Vietnamese sports to face fierce competition in upcoming SEA Games

Saturday, 2019-11-23 11:10:54
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The Vietnamese women's football team during a training camp in the Philippines on November 23, 2019. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – The Vietnamese sports delegation are expected to face fierce competition from regional rivals in securing a top three finish at the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.

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The biennial regional multi-sport event will officially take place from November 30 to December 11, and the Vietnamese sports delegation will officially depart for the Philippines on November 26, targeting to secure a top three finish in the medal tally with at least 65 gold medals.

However, experts have said that Vietnam are expected to face fierce competition, mainly from the hosts and other strong regional rivals. It is the fourth time the Philippines have hosted the SEA Games, after 1981, 1991 and 2005. At the 2005 SEA Games, the hosts won 112 gold medals to claim the top-spot finish. This year, they target to break the record that hosts Malaysia achieved in the latest edition, winning 145 gold medals out of 323 medals at the 2017 SEA Games.

The Philippines organised the 30th SEA Games in three groups: compulsory sports featuring athletics and water sports; Olympic and Asian Games sports; and regional and new sports which includes e-sports. The hosts also introduce new sports that they have strengths in, such as 3vs3 basketball, beach handball, Jiu-jitsu, sambo and wakeboarding.

Apart from hosts Philippines and Thailand, who are likely to win the top two positions, Vietnam will have to compete with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. According to experts, Vietnam's main opponents are Indonesia because they won 31 gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games.

Besides striving to stand in the top three finishers, the important goal of Vietnamese sports is to win two gold medals in both men's and women's football.

Athletics is still the main sport of Vietnam, but the hosts naturalising two US athletes makes Vietnamese "Queen of Speed" Le Tu Chinh difficult to protect her two gold medals in women’s 100m and 200m. However, according to experts, Vietnamese athletes still can win about 13 gold medals.

Regarding swimming, national-record holding swimmer Anh Vien is also expected to win about eight gold medals at this year’s SEA Games.

It is also an opportunity for Vietnamese wrestlers as the host country has introduced 14 wrestling events, but it is also difficult as the sports’ results are determined by the referees’ interpretation.