|Team Việt Nam at the opening ceremony of the 31st SEA Games in Hà Nội. The team is ready for the 32nd Games in May in Cambodia. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — With the 32nd SEA Games just a few weeks away, Team Việt Nam are ready to meet their target of a top-three finish.
Director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration Đặng Hà Việt spoke with reporters on Tuesday at a press conference on the reigning SEA Games champion's preparations in Hà Nội.
The delegation has 1,003 athletes, coaches, experts, officials and staff. They will compete in 31 sports and target up to 120 gold medals.
"Team Việt Nam will have the largest number of participants in a SEA Games on away ground," said Việt, the Team's chief-de-mission. "Our goal is from 90 to 120 golds which will place us in the top three. The preparation has been almost done, and athletes are ready."
However, Việt confirmed that it would be a challenging task for the team.
"This Games, we are under high pressure," said Việt. "It is because we had great results at the 31st Games with more than 200 golds and many new records. It is extremely difficult to repeat such an achievement."
"In Cambodia, we will not have the home-ground advantage, and the hosts have not organised some sports that Việt Nam are strong at. They also cut the number of events and limited participating countries' registration in different martial arts. It means that Việt Nam will lose dozens of gold medals before the Games," he said.
Việt said to prepare for the Games, 19 national squads have been sent abroad for intensive training, while 48 have taken part in international competitions since the beginning of 2023.
The VSA has signed contracts with different partners who support the team with cash and gifts. Bonuses for gold medal-winning athletes will also be prepared to encourage the whole team.
The send-off ceremony was held on Wednesday at Hà Nội's National Sports Training Centre No 1.
The U22 football team will be on the first leave for Cambodia on April 26. Their competition will begin on April 29.
The core part of the Team Việt Nam will depart on May 3.
Doping control activities
After the 31st Games, five Vietnamese athletes, all in track and field, tested positive for banned substances. Following regulations, their names will be announced before the opening ceremony of the 32nd Games.
|Doctor Nguyễn Văn Phú, director of the Việt Nam Anti-doping and Sports Medicine Centre, talks about doping control activities to protect Vietnamese athletes from forbidden substances. — VNS Photo Quý Lượng|
In his meeting with the sports officials on Monday, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng requested all participants ensure no athletes are involved in doping at the Cambodian Games.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, doctor Nguyễn Văn Phú, director of the Việt Nam Anti-doping and Sports Medicine Centre, said: "Anti-doping activities have been carried out since early of the year. Athletes in all four national sports centres have taken part in a training course about doping and anti-doping".
"Coaches have also guided carefully about test procedures and given updated lists of banned substances."
The 32nd Games will be held from May 5-17 in the capital Phnom Penh and four other provinces of Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep.
There will be 48 sports available, including the Olympic, regional and Cambodian traditional sports.
The host will receive more than 12,400 participants from all 11 regional countries.
The national flag ceremony is scheduled on May 3. The opening ceremony will be two days later.
Việt Nam secured 205 golds, the most successful result ever, to win the top place at the previous Games. Thailand, with 92 golds, and Indonesia with 69, sat second and third, respectively.
Sports news channel
The VSA's Sports Information Centre on Tuesday introduced an App Thể Thao Việt Nam, a new and useful channel providing sports news to supporters.
|VSA officials at the introduction of the App Thể Thao Việt Nam on Tuesday in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Quý Lượng|
The most updated news of sports, regulations, federations, competitions and results of the local tournaments and national teams competing abroad will be available on the app. Accordingly, all information about the 32nd SEA Games, such as news of each team, schedule, results and medal tally, will be shown here.
Also, other services such as air tickets, hotels and accommodation, restaurants and medical centres can be found on the app.
App Thể Thao Việt Nam can be downloaded from Android's Play Store and IOS's App Store. — VNS