Athletes compete in a swimming event in Kazan City, Russia. Photo vov.vn
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese athletes are competing at the Solidarity Games in Kazan City, Russia, along with athletes from 49 other countries and territories.
The contest consists of three stages. The swimming competitions are underway from July 19 to July 26 and feature 776 athletes from 11 delegations. Nine Vietnamese athletes and one coach are competing in this stage.
Another two Vietnamese athletes are competing in the springboard diving competition in the second stage which will last until July 30.
The third stage of synchronised swimming which will be held between July 28 and August 2 will see the participation of eight swimmers from Việt Nam.
"The tournament offers events for athletes of different groups of ages. Many famed athletes who recorded high international results competing here, making it a high-quality Games," said Đinh Việt Hùng, general secretary of Việt Nam Aquatic Sports Association.
"Our young athletes had almost no opportunity to compete internationally in the last two years due to the COVID-19. Then, the Solidarity Games is a great one for them to sharpen their skills and improve their competitiveness.
"Due to their lack of experience, they are not given any medal target but try to take their best results," he said.
After five days of swimming competitions and two days of diving, Việt Nam have not yet earned any place in top three.
"It is an international debut of most of my teammates here while I have been in such competitions previously. But our key goal is to swim well against European competitors and if possible we can earn place in the finals," said SEA Games swimming champion Nguyễn Hữu Kim Sơn, who still has one last day to secure his target.
The Solidarity Games are multidisciplinary international competitions in swimming, artistic swimming, and diving under the aegis of the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation.
It was first held in 1984 and is open to athletes from other countries. This year, about 1,000 participants not only from Russia but also 49 countries and territories from the across the world such as Belarus, Algeria, Venezuela, Việt Nam, Serbia, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan and Ecuador, have been competing at the tournament.
Speaking to reporters, Minister of Sports of Russia Oleg Matytsin said: “These games are held for friendship between athletes, states, potential resources. Sport is one of the most powerful associations of people." VNS