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SEA Games champion gives her mother gold medal




Lò Thị Hoàng and her mother hug each other and shed tears of happiness. — Photo


Thanh Nga

After winning gold in javelin at the SEA Games, Lò Thị Hoàng knew immediately what she was going to do with her precious medal, present it to her mother.

As a young girl growing up in her Thái ethnic community, Hoàng had always dreamed of representing her country in sports and being crowned a champion.

And her wish came true when her throw of 56.37m at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium not only sealed top spot, but also broke the the 15-year SEA Games record of 55.97m set by Buoban Pamang of Thailand in 2007.

At the end of the competition and with the national flag draped around her shoulders, Hoàng set off in search of her mother. When the two eventually met, the tears of joy flowed freely.

“I want to give this medal to my mother,” Hoàng said.

“When I’m tired or under pressure, I can only call my mother. She told me to always try my best.

“As I am part of the Thái ethnic group where few people can go to school let alone attend the SEA Games. I am very happy that my parents can come to encourage me. As you know, the journey from my house (Sơn La Province) to here is not easy.”

Hoàng’s gold medal was even more meaningful because it is the first gold for Vietnamese athletics in the women’s javelin in the history of the SEA Games.

Before the start of the Games 31, very few people believed that Hoàng would win the gold because of the strength of Thailand in this event.

Hoàng said: “In the previous competitions, Việt Nam only won silver or bronze and were always behind Thailand.

“However, I knew I could do it and earn a gold medal. I’m extremely satisfied with this result.

“In 2021, I had an injury and didn’t compete well. This year, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no national tournaments so I couldn’t perfect my skills much.”

Lò Thị Hoàng bursts into tears after winning the historic gold medal for Vietnamese athletics in the women’s javelin throw in the SEA Games 31. — Photo

Hoàng was still injured while competing in the region’s biggest sporting event but carried on through the pain barrier.

“I have been injured many times in my elbows, back and now in both knees,” she said.

“When I compete, I have to wear long pants. I am afraid of letting the opponent see my injury. When I compete, I forget all the pain and fatigue, just focus on the shots.”

The 25-year-old was under a lot of pressure before her competition day because her colleagues had continuously won gold medals for the Vietnamese sports contingent. She suffered from insomnia because of nerves but thanks to the support of the fans and the close guidance of the coaching staff, she brought home gold.

At the 2019 Games in the Philippines Hoàng won silver, losing out to her opponent from Thailand. This was her chance to change the colour of the medal to gold.

Lò Thị Hoàng’s father (central, in blue) waiting for his daughter to celebrate. — Photo


Morale support from family

According to Hoàng, when her injuries became so painful and she couldn’t train, it crossed her mind to give up. However, her parents and coaches encouraged and helped her overcome difficulties to be successful.

The SEA Games champion said her younger sister is also a great motivation for her to succeed. She too was an athlete, but had to give up due to her injury.

Hoàng got married last year and always received support from her husband’s family in sports.

“I got married, but I don’t intend to have a baby just yet,” she said.

“I still want to focus on sports. I really love my husband and my in-laws. My husband has always supported me to continue my sports career. My parents-in-law understand me, treat me like their daughter, so I am given all conditions to follow sports.”

Hoàng came to this sport quite late when she was in ninth grade and it changed her life.

“I was born in a poor countryside where there are still pathways so I determined to change my life. I have practiced and studied for many years and now I have graduated from the Bắc Ninh University of Sport. I want to dedicate the gold medal to my whole family, who have always supported me,” Hoàng said. —





Việt Nam crush Philippines in Southeast Asian U19 event



Striker Nguyễn Văn Trường (left) vies for the ball with Jaime Domingo Rosquillo of the Philippines in the 2022 Southeast Asian U19 Football Championship held in Indonesia on Monday afternoon. Photo VFF


By Thanh Nga

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam crushed the Philippines 4-1 in the 2022 Southeast Asian U19 Football Championship held in Indonesia on Monday afternoon.

Following the goalless draw against Indonesia in the first match, Việt Nam were determined to secure three points.

From the off, Việt Nam were on the front foot. After missing two good chances in the opening exchanges, striker Nguyễn Quốc Việt found the net with his third early effort to open the scoring.

In the 16th minute, striker Nguyễn Văn Trường had a good chance to double the lead but after dribbling through the defence his effort was saved by Lance Jeter Aquino Bencio.

With the sun beating down in Indonesia, Việt Nam conserved their energy in the first half to ensure they never ran out of steam.

The Philippines pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t beat Cao Văn Bình in Việt Nam’s goal.

After the break, Đình Bắc’s pinpoint free-kick was met by Việt who headed home to double the lead.

In the 51st minute, the Philippines had the opportunity to narrow the gap when Sandro Reyes was clean through but his shot went over the crossbar.

However, two minutes later, Sandro Reyes did manage to claw one back for the Philippines.

As the clock ticked, Việt Nam made the game safe, with midfielder Nguyễn Văn Khang scoring from the spot after he was fouled inside the penalty area.

In the 77th minute, Antoine Ortega fouled striker Trường in the Philippines’s penalty area giving the referee no choice but to point at the spot for a second time.

Trường stepped up and cooly slotted home, Panenka-style to take the score to 4-1.

Việt Nam will next face Brunei on July 6, Myanmar on July 8 and then Thailand on July 10.

The regional event have attracted the participation of 11 teams who were divided into two groups, competing in a round-robin format. The first and second teams in each group win the right to the semi-finals.

The tournament will finish on July 15.

Việt Nam won the Southeast Asian U19 Championship once in 2007. VNS


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Lan to run against powerhouses at world athletic champs




Quách Thị Lan (right) on her way to gold in the women’s 400m hurdles during the SEA Games 31 in May in Hà Nội. Lan will represent Việt Nam at the World Athletics Championship in the US. — VNA/VNS Photo

Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI — Quách Thị Lan has earned a place at the World Athletics Championship in Eugene, Oregon, the US, where she will face off against the best athletes in the world this month.

She is the sole Vietnamese competitor at the 18th edition tournament, receiving a wildcard position as Việt Nam did not earn any official berth from qualifications.

It will be her second time in the US. Lan enjoyed a one-year training course in Florida, the US, in 2015.

Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, general secretary of the Việt Nam Athletics Federation, said Lan was chosen as the most successful of the Vietnamese competitors.

The 26-year-old was the only track-and-field athlete from Việt Nam to compete at the Tokyo Olympics last July. Her presence in the women’s 400m hurdles semi-finals was Việt Nam’s best athletics performance at the Olympics.

Lan won the 400m hurdles in the 2018 Asian Games and 400m hurdles in the Asian championship in 2019.

She claimed two SEA Games titles in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay, and a bronze in the 400m last month.

Lan will travel to Oregon with her Bulgarian coach Vladimir Simeonov who also accompanied her at the Tokyo Games.

“The selection by the sports leaders and coaches is based on different criteria. But I think that I am chosen because of my peak, which will fall in that period,” Lan told Việt Nam News.

“On my side, I have been working hard in my career and hope to contribute as much as possible to the nation. The world championship will be a good opportunity that will push me up and I will show off my ability as a Việt Nam representative,” she said.

Lan said she was honoured to be selected for the first time at the world event. After a short time visiting family after the SEA Games 31 success, she has been back in action to prepare for the event.

“My coaches and I are in an intensive training course. As you all know, my drive to the finish line in the last metres is not good. I understand my weakness. Together with my coaches, I will have to improve that.

“In a long-term job, we will have to build up a suitable plan which will fix my weaknesses and lift my results.”

In the coming event, which is scheduled from July 15-24, Lan will face the world’s strongest runners, including Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin who broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the US track and field championships last week.

“To me, participating in the championship and competing against world-leading athletes is an honour. I will have the chance to learn from them and enrich my knowledge and experience for my career. It will help me to strive to run as well as they can,” Lan said.

The Vietnamese athlete said she is not under any pressure of high results but is encouraged to run as best as she can.

Lan will run in the 400m hurdles qualification on July 19. If she qualifies, the semi-finals will be held a day later, while the finals are on July 22.

At the previous world championship in 2019 in Qatar, Việt Nam sent youngster Ngần Ngọc Nghĩa to compete in the men’s 100m event. He did not make the finals. — VNS


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Something fishy going on at Everton



Tottenham Hotspur are favourites to sign Richarlison from Everton. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

I’ve never been to Scott’s seafood restaurant in London’s exclusive Mayfair district, and chances are I never will.

It looks proper fancy, and although I’m sure worth every penny, a little expensive for my modest tastes. (Fish, chips and mushy peas will set you back VNĐ1 million).

According to one English national newspaper, on Monday evening earlier this week two men met there for a dinner meeting.

They were Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy and his good friend and Everton FC counterpart Bill Kenwright.

It seems the pair were discussing the sale of Everton striker Richarlison to White Hart Lane with the price thought to be somewhere in the region of $60m.

The 25-year-old Brazilian is a great talent, already a regular in his national team and still has his best footballing years ahead of him.

He will be a fine addition to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side and could be the difference that will see Spurs finally win a trophy, their last being the Carling Cup in 2008.

But the big news here for me is not Tottenham’s attempt to buy the Brazilian, but Everton’s willingness to sell.

Maybe by the time this column is printed, a deal will have already been completed, and Richarlison will soon be revealed as a Tottenham Hotspur player.

Good news for Spurs, awful for Everton.

Last season the Blues hung on to their place in the Premier by the skin of their teeth. It was touch and go as the campaign drew to a close but in the end, helped massively by a galvanised supporter base, Everton clung on.

This coming season could see one of two things happen. Either they take on board the scare of last, and use it to push on and improve, or they spend another season desperately fighting for every point in the hope of survival.

In Frank Lampard they have a good, young, keen and willing manager, ready to do all he can to improve the club.

But it seems the willingness from those who hold the purse strings to sell their best players could be the death of Everton.

There have also been rumours surrounding the futures of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and midfielder Anthony Gordon.

Goalkeeper Jordon Pickford, also England’s number one, is another soon out of contract. If those three, on top of Richarlison, also decide to leave Goodison Park then I fear for their future.

Everton are what you would class as a ‘selling club’. It’s highly unlikely a mega-star will choose the Blues over the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City or Chelsea.

But that said, Everton need to do all they can to hold on to their very best players, for at least next season, before deciding to cash in.

Selling the likes of Richarlison may bring a tidy profit, but it could just send Everton spiralling headfirst into the Championship.

And that will be something Evertonians will find hard to swallow, even if it is served with the best possible oysters on the menu at Scott’s. VNS


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