there are plenty of decent Vietnamese footballers currently playing professionally, but future talent needs to be natured at a young age.

“You could see the talents that the Vietnamese players have at that very young age,” he said before the match in an exclusive interview with Việt Nam News.

“And they are competitive. If you look at the AFC Champions League, there are some quite good, talented Vietnamese players that are playing in that league, in the league as well here.”

In regards to Vietnamese players making the step up to play for top teams in Europe, Letchmanan said: “It’s probably going to take a while for them to reach that level. But I think that it has to start from a very young age.

“We are here to share experience, to share knowledge and to also learn in terms from what we feel that they need a little bit more support in that sense.”

German’s Bundesliga has a reputation for discovering and developing talent from Asia.

South Korean striker Son Heung-min took his first footballing steps with the youth academy at Hamburger SV before moving to Bayer Leverkusen.

He has played for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League since 2015 where he is regarded as one of the top strikers in the country.

 

Borussia Dortmund’s Managing Director Carsten Cramer (left) and Asia MD Suresh Letchmanan in Việt Nam.

Dortmund’s Managing Director in Germany, Carsten Cramer, also watched from the sidelines as the Vietnamese national team recorded their shock victory at the Mỹ Đình Stadium.

He believes it’s just a matter of time before a player from Việt Nam is snapped up by a team in Germany.

“We already invited the Under 17 team to Dortmund and we collected and the Vietnamese guys collected a very positive experience and feedback,” Cramer told Viet Nam News.

“So I think it’s maybe a question of time that Vietnamese players will make a step into the European football market, like the Japanese or South Korean ones already did.

“It’s a long run, and as long as you have the patience to make it step by step, it won’t happen in two or three years.

“But if you have the patience to, to wait a bit I’m very sure it’s just a question of time.”

On the pitch on Wednesday night, goals from strikers Nguyễn Tiến Linh and Phạm Tuấn Hải helped Việt Nam come from behind to seal the victory.

The winning goal from Hải came in the dying minutes from the penalty spot.

One noticeable absentee from the Dortmund squad was their prized-midfielder Jude Bellingham, who has been subject to transfer speculation linking him with a big money move to one of the top clubs in Europe, with Liverpool FC among the favourites to secure his services.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid have also shown interest in signing the 19-year-old.

Bellingham is currently with England at the Qatar World Cup, and Cramer said despite Liverpool’s strong connections with Dortmund, it won’t guarantee any special favours when it comes to doing a deal.

Although he did admit to having a soft spot for Liverpool, saying the team managed by former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is his preferred EPL team, Cramer said: “Maybe there is a success existing between Jude Bellingham and (England’s) success in the World Cup.

“He (Jude) has a contract. I’m a sales person regarding commercial business, but not regarding the player’s business.

“We are happy to have him on board a hundred percent and the longer Jude will play for us, the better it will be.

“We have a high sympathy for Liverpool for sure. We are still in a good relationship to Jurgen and many others at Liverpool, so for me, it’s my preferred club in EPL as well. But don’t expect that we will make gifts to Liverpool.” — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/dortmund-chiefs-predict-bright-future-for-vn-football_339728.html

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Sài Gòn win their first ever futsal championship

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Sài Gòn FC players and coaches celebrate their National Cup futsal victory. Sài Gòn beat reigning champion Thái Sơn Nam 6-4 in the final on Monday in HCM City. Photo courtesy of VFF

HCM CITY — Sài Gòn FC were crowned National Futsal Cup champions after defeating Thái Sơn Nam 6-4 on Tuesday in HCM City.

Thái Sơn Nam were favourites going into the match but the defending champions couldn’t do enough to keep Sài Gon out. 

Thái Sơn Nam did get on the scoresheet first, though at the wrong end. Nguyễn Mạnh Dũng found the back of his own net in the first minute of the match.

Thái Sơn Nam’s defence suffered two more goals; Phạm Trương Hoàng Nam in the fourth minute and Đỗ Viết Hoà Hiệp the fifth minute. 

Thái Sơn Nam clawed a goal back in the eighth and Sài Gòn’s Trần Tuyên turned the ball into his own net to make the score 3-2.

However, the comeback was over before it began with Nguyễn Trần Duy and Tuyên scoring before the end of the first half.

Duy got another minute into the second half to make it 6-2 for Sài Gòn. 

Trí and Nguyễn Anh Duy kept the score respectable, finding the back of the net in the 25th and 36th minutes.

It was a remarkable result for Sài Gon, who lost 5-0 to Thái Sơn Nam in the group round. It is the side’s first final. 

The defeat tops off a torrid few weeks for Thái Sơn Nam, who lost their national championship title recently too.

In the third-place play-off, Thái Sơn Bắc beat Sanvinest Khánh Hòa 3-2 to take the bronze.

Phan Khắc Chí of Sanvinest Khánh Hòa was the best scorer with six goals. Trần Tuyên and Vũ Văn Khá of Sài Gòn were MVP and best goalkeeper. — VNS

 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/sai-gon-win-their-first-ever-futsal-championship_339676.html

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