HA NOI - Nguyen Van Linh won the first gold medal for Viet Nam this morning.
It is also the first one for the rowing team in the Southeast Asian Games being held in Singapore.
Linh finished the men's lightweight single 500m event with a time of 1min and 33.64 seconds. Isadi Ardi of Indonesia came second, followed by Saensuk Jaruwat of Thailand.
Soon after Linh, Viet Nam bagged three more gold and two silver medals at eight events held this morning.
Dam Van Hieu and Nguyen Dinh Huy came first in the men's pair 500m event. The duo left all rivals behind to finish with a time of 1:27.63.
Indonesians Santoso Budi and Hadid Tanzil finished second 1.88sec later. Myanmar's rowers San Myint and Hlam Saw Wai were placed third.
The women's double 500m title also went to Viet Nam's Le Thi An and Pham Th Hue, who finished with a time of 1:38.87. The runners-up were again from Indonesia and Myanmar, respectively.
Earlier, Ta Thanh Huyen and Pham Thi Thao triumphed in the women's lightweight double 500m pool.
They finished nearly 4sec faster than Myanmar's Win Nilar and Latt Shwe Zin, and more than 8sec faster than Yuniarty Yuniarty and Wahyuni Wahyuni of Indonesia.
Viet Nam also won two silver medals in the men's lightweight double 500m and men's lightweight four 500m events.
Thus, Viet Nam were the most successful team at the end of the first day of the rowing events.
In other sports, Hoang Xuan Vinh won his first title at this year's SEA Games in the men's 50m pistol, scoring 190.9 points.
Auapinyakul Natphanlert of Thailand and Wong Johnathan Guanjie of Malaysia came second and third, respectively.
Earlier, Vinh and teammates Tran Quoc Cuong and Nguyen Hoang Phuong pocketed a silver medal in the team event.
Trio Trieu Thi Hoa Hong, Le Thi Hoang Ngoc and Pham Thi Ha ranked third in the women's team 25m pistol event, behind Thailand and Singapore. Ngoc entered the final of the individual event.
In archery, Loc Thi Dao entered the final of the women's individual recurve after beating teammate Le Thi Thu Hien in the semi-finals.
In swimming, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien entered the final of the women's 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke events, where she will fight powerhouses Tao Li and Quah Ting Wen of the host country.
Hoang Quy Phuoc will compete in the men's 400m freestyle final this evening. Tran Duy Khoi will also compete in the men's 50m backstroke and Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram will swim in the women's 50m freestyle event.
"Viet Nam have made remarkable achievements, especially in Olympic sports such as fencing, gymnastics and swimming, as the Games reaches its half-way point," Tran Duc Phan, Viet Nam chief-de-mission, said.
"Our athletes competed as well as we has planned at home and almost all teams did better than their targets. However, we must try harder in the coming days when archery, cycling, taekwondo and rowing, which are also Olympics events, begin," Phan, who is also deputy head of the National Sports Administration, said.