|Việt Nam's women's 400m relay team celebrate their win at the 31st SEA Games last month. Nguyễn Thị Huyền (left) and Quách Thị Lan (second, right) have confirmed their participation at the HCM City Athletics Open next week. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The 29th HCM City Athletics Open tournament will lure Việt Nam's best track-and-field stars to compete between June 12-21.
There will be 40 events, including 16 for men, 15 for women and nine relays. Most of the events will be held at the Thống Nhất Stadium while javelin and discus will be organised at District 8's Culture and Sports Centre.
After the successful SEA Games, athletes have returned to training, and the City tournament will help them to gain their competition feeling back, according to organisers.
Among regional champions, runner Nguyễn Thị Huyền, who defended her SEA Games' 400m title, has confirmed her participation.
Huyền, representing Nam Định Province, said she has registered to run in the women's 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles, as well as some relay events.
Quách Thị Lan, winning her first-ever individual SEA Games gold in the women's 400m hurdles last month, and her sibling Quách Công Lịch, SEA Games 400m silver medalist, will take the lead for Thanh Hóa Province.
Hà Tĩnh Province will send SEA Games 3,000m steeplechase champion Lê Tiến Long; two-time silver medal holder Trần Đình Sơn and 400m silver medallist Lê Ngọc Phúc to the event.
HCM City's SEA Games javelin throw winner Nguyễn Hoài Văn and high jump bronze medal holder Phạm Quỳnh Giang will fight for the hosts' pride.
HCM City's big loss is the absence of their best sprinter Lê Tú Chinh, who is still recovering from a leg injury that forced her to stay sidelined at the SEA Games in May.
The tournament is the last event for national athletes before they represent their cities and provinces at the National Sports Games, which will be held in Quảng Ninh Province in November.
In other news, Việt Nam's athletics team received a bonus of VNĐ1 billion on June 7, the biggest ever award in history, for their successful achievement at the 31st SEA Games.
The 65-athlete squad under 20 coaches and experts took part in 41 out of 47 events. They secured 22 golds, 14 silvers and eight bronzes, proving their power as the regional strongest team in the third SEA Games in a row.
The bonus was announced for the team prior to the SEA Games to further motivate them. The regional champions had been expected to win from 15-17 golds but finished the Games with five golds more than their target.
"Việt Nam athletics' SEA Games achievement resulted from sustainable investment of the government. It was also the dedicated contribution and strong determination of athletes, coaches, experts and doctors," said Hoàng Vệ Dũng, President of the Việt Nam Athletics Federation.
"We promise to better support to make sure the team's success at the next Games in 2023," he said.
At the awarding ceremony, participants also pledged to maintain their top position in the Cambodia Games next May and secure up to three slots at the Paris Olympics in 2024. VNS