Swimmers can't wait to secure SEA Games golds

May 05, 2023 - 19:51
Well-prepared and free-mind Vietnamese swimmers are excited to grab at least 10 gold medals at the 32nd SEA Games.

SEA Games

Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng of Việt Nam will defend three titles at the 32nd SEA Games. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Well-prepared Vietnamese swimmers are excited to grab at least 10 gold medals at the 32nd SEA Games.

Nguyễn Huy Hoàng will be one of the first swimmers of Việt Nam to compete in the first official day of the regional sports meet on May 6 in Phnom Penh.

"I am in good mood and comfortable heading to the tournament," said Hoàng at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport before his team left for Cambodia on May 4. "I suffer no pressure at all. I just want to jump into the pool and swim well so that my results will improve time by time."

In preparation for the Games, a group of talented swimmers spent three months practising in the world swimming hub of Hungary. He returned home in late April to join 20 teammates for the May event, which is his fourth in a row.

After four Games, Hoàng has secured eight golds and three silvers and set two records.

In Phnom Penh, Hoàng will compete in different categories depending on the decision of his coaches. But he will at least defend his golds in the men's 400m freestyle, 1,500m freestyle, 200m butterfly and 4×200m freestyle relay. His strong suit of the 800m freestyle is not organised this year.

The first one will be the 200m butterfly at the Morodok Techno Sport Complex's Aquatic Centre.

Other events of the day will be the 200m individual medley with reigning champion Trần Hưng Nguyên; 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke with last year's winner Phạm Thanh Bảo; and 100m freestyle with silver medalist Jeremie Loic Nino Lương.

"My teammates and I have trained really hard to reach our peak at the Games. I hope that we will complete our mission," said Hoàng, who is Việt Nam's flag bearer at the Games' opening ceremony on the night of May 5.

Phạm Thị Vân wants to get the highest results and a personal best at the regional sports meet. — Photo baothanhhoa.vn

Young swimmer Phạm Thị Vân was also ready for her second SEA Games.

"I have completed by preparation. Just waiting for the date to swim," said the 18-year-old.

She will take part in the women's 50m butterfly and freestyle events and hope to at least set her personal bests in both.

Veteran Hoàng Quý Phước meanwhile wanted to have a happy ending for his career as it will be his last Games this May.

"I have been practising since early this year. I have waited for this competition for a long time. I am eager to swim. I will take part in team events this year and want to bring home as many medals as possible," said Phước, 30.

Phước was a teammate with Hoàng and two others who surprisingly defeated title favourite Singapore to win the 4x200m event.

"There is a one-year gap between the 31st and 32nd SEA Games. It is not long enough for any country to present a new generation. I think the competitions for golds will be among the rivals of Việt Nam, Thailand and Singapore," said Đinh Việt Hùng, general secretary of the Việt Nam Aquatic Sports Association.

"Singapore will still dominate the women's classes while Việt Nam is best in the men's. Thailand is a potential rival who can make surprises because they are in a rejuvenating period," said Hùng.

"At last May's Games, we secured a historic 11 golds, 11 silvers and three bronzes, along with five records. This year, athletes are asked to earn from eight to 10 golds. It is a challenging task for the team. I hope they will compete as well as they practise," Hùng said. — VNS