SGGP picks top 10 sports events of the year

Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper has selected the top ten sports events of the year 2011.

1. Vietnam third at SEA Games

Vietnam came third at the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia in November. Vietnamese athletes achieved 96 gold, 92 silver and 99 bronze medals while expecting 70 gold medals. They also made history with two golds in swimming, 11 golds in gymnastics, and still remained strong in martial arts, track-and-field, shooting, fencing and wrestling.

2. Vietnam Professional Football Co. set up

At the meeting reviewing the football season, Hanoi ACB Football Club boss Nguyen Duc Kien strongly criticized the Vietnam Football Federation’s poor management and poor performance of Vietnamese referees. After that, other football club bosses joined him to push VFF to agree with the establishment of a professional company to run the country’s football tournaments. This resulted in the making of the Vietnam Professional Football Company, which currently runs the Super League, first division, National Cup. It is said that the company represents football clubs rather than the country’s football governing body.

3. Swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc earns two golds

Hoang Quy Phuoc

The Danang City swimmer clinched two golds at the 26th SEA Games in the men’s 100m freestyle and men’s 100m butterfly. He has also got a ticket to the 2012 Olympics. He was selected one of the best five athletes of the SEA Games.

Phan Thi Ha Thanh

4. Phan Thi Ha Thanh wins world bronze medal, Olympics berth

Vietnam’s gymnast Phan Thi Ha Thanh won a bronze at the World Championships in Japan in October, thus achieving a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics. In November at the SEA Games, She clinched up to three gold medals. The Vietnamese gymnastics team took 11 golds in all at the SEA Games.

5. Football: Two foreign coaches stop contracts

Vietnam head coach Henrique Calisto suddenly resigned in March. It took the Vietnam Football Federation three months to find a replacement. In June, German coach Falko Goetz was named the new head coach. Then Vietnam’s U23 team came fourth at the SEA Games in November, and VFF agreed to end Goetz’s contract in December. VFF is of the view that a Vietnamese coach would take up the post.

6. Grand Master Le Quang Liem in the top 30

Liem entered the list of top 30 chess players in the world in 2011. The International Grand Master successfully defended his second position at the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Germany in August. He was also the champion of the SPICE Cup in the US in November. At the 26th SEA Games, Liem took two golds for Vietnam.

7. Public press on football federation

The Vietnam Football Federation has faced pressure from club bosses in managing the leagues. Then, the U23 team came fourth at the SEA Games and more pressure came from the public. VFF general secretary Tran Quoc Tuan resigned at the end of December, and VFF agreed to end the contract with head coach Falko Goetz.

8. Thanh Hang succeeds, Vu Thi Huong loses crown

Truong Thanh Hang won an Asian gold medal for the women’s 800m in July and two golds in 800m and 1,500m categories at the SEA Games. But the Games was a “nightmare” for Vietnamese “Queen of Speed” Vu Thi Huong. She failed to defend two championships in the women’s 100m and 200m events, only took a bronze in the 200m event.

9. U23 football team lose at SEA Games

The U23 football team were expected to take the trophy and gold medal but came fourth at the SEA Games. They also lost their image by performing badly during the Games. There was also rumor that something unusual happened in a group stage match between Vietnam and Laos.

10. Football: too much violence and referee problems

The year 2011 could be viewed as a bad year in football. Too much violence during the games was seen, and referees’ poor performance still existed. The number of spectators coming to stadiums was the lowest over the past five years. Dong Tan Long An Club were relegated to the first division. They used to be a powerhouse.

An image of violence in the football field

Translated by Tuong Thuy

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