Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Lunar New Year is just around the corner, but many sportspersons from Việt Nam have such packed schedules that they will have to celebrate Tết away from home.
One such instance is of swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên, who is doing a long-term training programme in the US to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Before that, this August in Malaysia, Viên will have to defend the eight titles she won in the Singapore 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Then, in 2018, she will test her skills at the Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Asian swimming champion’s coach Đặng Anh Tuấn, who has been training Viên for many years, will also be celebrating the festival away from home.
Another swimmer, Hoàng Quý Phước, will celebrate Tết with his family and friends through Facebook. He is currently in Hungary to hone his skills for at least one gold medal at the SEA Games.
He won two gold medals in the 26th Games in 2011, but then he failed to defend his titles in the men’s 100m butterfly and freestyle two years later. In 2013, Phước won in the 200m freestyle, the 100m events being dominated by Singapore’s Joseph Isaac Schooling.
In the upcoming Malaysian Games, Phước is expected to defend his title and win more medals, said Nguyễn Trọng Hổ, head of Elite Sports 2 department of the National Sports Administration.
Several other athletes and teams won’t be home as they are busy competing in various events during this festival.
Basketball club Saigon Heat team will miss the New Year’s Eve celebrations on January 27 as they will be playing against Alab Pilipinas of the Philippines in the seven-round match of the ASEAN Basketball League. They will, however, be back home a day later and leave for Taipei for a match against Kaohsiung Truth on February 1, the fifth day of the New Year.
Hanoi Buffaloes will have to welcome the New Year in Thailand, where they are going to participate in the Thailand Super League. Their tournament’s matches are organised on the weekend, so they will reach Bangkok on Friday and compete in two matches in two days.
The badminton team members are luckier as they will get to enjoy Tết at home, but they will have to continue practising hard during the celebrations to prepare for the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships, which will be held between February 14 and 19. — VNS