Vietnam brought only 382 athletes to the 28th Southeast Asian Games 2015 in Singapore but won 73 gold medals, 53 silvers and 60 bronzes to finish the region’s biggest sports festival in the top three for the seventh time.

Who and what contributed to this resounding success? Let’s look back at the country’s heroes and heroines over the past 11 days.

Athletics has been a main source of gold medals for Vietnam in recent games and this year the sport continued spearheading the country’s hunt for gold medals, bringing home 11 gold medals, the most among all the sports at the Games, and with three news records set.

The success must be contributed to the rising of young athletes, who proved that they have the capability to fill the gap left behind by the retirement of big names like Vu Thi Huong and Truong Thanh Hang.

The most noticeable face is Nguyen Thi Huyen as she marked her debut at the games with a great success, winning three gold medals and set two new records, in the women’s 400m hurdles and the women’s 4x400m team event.

Swimming emerged as one of the gold earners for the first time. Vietnamese swimmers won 10 gold medals, two silvers and four bronzes at a single SEA Games to finish second at the sport, only behind Singapore.

They also established nine new records at the Games, seven by superstar Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who alone contributed eight gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and the two remaining was set by Hoang Quy Phuoc and Lam Quang Nhat.

Meanwhile, gymnastics continued their domination at the games as it did in the past to win nine gold medals.

While veteran Phan Thi Ha Thanh maintained her form to win gold medals in her favourite events, new face Dinh Phuong Thanh had a successful SEA Games with four gold medals.

The country’s most fourth successful sport is fencing, which earned Vietnam eight gold medals.

Nguyen Tien Nhat and his teammates proved too strong for opponents to win eight out of 12 events to rank first in the sport, making it Vietnamese fencing’s most successful game so far.

Vietnamese rowers also demonstrated their strength with 13 medals, eight of which are gold. This is the most ever successful game for Vietnamese rowing.

Taekwondo and shooting produced decent results, wining five and four gold medals, respectively.

The 28th SEA Games ended with a grand ceremony on June 16 evening.-VNA