A send-off ceremony for the Vietnamese delegation to the 28th Southeast Asian Games is planned at the National Sports Centre in Hanoi on May 19, marking the 125th birth anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh.

According to Tran Duc Phan, Deputy Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, who heads the delegation, Vietnam will send 440 athletes and compete in 402 events from 27 sports.

Athletics, gymnastics, swimming, martial arts and shooting are Vietnam’s major opportunities in the hunt for gold as the country eyes from 50 to 70 gold medals at the Games which will kick off in Singapore early this June.

To prepare for the games, athletes from 13 major sports have been training hard at three national sports centres in Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang city.

Eighteen teams have been sent on overseas training courses. Swimmers and runners are training in the US and Japan, shooters in the Republic of Korea, rowers in Singapore, gymnasts in Canada, and wushu, table tennis players and archers in China.

The games will take place from June 5-16 with the participation of around 7,000 athletes from 11 countries in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam has maintained a spot in the overall top three since 2003 when the country, as the host nation, dominated with 158 gold medals.

At the last Games in 2013, Vietnam ranked third in the overall medal standings with 73 gold medals, 86 silvers and 86 bronzes, after Thailand and hosts Myanmar.-VNA