Viet Nam wins second gold at Hangzhou Asian Games
VGP — Viet Nam's sepak takraw team ended their 17-year title drought at the 19th Asian Games on October 4 in Hangzhou, China.
Viet Nam bounced back to beat Indonesia 2-1 in the final of the women's quadrant (team of four) event at the Jinhua Sports Centre Gymnasium.
Indonesia went ahead to take lead after their stronger attack in the first game, winning 21-18.
But Viet Nam proved why they won the world championship titles two years in a row in 2022 and 2023.
Under the leadership of captain Nguyen Thi My, the team launched powerful attacks along with tight defence.
Tran Thi Ngoc Yen made up her outstanding performance to score most points for Viet Nam in the second and third games that Viet Nam won 21-18 and 21-14.
It was Indonesia's second loss to Viet Nam in this tournament. In the group round they suffered a 2-0 defeat.
It was the third time that Viet Nam beat the arch-rival within three months. In July, Viet Nam beat Indonesia 2-0 to defend the world championship title in Thailand.
Speaking to reporters after the win, coach Tran Thi Vui shared: "Indonesia is not weaker than Viet Nam at all. They are a team of experienced players who have played in several Asian Games.
"Meanwhile most of Vietnamese players are young. They were born from 1999 to 2004. The youngest one practices only three years in the national team.
"Indonesia started the game better than us. They quickly caught up with the pace of the match and scored well. Viet Nam, on the other hand, could not bring into play out strong points, leading to a first game loss.
"The coaching board had to make use of the break time and time-out to push them up, asking them to be focused and attack stronger," she said.
Vui added she was pleased with the team's performance and spirit. They strictly followed the team's plan and tactics and won the title.
Player Nguyen Thi Yen said a win was great but she did not satisfy with her play because of many mistakes. She would have to work harder to be better for the upcoming tournaments.
Meanwhile her teammate Nguyen Thi Ngoc Huyen said: "I am proud winning gold in the Asian Games. My big thank is given to coaches for selecting me for the national team and giving me opportunity to play".
It was a successful year for the team with the gold hat-trick. In addition to the world and the Asian Games titles, they also topped the podium at the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia.
The sepak takraw (rattan ball kicking) gold was the second of Viet Nam in Hangzhou, following the first one in shooting event last week.
In volleyball news, Viet Nam's women's squad made history earning a berth in the semi-final round of the Games after beating North Korea 3-1 on October 4.
Viet Nam was in good mood after beating strong South Korea in the previous match. They continued their peak form to win the first set 25-17 over North Korea after 25 minutes.
The second set also quickly belonged to Viet Nam at 25-20 as outside hitter Tran Thi Thanh Thuy and middle-blocker Tran Thi Bich Thuy tore North Korean defence into pieces.
After the break, North Korea came back strongly and created many difficulties for Viet Nam before winning 25-20 in the third set.
They continued making big problems for Viet Nam in the early time of the fourth set. However, captain Thuy and her teammates ended their hope, taking a 25-22 win and wrapping up the match for Viet Nam.
With two wins, the Southeast Asian representative advanced to the last-four round for the first time in history, making up their most successful Asian Games.
They will next play China in the last group round match. The winner will be the leader of Group E./.