Vietnam jumps to second at SEA Games

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Vietnamese athletes earned 12 gold medals at the SEA Games on Wednesday, raising the total to 56 golds and jumping to second place behind hosts Indonesia.

The 12 gold medals on Wednesday came in swimming, billiards, vovinam, free style wrestling, shooting, chess and rowing.

Billiards player Ma Minh Cam closed the day with a gold medal and his compatriot Nguyen Thanh Long won the bronze medal in the men's one cushion carom event.

Also, Huynh Thi Ngoc Huyen booked a semifinal berth in the women's nine-ball pool event after beating Singaporean Chai Zeet Huey 7-4 in the quarters. Huyen is thus sure to get at least the bronze medal. This is the first time a female Vietnamese billiards player has gone so far at the regional event.

The first two golds of the day for the Vietnamese sports delegation were won by Grand Master Le Quang Liem in the blindfold chess contest and by the duo Dao Thien Hai-Nguyen Thanh An in the mixed doubles event.

Tran Thi Sam and Pham Thi Thao won the gold medal in the women's heavyweight doubles rowing event before Sam and Thao and teammates Pham Thi Hai and Pham Thi Hue took the gold in the women's team 2,000-meter rowing contest.

In the shooting event after that, shooter Ngo Huu Vuong bagged the gold medal in the men's moving target rifle contest with 556 points and his teammate Hoang Xuan Vinh grabbed the gold medal in the men's revolver competition after scoring 585 points.

Shooter Nguyen Duy Hoang snatched the gold medal with 1,240.76 points in the men's three-position rifle event.

In freestyle wrestling, Nguyen Huy Ha earned the gold medal in the men's 55kg category before his compatriot Nguyen The Anh took the gold medal in the men's 60kg event.

The Martial arts duo Lam Dong Vuong and Tran The Thuong won the gold medal in the men's doubles scimitar performance contest.

Male badminton ace Nguyen Tien Minh booked a men's singles quarterfinal berth after cruising past Filipino competitor Peter Gabriel Magnaye in straight sets (21-11, 21-6) after 20 minutes.

Minh's compatriot Vu Thi Trang also eased into the women's singles quarterfinals after beating Zar Lin of Myanmar 21-1, 21-11.

One of the most splendid performances by Vietnamese athletes at the Games on Wednesday was by swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc who won the gold medal in the men's 100-meter freestyle after clocking 50.79 seconds.

That achievement was enough for the 18-year-old Phuoc to reach the B Standard to qualify for the Olympic Games in London next year. Phuoc also won the gold medal in the men's 100m butterfly event, clocking 53.07 seconds on Sunday.

Female swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien took the silver medal in the women's 100m backstroke at one minute 3.68 seconds, behind Singaporean champion Tao Li, who clocked one minute 02.11 seconds.

The 14-year-old Vien also won the silver medal in the women's medley event for the Vietnamese contingent on Sunday after clocking four minutes 54.65 seconds.

After five days at the regional Games, the Vietnamese athletes have won a total 56 golds, 55 silvers and 59 bronze medals, behind only Indonesia who have a total 87 golds, 65 silvers and 70 bronze medals.

Thailand is in third position with 52 golds, 41 silvers and 59 bronze medals while Singapore is fourth with 29 gold, 32 silver and 46 bronze medals.

Malaysia is fifth with 28 gold, 25 silver and 44 bronze medals; the Filipines are in the sixth spot with 15 gold, 28 silver and 34 bronze medals; and Laos is seventh with five gold, three silver and 19 bronze medals.

Cambodia is eighth with three gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals, ahead of the ninth-placed Myanmar with one gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze medals.

The 10th-placed Brunei has earned one silver and six bronze medals while bottom side Timor Leste has won only one bronze medal at the November 11-22 SEA Games.

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