Year in review: Top 10 sporting events
Undoubtedly 2020 has been a unique year in sport due to the majority of events being greatly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite this, there has still been many memorable events, and there are the top 10 events of the year selected by VOV.
Despite facing delays and postponements due to COVID-19, professional sporting tournaments in Vietnam have been held successfully. Indeed, local stadiums were filled with football fans nationwide, becoming a bright spot in the world of football and grabbing global headlines amid ongoing COVID-19 fears. Most notably, Viettel FC defeated Hanoi FC to lift the V.League 1 trophy for the first time.
Vietnam has announced that 40 sports will be competed at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games scheduled to take place between Nov. 21 and Dec. 2, 2021, in Hanoi and 10 other localities in the north. With many sports to be named in the Olympic Games and Asian Games, the host aspires to create a playing field on an equal footing for all competitors.
Vietnam has waited more than three decades to see a Vietnamese fighter qualify for the Olympics after Nguyen Van Dung secured a place at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics through the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in March. The boxer becomes the fifth Vietnamese athlete to make it to the upcoming Olympics in Japan, alongside swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang, gymnast Le Thanh Tung, and archers Do Thi Anh Nguyet and Nguyen Hoang Phi Vu.
The debut Vietnamese Formula One (F1) grand prix has been officially cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally scheduled to take place from Apr. 3 to Apr. 5, but it was later postponed. Indeed, a total of 13 F1 races globally have been cancelled throughout the year due to the pandemic, although 17 were successfully held without any spectators.
The National Futsal HDBank Championship and Futsal HDBank National Cup have been held successfully, drawing numerous supporters to cheer on Thai Son Nam futsal club on their way to winning both championship titles. As the event’s organisers, VOV, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), and HDBank, raised a sum of VND100 million (equal to US$4,347) to assist flood victims in Vietnam’s central region.
A series of major global sporting events have also been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the finals of EURO 2020 being postponed until summer 2021. Meanwhile, the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and Serie A have all been held behind closed doors. Similarly in Asia, the Asian qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup has been moved to Mar. 2021, while the 2020 AFC Cup has been cancelled. Participating teams in the AFC Champions League have competed in a centralised place instead of playing fixtures home and away as usual.
Fears relating to COVID-19 has forced the delay of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This marks the first games to be postponed during the competition’s 124-year history. It was originally scheduled to run from Jul. 24 to Aug. 9, drawing 11,000 athletes from 206 countries worldwide. The organisers have since announced a new schedule, with the event running between Jul. 23 and Aug. 8, 2021.
Football legend Diego Maradona had died of a heart attack aged 60 on Nov. 25. The legendary former Argentine international made a huge impact throughout his career, including winning the FIFA U20 World Cup in 1979, the World Cup in 1986, and twice winning Serie A with Napoli. Upon his death, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez issued a decree for three days of national mourning.
Serbian player Novak Djokovic has concluded the year by topping the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. He has surpassed tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to secure top spot, whilst also maintaining a record of holding onto the leading position six times to match legend Pete Sampras.
In the 2020 F1 season, British driver Lewis Hamilton has won his seventh world title, equaling Michael Schumacher's record.
A 1-0 victory over Quang Ninh Coal on Tuesday helped Viettel FC gain an advantage in the V.League championship race.
Vietnam’s sport sector will strive to have more athletes eligible to compete at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in Japan, heard a conference of the Vietnam Sports Administration in Hanoi this week.