Today: 24/09/2021 15:58:37 (GMT+7)

Việt Nam athletes going for gold at SEA Games

Việt Nam athletes are determined to keep their top place at the coming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will be held in November right here on home turf.

At the 29th Games in the Malaysia, Việt Nam shocked regional countries with an impressive medal haul picking up 17 golds. They knocked Thailand off top spot -- a position they had held for the past 17 years.

Two years later in the Phillippines it was more gold glory for Việt Nam, this time collecting 16.

Việt Nam athletes ,  gold at SEA Games

Runner Nguyễn Thị Oanh competes at the 1500m event during the National Athletics Championships last December. Oanh is one of key Vietnamese athletes at the 31st SEA Games to be held in November. 

This year when the biennial Games are organised at home, the hosts have set a target of 19 gold medals.

According to Dương Đức Thủy, head of the Athletics Department of the Việt Nam Sports Administration, all coaches and athletes are ready and confident to complete the goal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic creates many difficulties for every field including sports and Việt Nam are not out of this situation," said Thủy.

"Many main events have been delayed and cancelled. Athletes could not practice as scheduled. However, we are training hard for the SEA Games.

“We were on top of the rankings in the last two Games and become the strongest country in the region. Meanwhile arch-rival Thailand really wants to take their place back. Then, our top duty is to defend our crown and grab the highest number of gold medals.”

Thủy said the task is hard but athletes will be given the best conditions for training while the administration will mobilise more financial resources to send athletes abroad for intensive training when possible.

There are also attractive financial bonuses available.

The 2020 National Athletics Championships in December was the only main tournament that athletes had a chance to test their skills.

However, there were positive signals that make officials believe their plan possible.

The leading athletes taking part such as Nguyễn Thị Oanh (women’s 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase); Lê Tú Chinh (women’s 100m) and Trần Nhật Hoàng (men’s 400m) and Asian winner Quách Thị Lan (women’s 400m and 400m hurdle) are still at their peak and promised a good performance.

There are also some rising stars who are expected to shine in Hà Nội later this year.

They are Ngần Ngọc Nghĩa who broke the national record in the men’s 100m, Trần Văn Đảng who overthrew SEA Games champion Dương Văn Thái in the men’s 800m and 1,500m and youngsters Vũ Thị Ngọc Hà (women’s triple jumps), Lò Thị Hoàng and Nguyễn Hoài Văn (women’s and men’s javelin), and the return of Asian Games and former SEA Games champion Bùi Thị Thu Thảo after her maternity leave that forced her to rest at last SEA Games.

“Key athletes are maintaining their performance while we also see great progress from young ones. It would be good news for us and we can believe in our plan,” Thủy added.

Coach Nguyễn Chí Đông agreed and said the coming months would be really important for athletes. If they could train hard and compete in more tournaments they would ensure a successful SEA Games.

In 2021, there are several tournaments including the World Indoor Athletics Championships in China in March, Asian Relay Championship in Thailand and the Asian Athletics Championship in China in May but all of them have been postponed because of the Covid-19.

Runner Oanh, who won three golds in 2019, said: “I know that SEA Games is really competitive. But my teammates and I work hard everyday to pass our personal best first and then set highest result at the Games. I believe we will do well.”

At this year Games, there are 47 track-and-field events which will be held in Hà Nội.

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Source: VNS

Việt Nam athletes , gold at SEA Games
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