Vietnam SEA Games delegation at the closing ceremony. Vietnam record putstanding performance at the 30th event. Photo vnreview.vn

1. Success at Southeast Asian Games

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 30 wrapped up and Việt Nam had the best Games in its history, winning 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes to rank second in the medal tally.

Although Việt Nam only competed in 43 of the 56 events, athletes surpassed the goal of winning 65-70 gold medals and a third-place finished. It is the first time since 2009 that Việt Nam finished second.

Vietnamese players celebrate their goal in the final of the women's football match in the 30th SEA Games. — Photo thoibaotoday.info

2. Việt Nam win both football tournaments at SEA Games

The U22 men's team beat Indonesia to take SEA Games’ gold medal after years of waiting, while the women defended their title against Thailand.

3. Senior football team thrive in World Cup 2022 qualifiers and Asian Cup 2019

Việt Nam were unbeaten in their five World Cup qualifiers and top Group G. They scored an impressive upset 1-0 win against the United Arab Emirates in November.

4. Tennis aces clean up at SEA Games

Vietnamese tennis pocketed a men's singles gold at the 30th SEA Games after Lý Hoàng Nam defeated his teammate Daniel Cao Nguyễn in the final, the country's first ever triumph in the category.

Grandmaster Lê Quang Liêm.—Photo dantri.vn

5. Chess glory for Le Quang Liem

Lê Quang Liêm won the gold medal of the Asian Continental Chess Championship in China in June.

The Vietnamese grandmaster triumphed in the men's standard chess category, defeating Sethuraman Panayappan Sethuraman of India in the last round to win US$11,000.

It was the first time a Vietnamese chess master won the event.

Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng. Photo nguoitieudung.com.vn

 

6. Four Vietnamese athletes qualify for Tokyo Olympics in 2020

Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng earned the first ticket in the men's 800m freestyle with a time of 7min 52.74sec at the FINA World Championship in South Korea in July.

Gymnast Lê Thanh Tùng was Việt Nam's second athlete to qualify for the event after finishing fifth at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship's men's vault event in Germany in October. 

Archers Đỗ Thị Ánh Nguyệt and Nguyễn Hoàng Phi Vũ received the next two berths to Tokyo.

The Vietnamese secured their slots after winning at the Asian Archery Championships in Thailand in November.

Hà Nội FC players competing at the AFC Cup. — Photo 24h.com.vn

7. Hà Nội FC win V.League 1 and National Cup

As well as domestic success, the capital side went deep in the AFC Cup and became the first Southeast Asian club advanced to the Inter-zonal Final where they were eliminated by North Korean side April 25 Sports Club in September.

However, they will be absent from all AFC events next year as their U15 team did not compete in the national championship, and continental governing body rules dictate that participants must have youth teams competing from U13 to U21 each season.

8. Top footballers make moves abroad

Goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm and midfielder Lương Xuân Trường both moved to the Thai League when they signed contracts with Muangthong United and Buriram United, respectively. Trường has since returned to the V.League 1.

Striker Nguyễn Công Phượng and defender Đoàn Văn Hậu left the V.League to test their skills for Sint Truidense in Belgium and SC Heerenveen in the Netherlands. Phượng, however, played unsuccessfully and will return home to compete for the V.League's HCM City FC in 2020.

9. Futsal bronze in HCM City

Việt Nam won a bronze medal after crushing Myanmar 7-3 in the third-place match of the AFF HDBank Futsal Championship at Phú Thọ Stadium in HCM City in October.

The regional tournament was a qualifier for the Asian Championship. The top three teams advancen to the finals which will be held in Tourkmenistan on February 26 to March 8.

Weightlifter Vương Thị Huyền competes at the 30th SEA Games. She wins a gold medal in the women's 49kg class. — Photo thethaohcm.vn

10. Raising the bar

Female weightlifter Vương Thị Huyền had an outstanding performance this year with three Asian gold medals; two golds and one silver and World Cup, one bronze and World Weightlifting Championship and one SEA Games gold medal. VNS