Six SEA Games stars to be recommended for Labor Award

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Six athletes will be nominated for the Labor Award, third class, for their outstanding performances at the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia last month, a sports official has said.

Lam Quang Thanh, deputy director of the General Department of Physical Training and Sports, said they were swimmers Hoang Quy Phuoc and Chau Ba Anh Thu, gymnast Phan Thi Ha Thanh, high jumper Duong Thi Viet Anh, weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan, and boxer Luong Van Toan.

Phuoc, 18, won the men's 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, in the process qualifying for the next year's London Olympics.

Thanh, 20, grabbed three golds at the SEA Games following her bronze medal in the vault at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan, in October. She has also clinched an Olympic spot.

The 21-year-old Anh won the women's high jump, and Toan the men's 56kg category weightlifting event.

Tu won the men's 5km and 10km swimming events while boxer Toan took gold in the men's 81kg category, Vietnam's first ever in boxing.

Thanh, who was chief of the Vietnamese sports delegation to the games, said: "Vietnam won 96 golds, 92 silvers, and 100 bronzes. Several athletes in events like track and field, martial arts, shooting, and swimming did very well, but many things were still not very satisfying for us.

"We need to make plans for breakthroughs in the future. For example, swimming needs far more improvement so that we can go beyond the Southeast Asian region."

There had been setbacks in sports like volleyball, tennis, table-tennis, cycling, petanque, bowling, and sepak takraw, he said.

"There must be an improvement in training strategies and in choosing coaches and trainers. The General Department of Physical Training and Sports wants to analyze all the failures.

Asked about football, Thanh said the Vietnamese team "did not prepare too well for the games, so their results were very bad.

"Relevant agencies will look closely at the failure in football. However, the General Department of Physical Training and Sports will wait for opinions from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism."

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