|The Vietnamese delegation at the opening ceremony of the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019. Việt Nam will host the 31st Games in May. — AFP/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has set a target of winning 140 gold medals at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will take place in Việt Nam during May.
The hosts also want to grab almost 80 silver and 70 bronze medals from 526 events and 40 sports. The SEA Games will be held in the capital and 11 surrounding cities and provinces.
This result would push Việt Nam to the top of the medal tally. The target is based on the country’s capacity and the achievements of the two previous hosts of the Games; Malaysia won 145 golds in 2017 while the Philippines secured 149 in 2019. Both finished in first-place on the medal tally.
This will be Việt Nam's second time hosting the regional sporting festival. Việt Nam will set out to win as many golds from Olympic sports as possible to promote the national sport to a higher level, according to Việt Nam Sports Administration Deputy Director Trần Đức Phấn.
Athletics will be the most important event and the runners, jumpers and throwers will try to better the 16 gold medals that they grabbed three years ago in the Manila Games. This will also help them to remain the strongest team in ASEAN.
|Việt Nam's 4x100m team celebrate their victory at the 2019 SEA Games. Athletics is one of the nation's strongest sports. Photo danviet.vn|
Swimming is another strong point for Việt Nam. Although golden girl Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên has decided to quit, the team still want to secure up to eight medals, tasks given to Olympian Nguyễn Huy Hoàng, SEA Games record holder Trần Hưng Nguyên and veterans Hoàng Quý Phước and Paul Le Nguyen.
Martial arts, such as wrestling and boxing, have been tasked with winning five to seven golds for the hosts.
Other hopeful sports are shooting, archery, weightlifting and bodybuilding with aims of at least five titles.
Football is the most important sport and Việt Nam teams are asked to defend their crowns.
In the last three Games, Việt Nam took 98 golds in 2019, 58 in 2017 and 73 in 2015, and finished in the top three of each Games.
During the 2003 Games, which Việt Nam hosted for the first time, Vietnamese athletes won 158 golds out of a total of 444 available, to top the medal table.
The 31st SEA Games will be held between May 12-23. Thirty-one days prior to the opening ceremony, organisers will hold a torch relay starting in the Temple of Hùng Kings in Phú Thọ Province and visiting 10 host cities and provinces, before ending in Hà Nội.
Next week, a meet of chief-de-missions will be held, followed by a competition venue inspection in Hà Nội, Bắc Ninh and Quảng Ninh. — VNS