SEA Games: Vietnam's 'Little Mermaid' splashes to seven golds

By AFP   August 26, 2017 | 08:30 am GMT+7
SEA Games: Vietnam's 'Little Mermaid' splashes to seven golds
Nguyen Thi Anh Vien competes during the women's 400M individual medley final of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 25, 2017. Photo by AFP/Adek Berry

The shy 20-year-old won the women's 200m individual medley by nearly five seconds, and then added the 50m backstroke.

Vietnam's "Little Mermaid" Nguyen Thi Anh Vien clinched a swimming double to reach seven golds at the Southeast Asian Games on Friday, helping her country stay on Malaysia's tail on the overall medals table.

The shy 20-year-old won the women's 200m individual medley by nearly five seconds, and then added the 50m backstroke.

Anh Vien, a captain in the Vietnamese army, has cut a swathe through the women's events for the second straight Games after she also won eight titles in 2015.

She shared the limelight with her 15-year-old compatriot Nguyen Huu Kim Son, who won a thrilling men's 400m individual medley in a Games-record time of 4min 22.12sec.

The three swimming golds added to four on the track as Vietnam kept pace with Malaysia on the medals table, although the hosts remained 18 ahead with 63 late on Friday.

Le Tu Chinh provided shades of Usain Bolt as she clinched the women's sprint treble, running a powerful anchor leg as Vietnam won the women's 4x100m relay in a Games record of 43.88.

Vietnam's Bui Thi Thu Thao leapt 6.66m to win the women's long jump, and Nguyen Thi Oanh timed 17:23.20 to take gold in the women's 5,000m.

Duong Thi Viet Anh shared high jump gold with Singapore's Michelle Sng, after they both cleared 1.83m. Sng lost a jump-off with Viet Anh, but she was awarded joint gold on appeal.

Elsewhere, Malaysia picked up two gold medals in ten-pin bowling, another two in lawn bowls and one in pencak silat, a martial art, to inch towards their target of 111 golds.

And English-born Singaporean Peter Gilchrist, a four-time billiards world champion, won his fifth straight SEA Games singles title, beating Myanmar's Chi Ko Ko 3-0.