SOMETHING special was going to be required to upstage the dominant Singaporeans in the pool at the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games – and that something special is the performances of Nguyen Thi Anh Vien.
The 21-year-old Vietnamese swim star, nicknamed The Little Mermaid, added two more gold medals to her haul on the penultimate day of competition.
She has dominated her events at the National Aquatic Center in Bukit Jalil, winning seven gold medals and three silvers, and breaking two Games records and a further three Vietnamese national records.
Nguyen, who won eight gold medals, a bronze and a silver in Singapore two years ago, has maintained her dominance of Southeast Asian women’s swimming with some remarkable performances.
The seemingly tireless all-rounder from Can Tho won the 50m backstroke and 400m individual medley to take her overall tally of SEA Games golds to 18.
Her compatriot Nguyen Huu Kim Son was the only swimmer to break a Games record on the penultimate day of competition, winning the men’s 400m individual medley in a time of 4:22.12.
That knocked more than a second off the previous record set by Thailand’s Ratapong Sirisanont in Hanoi 14 years ago.
Singapore added two more golds to take their tally at the meet to 16, with Tzen Wei Teong winning the men’s 50m freestyle and the women’s 4x100m medley relay team also snaring gold.
In the overall medal standings, hosts Malaysia continue to lead the way, adding five more golds to move to 68 – 43 shy of their target for the Games.
Vietnam (43 golds) are doing their best to put some daylight between themselves and third-place Singapore (39), while Thailand are on 35 after a strong day and Indonesia are on 22.
- Malaysia (68 gold, 46 silver, 45 bronze)
- Vietnam (43 gold, 29 silver, 34 bronze)
- Singapore (39 gold, 33 silver, 39 bronze)
- Thailand (35 gold, 50 silver, 55 bronze)
- Indonesia (22 gold, 35 silver, 45 bronze)
- Philippines (15 gold, 21 silver, 36 bronze)
- Myanmar (6 gold, 8 silver, 12 bronze)
- Cambodia (1 gold, 0 silver, 6 bronze)
- Brunei (0 gold, 2 silver, 7 bronze)
- Laos (0 gold, 1 silver, 7 bronze)
- Timor-Leste (no medals)