Vietnam tank crew loses on technicality at International Army Games

By Staff reporters   August 24, 2020 | 09:07 pm PT
Vietnam tank crew loses on technicality at International Army Games
Three members of Vietnam's tank crew celebrate when they cross the finish line at the opening match of the International Army Games 2020 on August 24, as seen in a still image from a video of Телеканал Звезда Channel of Russia's Ministry of Defense.
Vietnam crossed the finish line first in the Tank Biathlon competition in Russia on Monday but was placed second due to “technical mistakes.”

The event is part of the 2020 International Army Games that began outside Moscow on Sunday with 16 tank crews divided into two divisions based on their results last year.

One of them grouped Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Serbia and Uzbekistan. The other had Congo, Laos, Myanmar, Qatar, South Ossetia, Tajikistan and Vietnam.

In the opening round, Vietnam took on Myanmar, South Ossetia and Qatar.

Each had a three-member crew.

Vietnam had Tran Viet Hai as leader, Le Quang Hiep as gunner and Hoang Manh Tuan as driver.

Initially it took Hiep a while to get his bearings but soon began to shoot accurately, repeatedly hitting all three simulated targets at a distance of 1,600-1,800 meters.

South Ossetia and Myanmar also performed well, hitting all targets.

In the second round Vietnam took the lead before Hai used a 12.7 mm machine gun to take down a helicopter. Myanmar too managed to hit, South Ossetia missed the target while Qatar was stuck and unable to move due to some problem.

In the first round, Hiep failed to shoot down anti-tank soldiers with his first volley. He quickly adjusted his aim and destroyed the target with his second, helping Vietnam go past South Ossetia and cross the finish line first.

Vietnam completed the event in 28 minutes and 20 seconds followed by South Ossetia in 34 minutes and 17 seconds. Myanmar was third while Qatar gave up halfway.

But the Russian referees, after a discussion, decided to penalize Vietnam for several technical errors.

The amended times were 32 minutes and 20 seconds for Vietnam and 31 minutes and 49 seconds for South Ossetia.

This year’s Army Games attracted over 6,000 military personnel from 39 countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and Latin America.

They are being held in 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Vietnam sent a team of 125 officers and men, the second time it is participating.

It has eight teams: a tank crew, medical staff, food service specialists, emergency rescue personnel, literary/art and dancing contestants, snipers, combat engineers, and a chemical reconnaissance vehicle crew.

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