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Perseverance pays off for pencak silat star Hà




Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà and her teammates with their gold medals. —  Photo Đoàn Tùng

Thanh Nga

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà couldn’t stop her tears after winning gold in the women’s regu (trio) seni (performance) event at the SEA Games 31.

This was an achievement 14 years in the making.

The trio of Vietnamese martial artists (Hà, Nguyễn Thị Huyền and  Vương Thị Bình) performed perfectly in just three minutes on Wednesday, without any errors, to get 9,965 points for victory.

Việt Nam’s pencak silat has had many medals in performance events in regional, continental and world championships in the past decades, but for Hà, she had to wait for 14 years to enjoy a special moment of victory in the regional biggest sports event.

“I played as if I had nothing to lose because I just thought that I had to try my best to contribute to the audience when the Games are held at home. This is also the gold medal that I have been waiting 14 years for. For the first time, I have gained the gold medal in such a special atmosphere,” Hà said.

“In fact, at the SEA Games 2017, I, Huyền and Nguyễn Thị Thúy received gold medals four months after the end of the Games, because Thai athletes were doping so the gold medal went to Vietnamese,

“However, this victory is very different, very special for me because I was awarded the SEA Games gold medal at home after 14 years of hard work,” Hà said. “Playing at home, despite the pressure, we have more confidence and determination. We thank our coaches for training and accompanying us in every event.”

The team performing in the women’s trio event. — Photo Đoàn Tùng

Skill and spirit

After veteran martial artist Thúy retired from competition, Hà became the leading player in the women’s performance and took the responsibility of leading young athletes. In the matches at the Games 31, although she didn’t say it, she showed signs of psychological pressure, especially after her defeat in the final of the women’s duo event which took place just before the final women’s trio event only 30 minutes.

But at the right moment, Hà’s skill and spirit were proved when she led her teammates to perform an emotional contest to take gold.

For Bình, the youngest player in the trio, this is her first SEA Games after being selected to replace senior Thúy.

“I have the least time to practise for the Games and also recently joined the team with Hà and Huyền to compete. They are the ones who guide and help me a lot. The performance was perfect thanks to their skill and spirit,” Bình said.

According to coach Nguyễn Thanh Tùng, the athletes showed their great effort in the Games. The change in rules with knockout matches brought a lot of pressure and requires athletes to maintain stability to win gold.

“Hà performed her role well in the competition and the victory in the performance event relieved some of the pressure on the team’s goal before the combat events took place,” Tùng said.


Martial artist Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà (centre) surrounded by media after winning gold in the women’s trio performance event at the SEA Games 31. —  Photo Đoàn Tùng


After winning the gold medal, Hà came to hug and kiss her family who had travelled long distances to cheer her on. She also thanked her father – who played an important role in her life and career.

Hà was born in a rural area in Bắc Giang Province. Her father, Nguyễn Văn Thảo, took her to martial arts from the seventh grade. Over the past 15 years, Hà has always considered martial arts an indispensable part of her life.

“Hà is my second daughter. When she trained in Hà Nội, she often took advantage of going home twice a month. Every time she came home, she was not afraid of any difficulties to do farming to help her parents. She loves her parents very much so she does everything to help us,” Thảo said.

“Perhaps this is the time when my family and I feel most honoured and proud when Hà’s efforts have been rewarded with one silver and one gold medal at the Games held at home. My family is very happy,” Thảo added.

Last year, Hà got married and thought about retiring. However, because of the desire to devote herself to the country’s sports, she had to put aside her plans.



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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