Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has confirmed the Việt Nam national sports delegation heading to the Asian Games (ASIAD 2018) will consist of 532 people.
ASIAD 2018 will be held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.
The national football team has the most athletes with 56 male and female players, while the athletics team provides 25 athletes, shooting and pencak silat have 23, sepak takraw has 22, wushu has 18, karate 18, and sambo (Russian martial art) has three, according to a report from the ministry.
As many as 400 people will be funded about US$642,000 by the Government, while the rest, including golf, basketball and female volleyball athletes are sponsored by private firms, the report said.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện said on Tuesday that this year, the national team’s target was at least three gold medals.
This year, host Indonesia dropped the 10m pistol category, in which Hoàng Xuân Vinh won an Olympic gold medal. Vinh is a favourite to win gold in the 50m pistol though, despite facing Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh of South Korea.
In men’s and women’s shooting, Việt Nam holds high hopes for three male shooters include Vinh, Hà Minh Thành, Trần Quốc Cường and women Phạm Thị Hà, Lê Thị Linh Chi, Đặng Lê Ngọc Mai, and 15-year-old Bùi Thúy Thu Thủy.
In athletics, the pressure is on Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2018 defending long jump champion Bùi Thị Thu Thảo. Her No 1 opponent is Maria Londa of host Indonesia, who beat Thảo at Asiad 2014. Meanwhile, national top female swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên will face ASIAD 2017 runner-up Shimizu Sakiko of Japan in women’s 400m medley.
In weightlifting, Thạch Kim Tuấn will have a tough fight against strong rivals Om Yun Chon of North Korea and Long Qingquan of China.
In martial arts, the wushu, karate and pencak silat teams are aiming for gold.
Defending champion of wushu from ASIAD 2014 Dương Thúy Vy will compete in jianshu (sword) and qiangshu (spear) events. Spending her time training in China, the 25-years-old said she is suffering from a chronic knee injury, “But the games are near, so I have to try my best to bring out perfect performances.”
The karate team has been invested in to the tune of US$85,600 by the Việt Nam Sports Administration.
Vũ Sơn Hà, head of karate said the team has faith in defending world champion Nguyễn Thị Ngoan (women’s 55kg) and SEA Games champion Nguyễn Minh Phụng (men’s 75kg).
In pencak silat, the host nation dropped Việt Nam’s strong events like the women’s 50kg and 55kg, and men’s 50 kg and 80 kg, so the only hope is the seni event. — VNS