Myanmar pulls out stops for SEA Games
|Good to go: Wunna Theikdi Stadium is ready to host the SEA Games this December in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. — Photo sportclassic.in.th
HA NOI (VNS)— Both athletes and fans will enjoy comfortable and sophisticated facilities at the coming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.
"We have built high-quality, modern venues which strictly comply with international standards and embody the athletes' slogan of ‘Green, Clean and Friendship'," said Lam Quang Thanh, deputy head of the National Sports Administration.
"The host organisers have gone to great lengths to host the region's largest sporting event, which will also provide a boost to the country's tourism and economy overall," said Thanh, who is also part of Viet Nam SEA Games delegation.
Three main cities will play host to the games, including new capital Nay Pyi Taw, former capital Yangon and Mandalay; across 33 sporting categories and running from December 1-22.
The 27th SEA Games will see athletes from 11 nations around the region competing in 460 events. Nine sports will kick off before the opening ceremony.
A new sporting village is on track for completion with athletes to live in different sections and amenities to service all their needs, including special food requirements, music and dance performance and religious ceremonies.
Viet Nam's plan
Viet Nam is expected to send more than 300 athletes to Myanmar to compete across 29 sports. Viet Nam is hoping to claim around 76 gold medals and rank third in the list of top performers.
"Our athletes are the strongest we have carefully selected from national championships. They are undergoing intensive training in preparation for the Myanmar Games," said Thanh.
"These players are not only going to win medals at SEA Games but also triumph at the upcoming ASIAD in South Korea next year," he added.
At a press briefing on Thursday in Ha Noi, Thanh said athletes would receive support in line with the nation's sporting goals, adding that olympic sports, including swimming and athletics, would play a key role in bringing in the most gold medals for Viet Nam.
"Track-and-field athletes have received a lot of support recently. We are selecting potential candidates from last week's national championships. They will also get support to compete at SEA Games.
"Meanwhile in swimming we believe that Olympian Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, Hoang Quy Phuoc and Tran Duy Khoi will be outstanding. Vien is now in the US and showing excellent progress. Phuoc is undergoing training in China while Khoi will be sent to France next month," Thanh said.
Viet Nam is also pinning hopes on martial arts as another ‘gold mine' for the nation at regional sporting competitions.
Viet Nam will compete in all 10 martial art events in Myanmar, Thanh said, adding that in previous SEA Games martial arts had helped push Viet Nam to a higher ranking in the final moments of the competition.
The official also named 11 sports that are requested to have at least one gold medal this year, including shooting, rowing, weightlifting and cycling.
Around eight sports are believed to have a low chance of making it to the podium, including football, which despite its popularity in Viet Nam, has not been able to capitalise on opportunities in the past.
It is the third time Myanmar will have hosted the SEA Games, previously playing host in 1961 and 1969.
The opening ceremony will take place on December 11 with the closing ceremony wrapping up the games on December 22 at Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw. — VNS