Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - The following are Vietnam's top 10 sports events in 2016.

1. Marksman Hoang Xuan Vinh won a gold and a silver medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August.

The armyman made the nation’s dream come true with his perfect performance in the men’s 10m air pistol event with 202.5 points in 20 shots. Three days later, Vinh missed his second title after coming second in the 50m pistol event.

The 42-year-old became the first Olympic gold medallist in Vietnam’s history.

2. A month after the milestone of the national sport, also in Rio, weightlifter Le Van Cong set a new record of 183kg in the men’s U49kg category of the Paralympics.

After five seasons in Paralympics, Vietnam’s athletes finally notched up the highest achievement.

Apart from Cong, other Vietnamese athletes also took home one silver and two bronze medals in swimming, weightlifting and athletics.

3. The Vietnamese national futsal squad made history with their first ever ticket to the FIFA World Cup 2016 in Colombia in September.

Earlier in the Asian championship, Vietnam overcame title favourite and defending champions Japan in the semi-final. As a result, they qualified for the World Cup.

The team made a bigger bang as they entered the World Cup’s quarter-final round and grabbed the fair-play award.

4. Vietnam’s U19 team qualified to the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017.

Coach Hoang Anh Tuan and his team had an unbelievable journey at the Asian U19 Football Championship in Bahrain in October.

Despite being considered the underdogs of Group B, Vietnam beat stronger DPRK 2-1, tied the UAE 1-1 and drew Iraq 0-0 to advance to the quarter-finals.

In the last 16, Vietnam defeated the host 1-0 and became one of four best teams of the tournament to represent Asia at the World Cup in the Republic of Korea.

5. Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien grabbed a gold and set a record of 4min 37.71sec at the Asian Swimming Championships’ women’s 400m individual medley event in Japan in November.

It was the first title for Vietnam in the continental competition after many years of waiting.


6. Master Nguyen Thi Mai Hung won a gold medal at the Asian Individual Blitz Women’s Chess Championship in Uzbekistan in June. Her teammate Le Quang Liem won two silvers. Both of them qualified for the Chess World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, from September 1 to 25, 2017.

7. The fifth Asian Beach Games was held in Da Nang in September.

Hosts Vietnam led the chart with 52 gold medals, 44 silver medals and 43 bronze medals. It was the first time Vietnamese sports was on top at a continent-level Games. Thailand came second, and China third.

8. Vietnamese players ‘exported’ abroad.

Vietnam used to have some players competing abroad but it was 2016 which saw a number of talents who signed contracts with international clubs. They all trained at the Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Academy.

Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong moved to Japanese Mito Hollyhock in one year. Midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh joined Yokohama FC, also in Japan. Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong was on loan to the Republic of Korea’s Incheon United before moving to Gangwon FC.

9. Vietnam has its first professional basketball league.

The Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) League presented five teams in its debut season, presenting a new image and promoting understanding of the sport to national fans.

The tournament kicked off in August with about 50 matches in four months. Danang Dragon exhibited a magical performance, passing title candidate Saigon Heat and powerful rivals HCM City Wing and Hanoi Buffaloes to be champion in the first year.

10. The national men’s football team quest for the AFF Cup 2016 title falls short in December.

Vietnam lost 3-4 to Indonesia in the semi-finals against Indonesia that made the most of Vietnam’s defensive frailties. Vietnam under coach Nguyen Huu Thang put on a brave display and pushed the game into extra time despite playing with 10 men in the concluding stages of the home leg.-VNA