|Việt Nam Team Chief-de-mission Đặng Hà Việt (left) receives the national flag from Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái at a SEA Games send-off ceremony on April 19. Việt Nam will compete at the Games from May 5-17 in Cambodia. VNS/VNS Photos|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's team for the SEA Games enjoyed a send-off ceremony on April 19 in Hà Nội, sending the 1,003-strong contingent to compete for glory at the regional sports meet in May 5 to 17 in Cambodia.
The team includes more than 700 athletes and nearly 200 coaches. They will compete in 31 out of 48 sports, targeting from 90 to 120 gold medals and placing in the top three in the final ranking.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief-de-mission Đặng Hà Việt said Vietnamese athletes took part in intensive training and competitions after the 31st SEA Games to improve their skills and strengthen their minds in preparation for the Cambodian event.
In addition to the goal of being in the leading group in ASEAN, athletes were asked to be focused and do their best to get high results in Olympic sports. The men's and women's football teams must defend their titles.
"Việt Nam's team is ready, our athletes are ready and understand our mission, fighting for the national pride, for the love of our people," Việt said.
Gymnast Đinh Phương Thành, on behalf of athletes, promised to compete under the fair-play and solidarity spirit. They would strictly follow rules and regulations while trying hard to bring home gold medals.
|Gymnast Đinh Phương Thành takes an oath at the ceremony. Thành is the reigning champion in the men's parallel bars and horizontal bar.|
Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái and leaders of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism were present at the ceremony.
In his notes to the team, Khái said: “The SEA Games is not only a sports festival where athletes show their talents but also an opportunity to spread the solidarity, friendship and exchange cultures among ASEAN countries".
"I wish the athletes and coaches to play well and successfully complete their tasks. Each member of the team should be an ambassador popularising images of the country, its people and scenery to the wider world of friends," he said.
At the ceremony, the Việt Nam Sports Administration and the Việt Nam Olympic Committee (VOC) expressed their appreciation to sponsors who have joined hands to support the team.
Among them are Động Lực Group, which manages Việt Nam's official uniform and balls for the football teams; An Thịnh Đường Company, which provides herbs to help quickly recover muscles, tendons and joints for athletes; and Herbalife, who sponsors nutrition products and advice.
|Việt Nam Team Chief-de-mission Đặng Hà Việt (left) receives nutrition products from Vũ Văn Thắng, General Manager for Herbalife Việt Nam and Cambodia.|
"Herbalife accompanying the Việt Nam team at the 32nd SEA Games is part of our long-term plan to support Việt Nam sports and is a part of our great cooperation with the VOC," said Vũ Văn Thắng, General Manager for Herbalife Việt Nam and Cambodia.
"We are happy and proud to be part of the important sport events and elite tournaments of Việt Nam as we can contribute and help athletes effectively bring into play their potential in competitions. With their good preparation and high determination, I believe that Việt Nam's team can reach their target at this key sports meet," he said.
The 32nd SEA Games will begin on May 5 and close on May 17. Sports will be organised in five cities and provinces, but mainly in Phnom Penh.
Men's football will be the first match held on April 29. Việt Nam's first match is against Laos a day later.
Việt Nam's main team will leave for Cambodia on May 3. Việt Nam won 205 golds at the last SEA Games to take the top place overall. VNS