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Archive for August 20th, 2008|Daily archive page

More relief for flood victims

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Spanish Red Cross has provided 12,000 EUR in relief to flood victims in northern mountainous provinces which were hardest hit by after-effects of storm Kammuri.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies also plans to call on its members to raise funds for people in Vietnam’s flood-hit localities.

Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hu Qianwen last week announced a 50,000 USD donation raised from the Chinese embassy staffs to help the flood victims. The money was handed over to the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) on August 20.

VRC President Tran Ngoc Tang said the donation will be given to the needed, helping them overcome the calamity’s consequences and stabilise their lives.

The VRC provided nearly 1 billion VND (600,000 USD) as urgent aid to people in three hardest hit provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Phu Tho.-

Fund aims to conserve biodiversity hotspot

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm

HA NOI — A major new US$9.5 million, five-year investment in Indochina will be launched on Friday, aiming to conserve biodiversity by engaging with and building up the capacity of non-governmental organisations.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) will be formally launched for the Indo-Myanmar Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the most threatened of Earth’s 34 biodiversity hotspots.

A call for Letters of Inquiry will be issued during a visit by the CEPF staff to BirdLife International in Indochina’s office in Ha Noi.

The CEPF investment covers the Indochinese region of this hotspot, which includes Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and parts of southern China. This important new initiative is a collaboration between BirdLife International and the CEPF.

The CEPF is a joint initiative of Conservation International, L’ Agence Francaise de Development, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure the engagement and commitment of society in biodiversity conservation.

The CEPF will provide grants enabling non-governmental organisations, community groups, and other private sector entities to help conserve the hotspot. BirdLife International in Indochina will act as the Regional Implementation Team for the CEPF.

In Indochina, the combination of economic development and an increasing human population is creating unprecedented pressures on the region’s natural resources.

Over-exploitation has reached critical levels in many areas, compounded by a lack of effective planning and management in controlling these pressures.

Conservation activities supported by the CEPF will target funding gaps, especially for efforts to safeguard globally threatened species; develop innovative and locally-led approaches to site-based conservation; and reconcile biodiversity conservation and development objectives.

Conservation will focus on two large regions – the Northern Highlands Limestone corridor, and the Mekong river and major tributaries – and 28 key biodiversity areas within them. Sixty-seven animal species and 248 globally threatened plant species will also be priorities for the investment.

The Northern Highlands Limestone corridor bordering China and Viet Nam is particularly important for the conservation of primates. —

Unlucky draw puts VN athletes against tough foes

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

HA NOI — Vietnamese taekwondo athletes, who are expected to repeat countrywoman Tran Hieu Ngan’s success at the Sydney Games eight years ago, were unlucky to be drawn against tough rivals in their opening encounters of the Games.

The draw, which took place on Monday, has pitted the country’s main medal hope Nguyen Van Hung in the men’s +80kg against a number of powerhouses, including world defending champion Keita Daba Modibo.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu, one of two female taekwondo martial artists in Beijing, has been drawn against title favourites from Italy, South Korea and host nation China in the -57kg.

Tran Thi Ngoc Truc, a replacement for Hoang Ha Giang who has a viral infection in the -49kg, however, has received a relatively good draw.

“They are all facing a hard job, especially Hung and Thu, who are competing against tough rivals from the beginning,” said coach Nguyen Dang Khanh after the draw.

“Hung and Thu both need to work very hard if they want to go further, and if they succeed they will face world champions in the next round,” said Khanh.

Three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Hung, who is making his second Olympic appearance, will face the towering form of Chukwumerije Chika Yagazie of Nigeria in his first match on Friday.

“Hung has never met the 2.10m-tall Nigerian before so we do not know anything about this opponent,” said Khanh.

However, the real challenge will come in the next round, if 1.9m-tall Hung, who won the Asian 90kg title in 2004 in South Korea’s Seongnam, survives the opener.

“If Hung reaches the second round he will meet either Mali’s Modibo, who won the world title last year, or former three-time world champion Borot Mickael Justin of France,” said Khanh.

Greece’s Athens Games silver medal winner and European champion Alexandros Nikolaidis is also likely to present a major challenge to the 28-year-old.

Women’s draw

Thu, the Asian Games silver medallist, faces Senegal’s world bronze medallist Bineta Diedhiou in her opening bout tomorrow.

“Thu has got the worse draw, compared to her fellow compatriots,” said general director of the Viet Nam Taekwondo Federation Truong Ngoc De, who is with the team in Beijing. “Bigger challenges are waiting for her in the next round, if she makes it to the second stage, where she would meet Italian Veronica Celabrese, who finished second in the Olympic world qualifiers.”

If Thu does progress in the tournament, she is also likely to encounter, South Korea’s Lim Su Jeong, who finished first in the Olympic world qualifiers, and Chinese Taipei’s 2005 world silver medallist and Asian defending champion Li Wen Su.

Truc, who like Thu is also making her Olympic debut, will have an easier time of things against underdog Tona Teresa of Papua New Guinea.

The 19-year-old world youth champion’s group B match will be against either Thailand’s Puedpong Buttree or Cuba’s 2005 world bronze medallist Montejo Daynellis.

Truc’s rivals are mostly ranked between 10th and 33rd in the world.

“The title favourite host Wu Jing Yu, who won the world 49kg title last year and Asian silver earlier this year, is in group A, so Truc has a chance to go further in the Games,” said Khanh. “However Truc is disadvantaged by the fact that she started training later than the others as she was only called up as a replacement.”

Hung is seen as the most experienced athlete as he competed in the last Olympics in Athens, where he failed to bring home a medal. Hung injured his left knee in the run up to the Games but says he has fully recovered.

Despite their tough draws, all three athletes are in high spirits.

“Without pressure we will compete in a relaxed and beautiful way to win a medal,” Hung said. “Whoever the rival is, we will try our best so that we won’t have to look back on the Beijing Games with regrets.”

Tran Hieu Ngan won Viet Nam’s first Olympic medal when she finished second in the women’s 47kg in Sydney eight years ago.

Weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan on August 10 won another silver for Viet Nam in the men’s 56kg. —

Ha Noi T&T try to schmooze top striker Le Cong Vinh

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hot stuff: Striker Le Cong Vinh is Ha Noi T&T’s most-wanted footballer and will play in the V-League next season. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh

HA NOI — National striker and V-League’s Song Lam Nghe An member Le Cong Vinh is expected to play for Ha Noi T&T beginning next season, a source from the Ha Noi-based club said on Monday.

Ha Noi T&T, who were officially promoted to the top-flight football championship V-League after their 25th game at the National First Division last Saturday, offered a VND6 billion (US$360,575) transfer fee for a four-year contract with the top striker.

If the contract is signed, Vinh will receive a monthly salary of approximately VND40 million ($2,400).

Last year, Vinakansai Ninh Binh also signed a VND3 billion ($189,000) transfer deal with former national team member Nguyen Huu Thang from Becamex Binh Duong.

Vinh, 23, who received the Golden Ball award for best Vietnamese footballer of the year for the third time in a row last July, helped the national team reach the third stage of the Beijing Olympics qualifiers, as well as the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, co-hosted by Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia last year.

The coach of new V-League team T&T Ha Noi, Trieu Quang Ha, said on Monday that Vinh would be the team’s top priority in the hunt for the V-League title next year.

“Vinh is one of the best strikers in Viet Nam that all V-League teams want to recruit. We’ve only put down the offer as of now, and no negotiations have been set yet,” said the coach Trieu Quang Ha.

Ha, who won the V-League championship as left winger for The Cong, or Army team, in 1998, said the team had eyed another Song Lam Nghe An player and national defender, Nguyen Minh Duc, who refused to extend his contract with Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) to next year.

Chairman of the Ha Noi team Do Quang Hien also stressed that the team would reserve VND20 billion ($1.2million) in order to contract the best players next season.

At the First Division championship, the team had paid a large sum to bring the best players onto their turf.

They spent nearly $200,000 signing Cassiano Rocha, Cristianto Roland, former national and SLNA goalie Duong Hong Son and defender Nguyen Dai Dong.

The team had in their hands last year Junior Football title winner Nguyen Thanh Long Giang from Tien Giang, Cao Sy Cuong from Ha Noi ACB and Nguyen Dinh Quy from The Cong.

The team’s managing board also prompted the team with a cash prize of over VND300 million ($18,000) for each win. And the team could get a bumper prize of VND1billion ($60,000) if they won the First Division title this year.

This Saturday’s clash between Ha Noi and Military Zone 4 at Ha Noi’s My Dinh will decide who takes the trophy. —

Quoc moves to round 2

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Breaking ranks: Table tennis player Doan Kien Quoc defeated world No 52 Christophe Legout of France in the first round of the table tennis in Beijing yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Nhut

HA NOI — Doan Kien Quoc yesterday scored a decisive blow for Viet Nam by defeating world No 52 Christophe Legout of France in the first round of the table tennis in Beijing.

Quoc’s 4-2 win was all the more remarkable as he is ranked 222nd in the world.

Legout won a silver medal in the world team championship in 1997 and finished fifth in the mixed doubles in Sydney eight years ago.

Quoc’s best result prior to his performance against Legout, was coming 49th in his debut Olympics in Athens four years ago.

Quoc lost the opening game 10-12, but won the next two 11-7, 11-6.

Legout, who is six years Quoc’s senior, came back strongly in the fourth set to win 11-6.

The last two sets saw Quoc’s game reach new heights and he went on to win 11-9, 14-12. His opponent in the next round this morning will be Alexei Smirnov of Russia.

Smirnov, ranked 29 in the world, won a wild-card place to the second round.

After his victory, Quoc was mobbed by fans

“It is wonderful. He made many people in the world know about Viet Nam as the only Southeast Asian player here. It is all the greater for the fact that he beat an opponent who is ranked 150 places higher in the world,” said fan Tran Van Vien.

“He plays better abroad than he does at home. He makes us proud to be Vietnamese. He should be calm and confident for his coming matches. I wish him good luck,” said fan Huy Hoan via the internet.

Earlier Quoc’s defeated Australian rival David Zalcberg in the preliminary round.

Viet Nam’s sole table tennis representative in Beijing attacked Zalcberg from the outset, storming to victory in four sets to go through to the first round of the tournament, which has attracted 86 of the best table tennis players in the world.

It is the second Olympics for the nation’s top player, who failed to win a single match in Athens four years ago. His main ambition this time around is to make it into the second round.

Quoc, ranked 222nd in the world, met almost no resistance from Zalcberg, who is ranked 438 in the world.

Quoc won the first game 11-8 in just four minutes after Zalcberg made three successive unforced errors.

The 29-year-old dominated the second game as well, with Zalcberg struggling to find an answer to Quoc’s heavy spin. The Vietnamese won the set 11-7.

The third game was a more even affair with Zalcberg finally finding his form and making better use of his height advantage. However, at 7-9 to the Australian, Quoc made two winning smashes to level the score before eventually taking the game 11-10.

The fourth game also went to Quoc. Zalcberg paused briefly to consult with his coach but his smashes were off target, either hitting the net or missing the table.

In the final point of the match, with the score at 5-10 to the Vietnamese, Zalcberg’s forehand return hit the net, giving Quoc his first ever Olympic victory. —


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