Vietnam did better than expected after eight days of competition at the on-going 26 th SEA Games in Indonesia on Nov. 18, taking 71 gold medals and stretching their lead over third-place Thailand, on 67.

With another three golds nabbed on Nov. 18 in weightlifting, fencing and judo, the team exceeded its target of 70 gold medals set before leaving for the tournament.

Indonesia is leading with 119 golds.

“Our athletes have done their job very successfully. Fencing, swimming and especially gymnastics teams did much better than expected,” said Hoang Vinh Giang, general secretary of the Vietnam Olympics Committee.

“I really appreciate the gymnasts who won 11 out of their 14 events. I also admire high jumper Duong Thi Viet Anh who won despite injury,” Giang said.

The golds on Nov. 18 belonged to weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan, the women’s foil team and judo artist Ho Ngan Giang.

Toan, in the men’s 56kg category, passed all rivals with a total lift of 280kg, 2kg better than Indonesia’s defending champion Jadi Setiadi. It was the first time in history Vietnam took a gold in this weight category.

In previous Games in 2007 and 2009, Hoang Anh Tuan, who pocketed silver at the Olympics in Beijing, failed to conquer in the 56kg class.

Later, Nguyen Thi Nguyet, Nguyen Thi Bich, Nguyen Thi Tuoi and Ly Kieu Diem defeated Singapore 30-16 in the women’s foil-team final to take the milestone 70 th gold for Vietnam.

Judo-ka Giang then had no difficulty in beating Hein Latt Zaw of Myanmar in the men’s 60kg class.

Apart from three golds, the Vietnamese team also grabbed three silver and one bronze medals on Nov. 18./.