By Huu Thanh – Translated by Anh Quan
By Huu Thanh – Translated by Anh Quan
Việt Nam has won gold in the marathon for the first time, thanks to the heroics of Hoàng Nguyên Thanh.
His title made up part of a golden hat trick on the last day of athletics.
The other winners for the hosts were Võ Xuân Vinh in the men’s 20km walk and Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phúc in the women’s 10km walk.
Their victories took Việt Nam’s athletics gold tally to 22, a record for the nation.
Marathoner Thanh was back in SEA Games after seven years, having taken a two-year break from marathoning.
But since his comeback in 2019, he set his sights on the domestic tournament and grabbed a place in the national team for the SEA Games.
The 2015 bronze medallist dreamed of a top place in his return but knew it would be a tough job.
However, on May 19, the Bình Phước Province-born athlete did it easier than expected.
He finished first with a time of 2hr 25.78min, neatly 30sec faster than the second-placed Agus Prayogo of Indonesia (2:25.38) who was the defending champion.
Tony Ah-Thit Payne of Thailand came third with 2:26.40.
“I am over the moon to be the first SEA Games marathon winner from Việt Nam,” Thanh said.
“It really moved me to think about the moment I sang the national anthem on the podium in front of so many local supporters and international friends. It is an honour and pride that nothing can compare with.”
Nguyên also recorded a personal best with the time of 2:25.78.
“Previously, I ran 2:26.56. at the national Tiền Phong Marathon in 2021. I believed that competing in such big competition like the SEA Games on home soil was a great push for me to run faster,” he said.
Thanh expects to set a national record in the future.
“The 2:21.51 record by Nguyễn Chí Đông in the SEA Games 22 will be my target. I will look at it to strive harder and harder. I hope to overcome it in near future.
“I am now dreaming of having a chance to compete in the Asian Games and I will practise hard for that target,” he said.
In the women’s marathon, Odekta Elvina Naibaho of Indonesia came first with a time of 2:25.08.
Naibaho, 30, ended Indonesia’s 11-year drought in the women’s marathon. Triyaningsih was the last to win gold for the nation at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.
Christine Hallasgo from the Philippines was second (2:56.07) and Vietnamese Hoàng Thị Ngọc Hoa took bronze in her SEA Games debut (2:57.35).
In the last two events, while Vĩnh claimed the first-ever gold for Việt Nam in the men’s walk, Phúc marked her return to the top podium after her failure last Games.
Vĩnh has been called the ‘king of second-place”, after his consecutive silvers in the last three Games, as well as more than second runners-up awards in the national championship.
On May 19 though, he tasted victory.
The Đà Nẵng City-based athlete (1:32.32) overcame the four-time champion Hendro Yap of Indonesia (1:35.21) and his teammate Nguyễn Thành Ngưng (1:37.43) to take his gold.
Phúc, on the other hand, was back to her favourite place after missing the last Games through injury.
Phúc finished with a time of 1:48.10 to take gold. Zin May Htet of Myanmar walked in 1:52.34 to finish second and Thai Kotchaphon Tangsrivong placed third with 1:56.07.
Việt Nam have won 22 golds, 14 silvers and seven bronzes and top the medal tally. Thailand are second with 12 golds while the Philippines and Malaysia are joint-third with five golds. — VNS
Low-income housing projects will be prioritised in major cities, particularly Hanoi and HCM City.
Real estate giant Vinhomes has announced plans to build 500,000 social housing apartments priced below VND1 billion across the country over the next five year. In August this year, the firm will start its first project.
Low-income housing projects will be prioritised in major cities, particularly Hanoi and HCM City
Housing and Urban Development Corporation has recently started work on a social housing project in the northern province of Hanoi to offer 564 apartments priced at just VND380 million (USD16,521) each.
Thanh Hoa provincial authorities have approved a low-income housing project in Thanh Hoa City which will provide up to 2,400 apartments.
Meanwhile, Ninh Binh Province has agreed on a project to build 2,153 apartments at Gian Khau Industrial Park and neighbouring areas.
Four low-income housing projects in the country were completed in the first quarter of this year according to the Ministry of Construction. During the period, only three projects of the same kind were licensed with a total number of 1,200 apartments in Lang Son, Phu Tho and Quang Ninh projects. In contrast, up to 39 commercial housing projects providing 18,700 apartments in total were licensed.
By the end of 2021, 266 low-income housing projects in Vietnam were finished with 142,000 apartments in total, slower than the target of the national housing development plan by 2020 and a vision until 2030.
Until now, only 116 of 214 housing projects have been completed, while the remaining 98 are behind schedule. As a consequence 575 industrial parks nationwide are facing a serious shortage of housing.
Vietnam will need VND220 trillion to build 294,600 low-income apartments during the 2021-2025 period.
A one-year-old boy in Thanh Hoa Province has received over VND800 million to treat biliary atresia after his story was shared on Dantri Newspaper.
One-year-old Huy Hoang from Hau Loc District is being treated at the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital in Hanoi.
The boy’s mother Lai Thi Thuy Linh said that right after being born, her son’s eyes and skin were yellow and he was diagnosed with biliary atresia. He now weighs only 7 kilos. His belly is swollen and is tight as a drum causing him difficulties to stand up and sit down.
“Doctors said that the boy needs an urgent liver transplant, which is the only hope for his survival,” she said. “They have considered testing part of us for the transplant. But surgery fees could run into hundreds of millions of VND, which we can’t afford.”
Hoang and his parents
Every day, Huy Hoang is tortured by severe pain, but the mother is totally powerless to save him due to their poverty. She has to stay at home to take care of her son, while her husband, who works on construction sites, earns a modest salary per month.
The mother recently dropped a letter off at Dantri/DtiNews calling for help. Their story was then shared in the newspaper.
In a latest visit to Hoang at his home, the mother happily shared that her son would have a chance for survival as he is receiving financial support from many donors for the liver transplant.
“Since the article was published in the newspaper, many people have called to express their sympathy or sent money to help us,” she said. “So far we have received VND 800 million (USD34,783) from kind donors who sent directly to us or to the Dantri/Dtinews’s charity fund. I want to send my sincere thanks to all kind donors for their great support to help save our son. We’re waiting for the tests from the hospital for our son’s liver transplant.”
Hanoi (VNA) – About 3,000 volunteers have been deployed for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) now underway in Hanoi and 11 northern cities and provinces. They are seen everywhere from hotels where athletes and coaches are staying to competition venues, helping make a successful regional meet.
Among them, most of who were recruited from major universities, about 1,900 are working in Hanoi while the remainders are sent to neighbouring localities, according to Nguyen Hai Duong, vice head of the organising sub-committee for reception and ceremony.
To be qualified, they must be proficient in English and in good health, and have high sense of responsibility, Duong said.
They are mainly responsible for providing assistance to foreign national teams and high-profile guests, directing spectators to seating at competition venues, hosting medal award ceremonies, and interpreting at press conferences, among others.
Nguyen Tat Thanh, a third-year student from Hanoi University, is among volunteers working tirelessly at Thanh Tri Gymnasium where basketball competitions are being held from May 13 – 22.
Expressing his pride and honour to be a SEA Games 31 volunteer, Thanh said it offers him an opportunity to interact with foreign friends and play a part in the meaningful event.
His job is to guide the Philippine basketball team around. He must make sure the players are picked up from their hotel to travel to training and competition venues on time.
“Tired, yet I’m very happy to help international athletes and coaches coming to my hometown,” he said.
Luong Trung Hieu, another volunteer at the same gymnasium, said he hopes to gain experience through getting to know international guests.
Working as an interpreter for Malaysia’s basketball team, Hieu also described his job as a cultural and tourism ambassador who brings foreign athletes and fans closer to Vietnam’s culture, friendly people, beautiful landscapes and great cuisine.
To prepare himself for the regional event, Hieu said he had saved some money to buy English books on basketball so as to enrich his vocabulary about the sport.
Any day the Malaysian basketballers compete, he has to get up at 5:00am to pick them up at the hotel and remains at the competition venue until late to support the team.
During his first few days, he was quite nervous of making mistakes that would possibly affect the event in a bad way. But thanks to encouragement from organisers and friends, he has constantly gained confidence and fulfilled his work quite well.
“It is truly an exciting and brand-new experience for me,” Hieu said.
Pham Minh Thu, a University of Finance student, has been volunteering at Bac Tu Liem Sports Centre where pencak silat competitions are hosted. The good-looking girl has been tasked to assist the medal award ceremonies. Like Hieu, she felt quite nervous at first.
“It was very solemn when national anthems are played and national flags raised,” she said, “so I told myself to stay calm and do the best I can, not to make any mistakes.”
Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa, Director of Thanh Tri Gymnasium, expressed her satisfaction about the student volunteers , saying young as they are, the volunteers’ English command is fairly good, adding they have fulfilled their tasks, contributing to the success of each competition.
SEA Games 31, themed “For a Stronger South East Asia”, are underway in Vietnam from May 12 – 23 in 12 cities and provinces. The regional biennial event welcomes almost 10,000 coaches, officials, and athletes who are competing in 40 sports./.