Vietnamese athletes were asked to strive to enter the top three teams of the 25 th Southern Asian Games, which will kick off on Dec.2 in Vietiane, Laos.

Speaking at the sending-off ceremony at Hanoi’s Opera House on Nov. 29, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Danh Thai said, “Your goal is to grab 65-70 gold medals and become one of the three strongest teams at the SEA Games”.

Thai, also chairman of the Vietnam Olympics Committee (VOC), said that great results were important, but athletes must follow the rules and regulations, and always respect the referees’ decisions.

Vietnam will participate at the Games with 434 members in 25 sports and hope to win golds in 21 of these sports.

On Nov. 29, after the launch of the Fund for Medal Awards, donors and enterprises gave 925 million VND (48,700 USD) in donation to the sportsmen and women. The cash bonuses will be given to the winners right after their victories with 3 million VND (160 USD) for a gold medalist, 2 million VND (105 USD) for a silver medal owner and 1 million VND (53 USD) for the bronze holder.

Apart from some teams whose competitions will be organised early on, the main delegation will leave for Vientiane in Nov. 30. The Vietnam national flag hoisting ceremony will be on the on Dec. 1at the SEA Games’ 50 th anniversary.

The SEA Games’ opening ceremony is on December 9 and the closing ceremony is on December 18.

Vietnam ranked third with 64 gold medals at the previous SEA Games in Thailand./.