|Bùi Thị Nguyên (middle) competes in the women’s 100m hurdles at the SEA Games 31 in Việt Nam last year. — VNS/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's top athletes are putting the final touches to their preparations for the Philippines Open Athletics Championships, which will take place from March 21-26 in the Philippines.
A 12-member athletics team will represent the country at the event, which will serve as a warm-up for the upcoming SEA Games 32 to be held in Cambodia in May.
The Vietnamese team includes Bùi Thị Nguyên, the reigning SEA Games 31 champion, and Huỳnh Thị Mỹ Tiên, both of whom will compete in the women's 100m hurdles.
Other athletes will participate in the men's 400m hurdles and women's 400m hurdles, which are crucial competitions for Việt Nam at the region's most prominent sports event.
The Philippines Open Athletics Championships is organised by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. It was originally scheduled to take place at the PhilSports Stadium in Pasig in 2020, but it was forced to be postponed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marks the third version of the championships.
Recently, Vietnamese athletes brought home one gold and one silver at the 2023 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships.
Nguyễn Thị Oanh took gold in the women’s 1,500m category, Nguyễn Thị Huyền won silver in the women’s 400m. This was an impressive achievement for Vietnamese athletes ahead of the Games.
To prepare for the Games in Cambodia, 79 Vietnamese track and field athletes were summoned, though four athletes who had won six gold medals at the Games 31 were missing for various reasons.
However, Vietnamese athletics also welcomed the return of two other stars after their injuries, namely the "Queen of Sprint" Lê Tú Chinh and Nguyễn Trung Cường. Chinh will compete for medals in the women’s 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, while Cường will participate in the men's 3,000m obstacle event.
At the previous Games, Vietnamese athletes set a target of 15-17 gold medals but won 22 gold medals to lead the regional teams.
It is thought that Vietnamese athletes will assign the same target this year. — VNS