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Việt Nam end Para Games with best result since 2003



ASEAN Para Games

A stunning firework display to mark the close of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games in Surakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday. Photo courtesy of the Singapore National Paralympics Council

HÀ NỘI — The 11th ASEAN Para Games officially drew to a close on Saturday after a week of breathtaking action in Surakarta, Indonesia, that saw Việt Nam finish with their best result since the 2003 Games.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) declared the closing of the Games and made a speech at the multi-sport Manahan Stadium after the parade of the 11 contingents representing Southeast Asian countries.

Throughout the two-hour ceremony, almost 10,000 spectators in the arena were entertained by cultural and musical performances highlighting the host’s rich and diverse traditions by famous artists.

During his speech, Jokowi thanked more than 1,200 participating athletes, saying Indonesia was proud to have hosted the eight-day sporting extravaganza for persons with disabilities.

“Indonesia is very proud to be the host of the 2022 ASEAN Para Games. Thank you for delivering the message that limitations and difficulties are not obstacles. With commitment and hard work, people with disabilities can score a million achievements,” he said.

“The solidarity shown by the para-athletes across Southeast Asia showcases the strength of ASEAN. We continuously support the initiatives of people with disabilities. Let’s make ASEAN Para Games next year in Cambodia a success.”

The ASEAN Para Sports Federation flag was handed to Cambodia, the host of next year’s edition.

The kingdom also staged another stunning traditional performance to welcome the June 3-9 Games in Phnom Penh.

The participants at the Manahan Stadium also enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display, which lit up the sky after the Games’ cauldron was extinguished.

Việt Nam, with 123 athletes, ended their performance with a haul of 65 golds, 62 silvers and 56 bronzes to finish third in the medal tally. Athletes set 16 new Games records in swimming and powerlifting.

Vietnamese para athletes take centre stage once, more proud of their achievements in Surakarta. Photo courtesy of the Việt Nam Para Games Team

Hosts Indonesia, as expected, topped the standing with 177 golds. It was the third time that they were No 1 in the region, following the 2014 and 2017 editions in Myanmar and Malaysia, respectively.

Thailand grabbed 113 titles to finish in second place.

The Vietnamese team landed in Hà Nội yesterday to a warm welcome from local supporters and officials, ending a successful Games.

Việt Nam’s chief-de-mission Nguyễn Hồng Minh praised the result of the Vietnamese team, who overcome challenges to get a good result.

“It is the best ever achievement of Việt Nam’s para-sport at the regional sports meet since 2003 Games in Hà Nội. Our athletes showed outstanding performances in swimming, chess and powerlifting with remarkable records,” Minh said.

“The success also showed athletes’ great determination, power and potential. Việt Nam needs to have a suitable plan and support to prepare for the 12th Games in the year to come,” he added. VNS


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Largest number of runners to compete in VPBank Hà Nội full marathon




 VPBank Hà Nội Marathon will be held on October 16 with a large number of participants. Photo of VPBank Hà Nội Marathon

HÀ NỘI — The 2022 VPBank Hanoi Marathon will see the largest numbers yet participate in the 42km event this October in the capital city.

The municipal official international running event, hosted by VPBank and DHA Việt Nam Company, will be held on October 16, with more than 10,000 athletes, professionals and amateurs participating. 

Among them, 3,000 have registered for the 42km course, the largest number to ever sign up for a marathon in Việt Nam. 

According to the organisers, more than 1,000 foreigners will participate in the event, which carries a message of Light up Việt Nam, as an exciting greeting from Hà Nội to all participants.

“Sports in general, and especially marathons in particular, have a special role as a tool to attract more foreign tourists to run and make discovery tours,” said the head of the organising committee, Nguyễn Trí, General Director of DHA Việt Nam.

“Not only is it meant to promote the sports movement and improve the physical health of the Vietnamese people, our tournament also focuses on conveying the cultural beauties and bright spots of the nation to the world, attracting a large number of visitors to witness a post-pandemic healthy Việt Nam, rich in traditional culture and recovering strongly and full of vitality,” he said.

He added that the pandemic Việt Nam was an extremely attractive destination for international runners who love long-distance running, and the organisers are proud that the 2022 VPBank Hà Nội Marathon will feature more than 1,000 foreign runners.

Nguyễn Thùy Dương, a representative of VPBank, said: “The tournament marks a strong new beginning, with lots of inspiration, showing Việt Nam’s readiness to shine after a difficult period because of the pandemic, to move towards a prosperous future”.

This year, a record prize, including cash and the “Golden Running Step” Cup, will be delivered to one male and one female runner, if they break national records at the 42km distance.

In addition to the full marathon, there are also 5km, 10km and 21km categories.

The race is a one-of-a-kind event that serves as both a traditional marathon, as well as a unique tour of the six major districts and almost all historical and cultural places of the Old Quarter of Hà Nội, allowing the runners to discover the peaceful, charming, and historic city with 11 heritages and landmarks they can’t miss.

Starting from Hoàn Kiếm Lake (the Lake of Returned Sword), marathoners will run past mossy, ancient street corners, admiring the historical sites of the thousand-year-old capital such as West Lake; Ô Quan Chưởng, the last remaining city wall gate; Temple of Literature, Mausoleum of President Hồ Chí Minh, Ba Đình Square and the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long.

From 2022, the VPBank Hanoi Marathon has become a member of the Age Group Ranking System of Abbott World Marathon Majors. As a result, athletes’ results can be used to qualify for any World Six Majors; New York, Chicago, London, Boston, Tokyo and Berlin marathons.

Earlier this month, Fung Wang Tak, a course measurer from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), arrived in Việt Nam to make a final inspection and measurement to ensure VPBank Hà Nội Marathon’s international standard tracks.

“It is an honour that VPBank Hà Nội Marathon is recognised by the world’s leading prestigious organisation Abbott World Marathon Majors as a qualifying race. The recognition confirms the professionalism and the level of the race organisation,” said Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, General Secretary of the Việt Nam Athletics Federation.

VPBank Hà Nội Marathon is an annual tournament first held in 2018. The debut event featured nearly 3,000 athletes, and the number rose rapidly yearly, except for 2021, because of the pandemic. VNS


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Việt Nam Open to feature high-ranking domestic, international players



National champion Lê Đức Phát will represent Việt Nam in the Yonex-Sunrise Việt Nam Open on September 27-October 2. Photo courtesy of Lê Đức Phát 

HÀ NỘI — The 2022 Yonex-Sunrise Việt Nam Open badminton tournament will bring high-ranking international players and domestic athletes to the Nguyễn Du Gymnasium in HCM City.

It is one of the Badminton World Federation’s Super 100 Tour and will be organised on September 27-October 2 with 200 participants.

Athletes will compete in five categories of men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, for a total purse of US$75,000.

World No 17 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan is seeded No 1 in the men’s singles. He is followed by No 41 Sai Praneeth from India and No 28 Kodai Naraoka of Japan.

In the women’s class, Aya Ohori is the leading athlete. The Japanese star is world No 26. Other seeds include No 30 Saina Nehwal of India and No 40 Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia.

Nguyễn Thùy Linh is the only host athlete in the top 10. She is No 6 and is expected to get a high result after winning the Yonex Belgian International title on September 17.

Domestic hopes

In addition to Linh, Việt Nam sends a strong contingent of 54 players and coaches to the Open.

Vietnamese legend Nguyễn Tiến Minh, former world No 5, will play Chinese Sun Fei Xiang in the first round of the men’s singles.

Minh is one of three domestic players starting from the main round. 

National champion Lê Đức Phát will meet Sholeh Aidil from Malaysia, while Nguyễn Hải Đăng gets a bye to the second round.

Linh will take charge of medal hopes in the female competition. She will first play unseeded teammate Phạm Thị Diệu Ly in the first match.

Meanwhile, veteran Vũ Thị Trang will face No 8 Ashmita Chaliha of India while her junior teammate Vũ Thị Anh Thư, who made strong progress recently, will have a huge challenge as she is to play No 3 Wardani. 

The individual winner will walk away with US$5,625, while the winning pair will receive $5,925.

The Việt Nam Open, which was first organised in 1996, returned to action after two years of being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the last edition in 2019, Sourabh Verma of India and Zhang Yi Man of China won men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively. 

South Korean pair won the men’s double gold; the women’s doubles title went to Indonesia. China took the mixed doubles. — VNS


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First national beach tennis tournament organised in Thanh Hóa



Sophia Huỳnh Trần Ngọc Nhi of HCM City will compete at the first National Beach Tennis Championship later this week in Thanh Hóa Province. Photo of VTF

HÀ NỘI — The National Beach Tennis Championship 2022 will be held from September 19 to 24 at Thanh Hóa Province’s Thiên Đường Xứ Thanh Resort in Hoằng Hóa District.

The first ever tournament will see the participation of 50 athletes, including national tennis team players, from five cities and provinces.

They will compete in five categories of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Among the title candidates are Lã Xuân Hậu, Bùi Hoàng Anh, Nguyễn Thị Mai Linh and Nguyễn Thị Thanh Loan of Hà Nội, Sophia Huỳnh Trần Ngọc Nhi and Trương Vinh Hiển from HCM City and Nguyễn Việt Hoàng of the host city.

In addition to bonuses in cash for the top players, they will also receive points to improve their ranking by the Việt Nam Tennis Federation.

Beach tennis is a game combining elements of tennis and volleyball and played on a beach. 

The rapidly-growing sport is played in over 50 countries and by more than half a million people, with its greatest popularity occurring in Italy, Brazil and Spain. It offers a highly aerobic cardio workout with low impact on the knees and joints because it is played on sand.

The sport preserves most of the rules and scoring of traditional tennis, though modifications have been made to adapt to movement around the sand court and to the faster pace of the game. As the ball may not touch the ground, the game is played entirely with volleys, which makes for a quicker game than traditional tennis. VNS


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