SEA Games 31: Vietnamese track and field team eye great success at SEA Games 31 hinh anh 1Vietnamese track and field athletes (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – With the good progress seen in recent years, Vietnamese track and field team is determined to win the top position at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) with 15-17 gold medals.

Looking back on 15-20 years ago, it was a big hurdle for Vietnam to surpass Thailand in this sport at SEA Games.

Recalling the past day, Duong Duc Thuy, former head of the Athletics Department under the Vietnam Sports Administration, said that overcoming Thailand was once a hard nut to crack. “However, at that time, we believed that one day we will surely surpass Thailand. It was like we were once worried who will succeed Vu Thi Huong then? Then we found the answer - Le Tu Chinh."

Three years ago at SEA Games 30, the Vietnamese track and field team bagged six gold medals in the last competition day on December 10, 2019, at New Clark City Stadium.

The happiness was doubled when the Vietnamese team won another gold medal at men’s 4x400m relay at the end of the day thanks to the excellent performance by Tran Nhat Hoang. Concluding the SEA Games 30, Vietnam brought home 16 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze medals, noted Thuy.

The victories of the Vietnamese track and field athletes at SEA Games 30 were resonated. In the women's 100m event, despite facing a naturalised Philippine athlete Marie Knott, Chinh still ended the competition at the first place, 0.01 seconds ahead of her rival. Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Oanh, who finished first in the 5,000m distance, recorded a hat-trick to bag individual gold medal when winning the 3,000m  hurdle. In the men’s 3,000m event, Do Quoc Luat did not have a clear rival.

Thuy underlined that from that day, Vietnamese track and field affirmed their number one position in Southeast Asia. “The most important thing was that we saw the uniformity of all athletes. Gone are the days when female medalists outnumber males, as male athletes made a strong impression at the SEA Games 30,” said Thuy.

At the upcoming SEA Games 31, the Vietnamese track and field team targets 15-17 gold medals, clinching their top position in the region.

To this end, right from the beginning of 2022, about 110 athletes, coaches and experts of the team have worked hard with their training courses in five different venues across the country.

As scheduled, at SEA Games 31, the team will have 85 members, including 66 athletes and 19 coaches. The athletes were carefully selected through national tournaments in 2022 and the competitions in March.

According to the team’s training board, 12 major athletes undertaking training in Hanoi are gold hopefuls, while young athletes are likely to bag 6-7. Therefore, the goal of 15-17 gold medals is reachable and may be even exceeded.

“Of cause, there are always surprise on the racing courses that may go beyond the calculation. But we believe that SEA Games 31 will be a successful game for Vietnamese track and field team,” stressed Thuy.

With reliable names of Nguyen Thi Oanh, Le Tu Chinh, Bui Thi Thu Thao, Do Quoc Luat, Khuat Phuong Anh, Quach Thi Lan and Quach Cong Lich, Vietnamese fans can feel assured that the team will show highest performance at SEA Games 31./.