Making news

Swimmers named best athletes of 2019

Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien won Best Female Athlete of the Year while swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang was named Best Male Athlete of the Year at the fifth Victory Cup in Hanoi on January 15.

It was Vien’s third victory. The 23-year-old shone at the recent SEA Games with six gold medals, and she was honoured as one of the two best athletes at the regional sporting event.

Meanwhile, Hoang, 19, finished the year on a high. He took two SEA Games golds and two records. He also qualified for the Olympics in the men’s 800m and 1,500m events.

Young Athlete of the Year went to swimmer Tran Hung Nguyen, 16. Nguyen, who has competed professionally for two years, took two titles and set one record in the Manila Games.

The success of the athletes means coaches are often overlooked, but not yesterday.

Coach Tran Van Sy took the limelight for winning five golds among the 16 Vietnam won at the SEA Games. His athletes also won five silvers and one bronze.

Football coach Park Hang-seo overcame two other candidates to win Best Foreign Coach of the Year. It was his second time in a row winning the prestigious award.

Park is currently in Thailand with the U23 team competing at the Asian Championships.  In 2019, he guided Vietnam to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, top place in the ongoing 2022 World Cup qualification’s Group G, and a first SEA Games gold medal.

The South Korean promised to do his best for the development of football in Vietnam.

At the ceremony, organisers also honoured javelin thrower Cao Ngoc Hung as the Best Disabled Athlete of the Year.

Hung finished fourth at the World Para Athletics Championships in the UAE in November. The result was enough to earn him a slot at the Tokyo Paralympics this year.
He also took a gold in javelin, a silver in discus and a bronze in the shot put at the Para Grand Prix in China in May.

Other awards included Favourite Athlete, Best Sporting Image, Team of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

“Vietnamese athletes made remarkable achievements in 2019 including international medals, four Tokyo Olympics slots and a brilliant performance at the 30th SEA Games,” said Tran Duc Phan, deputy head of the Vietam Sports Administration.

The Victory Cup is a worthy prize to recognise their contributions. It will be motivation for them to reach further and they deserve to receive this honour, he said.