HA NOI (VNS) — Ly Hoang Nam made history by becoming the first Vietnamese tennis player to win a gold medal at a continental tournament.
The 16-year-old yesterday triumphed at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China.
He came from behind to defeat No 2 seed Mendoza Zosimo of the Phillipines 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5 in the boys’ final match, adding a fourth gold medal to Viet Nam’s collection.
Nam was considered to be a lower-level player than Zosimo but it was his day yesterday, with the youngster reaching his peak just as the Filipino began flagging.
But the talk of the Games from a Vietnamese perspective will surely be Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who secured her third gold medal yesterday to end her tournament on a resolute high after finishing first in the girls’ 50m backstroke event, clocking 29.26sec.
Im Dasol of South Korea was second (29.47) and Yu Yi-chen of Chinese Taipei third (29.85).
Her previous medals were two golds in the 200m backstroke and 200m IM and a silver in the 100m backstroke.
After seven days of competition, Viet Nam earned five gold, four silver and two bronze medals and ranked seventh overall.
China proved their sporting dominance with the top position, bagging 45 golds, 23 silvers and 23 bronzes.
South Korea were the second-ranked team with 24 golds, 13 silvers and 14 bronzes.
Thailand failed to stay in third place as they let Japan overtake on the last day to steal their position with seven golds, five silvers and six bronzes.
Closing in style
Artistic and technical fusion of traditional and modern cultures of Asia will combine to release a vigorous Celebration of Youth at the closing ceremony today at the 18,000-seat Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.
The hour-long farewell event will be a festive carnival-like atmosphere and feature 1,600 performers from local schools.
The ceremony will be a “happy party” like no other for the more than 3,500 athletes and officials from 45 countries and territories of the Olympic Council of Asia who have participated in 17 sports.
The ceremony will display numerous multi-cultural elements, including traditional Chinese culture combined with international popular music.
The show will have four presentation themes: rhythm, hip, dynamism and harmony.
According to director Zhang Xiaosu, the ceremony will be unique.
“No element of the show has ever been seen before; it will shine,” he said, adding that athletes will be actively involved in the party and encouraged to dance in the opening moments.
One traditional ceremony element will take place when a Sri Lanka delegation of officials and performers deliver a vibrant invitation to the youthful athletes to join them in the southern coastal city Hambantota in 2017 for the third edition of the Games. There will also be the traditional transfer of the Asian Youth Games flag from the Chinese organisers to the Sri Lankan committee. — nanjing2013.org/VNS
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