Hundreds of journalists and sports aficionados cast their votes for the athletes and coaches of the year in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City on Jan. 6.

Track and field athletes, who excelled at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China last year, are expected to dominate this years awards for outstanding sporting achievements.

The annual awards were launched 33 years ago and have become an indispensable part of the sporting calendar.

Notable performances at the Guangzhou Games came from sprinter Vu Thi Huong, who won a bronze medal in the women's 100m and a 200m silver; Truong Thanh Hang, who won silvers in the 800 and 1,500m and bronze medal decathlete Vu Van Huyen.

Karateist Le Bich Phuong, who won Viet Nam's only gold medal to salvage Vietnamese pride in the martial arts competitions at the Games, is likely to win the poll.

Other candidates for honours include men's chess player Le Quang Liem, shooter Ha Minh Thanh and Youth Olympics weightlifting gold medallist Thach Kim Tuan.

Voters also nominated their choices for Vietnam's best coaches and disabled athletes in Jan. 6's poll.

The awards are jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Vietnam Fund for Young Talent Support and The Thao Vietnam (Vietnam Sports) newspaper.

The final results will be officially announced this week, while a gala night to honour athletes and coaches will be held in Hanoi next month. /.