A drought of medal crept back for Vietnam at the 2018 Asian Games (Asiad) over the weekend as the national sports delegation in Indonesia saw most of their medal hopes dashed with disappointing performances.
Vietnam merely won a silver on Saturday, and three bronzes on Sunday, ending the first week of competition at the modest place of 24th out of 45 in the medal tally with one gold, seven silvers, and 12 bronzes.
Vietnamese karate fighter Nguyen Minh Phung made it to the final game of the men’s 84kg event on Saturday, the seventh day of competition, carrying a high hope of bringing home the gold medal.
However, he was eventually defeated 2-5 by Iranian Ganjzadeh Sajad, with his silver the only medal Team Vietnam won that day.
On Sunday, Vietnam had three athletes playing the semifinal games of their respective Pencak silat disciplines, but none was able to claim a victory.
Pham Tuan Anh, Nguyen Duy Tuyen, and Hoang Thi Loan all lost 0-5 in their matches in the men’s class E 65kg-70kg, men’s class I 85kg-90kg, and women’s class C 55kg-60kg events.
Besides the three bronzes earned by these Pencak silat fighters, Vietnam failed to secure any other medals on Sunday.
What’s worse is that sprinter Le Tu Chinh, one of the country’s biggest gold medal hopefuls, was apparently so wound up before her women’s 100m semifinal that she only finished 12 th out of 16.
Her clocking of 11.76 seconds was way poorer than the milestone of 11.56 seconds that helped her claim the gold medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2017.
Vietnam is scheduled to compete in athletics, boxing, karate, pencak silat, table tennis, and volleyball today, August 27.
All eyes are now on the six Vietnamese pencak silat team, with six martial artists to play their final games in the men’s class F 70kg-75kg, class E 65kg-70kg, class J 90kg-95kg, and class C 55kg-60kg events and the women’s class B 50kg-55kg and class D 60kg-65kg categories.
Especially, Vietnamese football lovers will not want to miss the men’s football quarterfinal clash between their beloved team and Syrian at 7:30 PM (Vietnam time).
The 2018 Asian Games takes place in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2 with the theme “Energy of Asia.”
Vietnam’s sports delegation to the Games consists of 532 members, including 352 athletes. It aims to snatch at least three gold medals, with at least one in an Olympic sport.