SEA Games 31: Vietnam’s athletic team resolved to retain top position hinh anh 1Vietnam's track and field athletes compete at a pre-SEA Games 31 tournament in Hanoi in late April (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s athletic team ranked high at the two consecutive previous SEA Games, and members are determined to defend their top position in this sport at the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian Games in the country.

At SEA Games 29 held in Malaysia in 2017, the team obtained up to 17 gold medals for the first time in the regional sporting event’s history, almost doubling Thailand’s result, though the initial target was set at about 10 - 12 golds.

Two years later, track and field athletes of Vietnam won 16 golds, 13 silvers, and nine bronzes, sustaining their top place on the medal table at  the SEA Games 30 in the Philippines.

Vietnam eyes 15 - 17 golds among the 47 sets of athletic medals at SEA Games 31, which experts described as not easy but still achievable.

Nguyen Thi Oanh, Dinh Thi Bich, Khuat Phuong Anh, and Tran Nhat Hoang are the “golden” hopes of the country this time. Meanwhile, men’s and women’s 400m, 800m, and 1,500m races, men’s and women’s relay, and marathon are the categories Vietnam is strong at and capable of winning gold medals.

The biggest regret is that Le Tu Chinh is ruled out of the SEA Games 31 by injuries, a considerable loss to the host country in women’s 100m and 200m races and 4x100m relay. She used to pocket four gold medals at the two previous Games.

Athletic events will take place at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi from May 14 to 19./.