|Vietnamese athletes perform at the sending-off ceremony for the 28th SEA Games in Singapore next month. Viet Nam target a berth in the Games' top three. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh
HA NOI (VNS) — All athletes confirmed that they were ready for success at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
The Viet Nam sport delegation took part in a sending off ceremony yesterday at the National Sports Training Centre in Ha Noi.
The 28th SEA Games will open on June 5 and close 11 days later on June 16.
Addressing the ceremony, Head of the Viet Nam delegation Tran Duc Phan said the Games help test Viet Nam for more important competitions like the Olympics and the Asian Games.
He said through the SEA Games, Vietnamese sports officials could review how Viet Nam was performing compared with regional and continental competitors.
"With our careful preparation for months, Vietnamese athletes are determined to win from 56 to 65 gold medals and enter the top three in the medal tally," Phan said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Depute Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai asked all athletes, coaches and officials to maintain a spirit of fair play while winning medals for the country.
"Despite many difficulties, the government has paid attention and supported the national sportspersons," Hai said.
"Many athletes have been sent to train abroad to help them bring home victory. I hope that in Singapore our athletes will do their best to win. And they will also show off their solidarity, spirit of fair play and act as ambassadors to promote Viet Nam's image to our worldwide friends."
On behalf of the 392 athletes who will participating in 28 of 36 sports at the Games, footballer Que Ngoc Hai said she understood that being a national team member is a matter of pride for all Vietnamese. Also, she said she was aware that the opportunity to participate carried with it important duties and responsibilities. In closing, she promised to compete and return home with SEA Game medals.
Sponsors and awards
A SEA Games gold medal winner will be given VND45million (US$2,100). An athlete who sets a new Games record will also receive cash.
Apart from these bonuses, athletes will also receive ‘on-the-spot' awards which include TVs, motorbikes, air tickets and others from many businesses and sponsors.
Singapore, which are hosting the Games after 22 years, will hold the opening and closing ceremonies at the new National Stadium. It is the world's largest dome structure, with a capacity of 55,000.
Themed "Celebrate the Extraordinary", the Games aims to look beyond competing and winning, and focus on connecting people and communities to their dreams.
At the last SEA Games held in Myanmar two years ago, Viet Nam ranked third, winning 74 gold medals, trailing Thailand with 107 golds and the hosts with 86. — VNS