Sunday, May 11, 2014

Phuc gets SEA Games gold medal, Nwe disqualified

Source: VNS/VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnamese racewalker Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc has been awarded a gold medal of the 27th Southeast Asian Games, four months after the regional biennial meet ended. 

SEA Games, banned drugs, Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc
Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc of Viet Nam seen crying on podium after she failed to defend her SEA Games 20km walk title. Phuc was awarded her title after winner Saw Nar Lar Nwe was tested positive for banned drugs. – File Photo

The ASEAN Sports Federation has announced the results of SEA Games' doping cases, including of Saw Nar Lar Nwe of the SEA Games host Myanmar, who won the women's 20km walk last December.

Nwe tested positive for a banned drug and her result would be cancelled.

Phuc, the silver medallist, will now receive the gold medal.

Earlier, Phuc, the defending champion and the Asian silver medallist, had failed to defend her title as Nwe walked much of the distance as if she was running, especially the last few metres to the finish. None of the judges warned her, while Viet Nam's complaint was ignored.

Phuc's timing of 1:37.08 was a new SEA Games record but was not enough to help her win. Nwe won with a timing of 1:35.03.

The title will bring the Da Nang-based athlete a bonus of VND45 million, or US$2,100, from the Government as per the regulation. 

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SEA Games lineup unveiled

Source: Vietnam Plus/VietNamNet Bridge

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Federation Council has finalised the coming SEA Games' programme with 36 sports, six more than what were announced months earlier.

SEA Games, Singapore, ASEAN nations
Curtain call: The Singapore segment during the 27th SEA Games closing ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw last December. The state country will host the 28th Games next June. — Photo

Six additional sports were included in the games schedule for the 2015 event from the initial 30 after appeals from member countries of the SEA Games Federation during their meeting at the Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, last week.

The newly endorsed sports are rowing, equestrian, boxing, floorball, pentaque, and volleyball.

In all, 402 events will feature at next June's sports festival, the 28th edition of the biennial games.

Among them floorball, a hockey-like game popular in Singapore, will make its debut, while karate, weightlifting, and wrestling have been excluded, the organisers noted.

Floorball was a demonstration sport when Myanmar hosted the SEA Games last December.

It is an indoor game and combines elements of hockey and football. There are five field players and one goalkeeper on each team.

Netball will also be included for the first time since it debuted in Malaysia in 2001.

Out of the 36 sports, 34 are contested at the Asian Games, while 24 are of the Olympic pedigree. Only floorball and netball are not part of the two main categories.

Vietnam's results would be strongly affected following the final programme changed by the organisers, who have excluded many of the events in which they exceled, including chess, vovinam, karate, weightlifting, and wrestling, while wushu events were reduced from 23 to 20.

Singapore also confirmed that they did not have the capacity to hold sports, such as football, futsal, and sepak takraw for women.

"Eighty percent of the venues are ready. All we have to do is to showcase efficiency and organise things in a proper manner," Tan Eng Liang, the chairman of the SEA Games Federation executive committee, was quoted as saying on

Singapore, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, will use the soon-to-be-open 1 billion USD sports hub facility to welcome the June 5-16 sports festival that returns to the country after a long gap of 22 years.

The games are set to lure all the 10 members of the ASEAN nations as well as the non-ASEAN state, East Timor, which first participated in the games in 2003.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Vietnam targets top swimming prizes at 2014 Asian Games

Source: VietNamNet Bridge

The 2014 Asian Games (17th ASIAD) promises to be memorable for Vietnamese swimming as top Vietnamese swimmers Nguyen Thi Anh Vien and Hoang Quy Phuoc are prepared to compete for top honours.

Nguyen Thi Anh Vien

Although it is one of the two fundamental Olympic sports, swimming has never been a strength of Vietnam’s in Asian competitions, even at the Southeast Asian (SEA) level. However, the situation has improved remarkably in the last three or four years thanks to the emergence of a generation of outstanding young athletes like Anh Vien, Quy Phuoc, Tran Duy Khoi, Lam Quang Nhat and Nguyen Thi Kim Tuyen.

These Vietnamese swimmers have been gradually re-drawing the regional swimming map with their sparkling achievements in the last two SEA Games editions. After the two gold medals won by Quy Phuoc at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, Vietnam performed even at last year’s 27th SEA Games in Myanmar with five gold medals, three of which went to Anh Vien. 

In 2012, Anh Vien became the first Vietnamese swimmer to reach the Olympic standard after qualifying for the London Olympic Games. These historic accomplishments have contributed to improving the status of Vietnamese swimming in the region, putting it on par with Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

With these positive signals, Vietnamese swimmers are strongly expected to create stirs at the 17th ASIAD, which takes place in Incheon, Republic of Korea from September 19 to October 4. Previously, the nation’s best ASIAD result was achieved by Vo Thai Nguyen at the 2010 Guangzhou ASIAD as he finished eighth among eight competitors in the men’s 200m butterfly finals.

According to Dinh Viet Hung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Aquatic Sport Association, Anh Vien and Quy Phuoc are expected to make the top five in all their registered disciplines. They are also entrusted to make the podium in some of their stronger events. In addition, Duy Khoi and Quang Nhat are seen as likely finalists in their favourite disciplines, Hung said.

It is truly good news for Vietnamese swimming that the athletes has made such important improvements since the latest ASIAD four years ago. 

Hopes are pinned on Anh Vien to win the historic first medal for Vietnamese swimming at the upcoming 17th ASIAD in her favourite, the 200m backstroke. At the 27th SEA Games, the 17-year-old from Can Tho City broke the Games’ record in this discipline with a time of 2:14.80, 5.08 seconds slower than that of the bronze medal finisher at the 16th ASIAD. 

She also broke the record in the 400m individual medley, another of her favourite disciplines, with a time of 4:46.16. However, this time still falls over four seconds short of the time that won bronze at the 16th ASIAD.

Although he won the men’s 200m freestyle gold medal at the 27th SEA Games in a time of 1:50.64, top Vietnamese male swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc also failed to keep up with the time for the 16th ASIAD bronze, which was 1:47.73.

These statistics are evidence of the clear performance gap that exists between the SEA Games and the ASIAD. In order to bridge the gap and achieve the best preparation for the 17th ASIAD, Anh Vien has been training in the United States since early January. This is the third year running that Vien has taken part in such an extended US training course. 

Following a period of physical preparation, Anh Vien showed off her amazing talent by winning four gold and two silver medals at the recent 2014 Florida Swimming Spring Senior Championship in Orlando, Florida. She then continued to stun the US swimming scene by grabbing four more gold and two additional silver medals from her six registered events at the 2014 NASA Junior National Championship. These victories are really good news for the national swimming team, as Vien is seen as one of the stars going into the 17th ASIAD in Incheon this September.

Her male teammate, Hoang Quy Phuoc, also rallied to an extremely impressive warm-up at the 2014 National Short Course (25m) Swimming Championships that concluded in Thua Thien-Hue province on March 23, winning 15 gold medals (11 individual and four relays) and smashing national records in the men’s 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly. This month, the ‘Han River otter’ will return to China for an intensive training course in preparation for the ASIAD.

Other promising young talents, including Duy Khoi, Quang Nhat and Kim Tuyen, will also receive key investments this year, moving towards further targets like the 2016 Olympics Games and the 2019 ASIAD.

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Filipino sports officials decry changes in 2015 SEAG

Source: The Manila Times 

Philippine sports officials criticized the removal of karate, weightlifting and wrestling  in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by Singapore. Floorball, a hockey-like game popular in Singapore, will make its debut in next year’s edition of the biennial meet.

Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) President Joey Romasanta said that the national sport association of karate in Singapore is in a squabble with the Singapore SEA Games Organizing Committee hence there’s no way to reverse the situation.

“There’s no way we can appeal because the host country’s decision is now final,” Romasanta told The Manila Times. “It is regrettable and big disappointment that we tried our best to lobby our sport but the karate association in Singapore could not put their acts together.”

Romasanta added that the Philippine karate team is now just focusing on preparing for Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea later this year.

Arnold Balde, who recently vacated his post as president of Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) criticized Singapore for removing wrestling, one of mankind’s oldest sport from the SEA Games. WAP Secretary General Karl Sevilla is the organization’s interim head.

“Singapore removed wrestling because they can’t win gold. What they really wanted is only the gold. It’s already final and we can’t appeal,” said Balde.

The Philippine Weightlifting Association under the leadership of Roger Dullano is yet to make a statement on the exclusion of weightlifting from the SEA Games.

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Indonesia May Replace Vietnam As Host of the 2019 Asian Games

Source: Jakarta Globe

Indonesia could be in the running to host the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam earlier stepped down as host.

This comes in the wake of a three-day visit by a delegation from the Olympic Council of Asia, led by vice president Wei Jizhong, to Jakarta, Bandung, West Java, and Palembang, South Sumatra, to evaluate the cities’ potential to replace Vietnam.

“Jakarta meets all the Asian Games technical requirements, from sports facilities, exhibition centers and hotels,” Wei told reporters after meeting with ministry officials on Wednesday.

“I told the [youth and sports] minister that staging the Asian Games in Jakarta would require the full use of its sports venues and exhibition centers.

“This will open new avenues for future organizers of the Asian Games. They won’t need to spend large amounts of money on the construction of new sports facilities;  they can use existing facilities. The budget [needed to stage the Games] would not be large, it would be an investment.”

“I received official support from your sports minister and will pass it on to the OCA,” Wei added.

From his assessment, Jakarta may not be the only city to host the multi-sport event as the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) has offered venues located in three cities. Unfortunately, Palembang is out of the running as it does not have sufficient sports facilities, according to Wei.

“Palembang’s sports facilities are very good, but there are simply not enough. The city could act as a support to Jakarta. They [officials from Jakarta and Palembang] can coordinate and make the final decision.”

The 2011 Southeast Asian Games were successfully staged in both cities.

Rita expressed her excitement over Wei’s statement, saying that the outcome now depends on the government and its willingness to prepare the country for hosting the 2019 Asian Games.

“The government would need to deal with the legal issues involved [in hosting the Games]. We all need to get serious about this,” Rita said, adding that Surabaya — which lost its bid to stage the 2019 Games to Vietnam — was excluded from the list of potentials as it is currently preparing for the 2021 Asian Youth Games.

Vietnam announced its decisions to step down as host following an increasingly unfavorable economic situation and a lack of experience in organizing big events.

The OCA will make its final decision in September.

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Congratulations to our newly qualified athletes in Badminton at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing

Boy's Event

Ginting Anthony (Indonesia)

June Wei Cheam (Malaysia)

Soon Yang Bernard Ong (Singapore)

Cao Cuong Pham (Vietnam)

Girl's Event

Ruselli Hartawan (Indonesia)
Ying Ying Lee (Malaysia)
Xiaoyu Liang (Singapore)
Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand)    

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Indonesia to voice readiness to host 2019 Asian Games, says official

Source: PNA/Xinhua

JAKARTA, April 29 — A top sports official of Indonesia Tuesday confirmed that the country will officially express readiness to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019 during the visit of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on May 5.

"The team of OCA will visit Indonesia on May 5 and see if we are ready. We will express our readiness to host the games," Indonesian Youth and Sport Minister Roy Suryo said.

The Minister added that Indonesia has received the offer from the Asian sport governing body OCA after Vietnam gave up on hosting the regional games for economic reasons.

The OCA will select the 18th Asian Games host city in the 33rd OCA General Assembly on Septemper 20 in Incheon of South Korea, according to a release from OCA on April 18.

Vietnam is heavily influenced by financial crisis and global economic depression, and the country's economic situation remains difficult.

Earlier on June 7, 2011, Vietnam announced to run for hosting the games. On November 8, 2012, Vietnam's capital of Hanoi was chosen by OCA for holding the event with a total vote of 29, much higher than its only rival of Indonesia's Surabaya, the capital of East Java.

Suryo also suggested two other cities, Bandung of West Java and Palembang of South Sumatra, as the candidates instead of Surabaya. He said the two cities also boast great sports facilities and have staged big sports events in recent years.

The 18th Asian Games are scheduled to take place in November 2019 with the participation of some 12,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions, competing in 35 sports.