Swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên is expected to shine at the upcoming SEA Games. Photo nld.com.vn
HÀ NỘI A record number of Vietnamese athletes will compete at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines later this year, and they are all gunning for glory.
Việt Nam is sending athletes to compete in 43 out of 56 events at the regional tournament and they are aiming for a top-three finish.
“To achieve the target of standing in top three, Việt Nam needs to take at least 65-70 gold medals,” said Trần Đức Phấn, deputy head of National Sports Administration.
“Athletes and coaches will try their best to gain the best result for the delegation.”
Athletics is a sport which Việt Nam will send the most athletes with 47 men and women.
The medal hopes are runners Lê Tú Chinh in the women’s 100m and 200m, Nguyễn Thị Huyền in the women’s 400m hurdles, Vũ Thị Mến in the women’s triple jump, Dương Văn Thái in the men’s 800m, Nguyễn Thị Oanh in the women’s 1500m and Bùi Văn Đông in the men’s long jump.
At the SEA Games two years ago, Việt Nam won 17 golds, surpassing Thailand to top the region.
However, according to the head of the athletics section of National Sports Administration, Dương Đức Thuỷ, it will be hard for Vietnamese track and field athletes this time around.
“Compared to two years ago, the force of Vietnamese athletics has changed much,” said Thủy.
“The number of good athletes is fewer. Meanwhile, the Philippines strengthened as have other countries. So it is difficult for us to restore the previous achievement, but we will try to gain 15 golds,”
Another sport that may help Việt Nam reach their target is swimming. Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên is aiming for 8-10 gold medals.
Viên, who is from the southern province of Cần Thơ, is training in the US for the tournament.
One of Việt Nam’s most talented athletes, Viên has trained in the US since 2012 with the expense covered by the National Sports Administration and her team, the Military team.
Across four SEA Games, the 22-year-old has bagged 19 gold, seven silver and two bronze medals and broken 11 regional records.
At the Games 2015 and 2017, Viên won eight gold medals each.
In addition, the men’s and women’s football team are also going for gold medals in the Philippines.
The women’s team has triumphed in the 2019 AFF Women’s Championship, which is a massive morale boost for the event.
On the men’s side, U22 Việt Nam beat U22 China 2-0 in a friendly match in Wuhan last month. They will have another friendly match with UAE on October 13 at Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City.
Launched in 1959, the SEA Games is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from 11 countries in Southeast Asia.
This year’s competition begins at the end of November. VNS