A send-off ceremony was held in Hanoi on September 13 for the Vietnamese delegation to the 17 th Asian Games (ASIAD 17), held in Incheon, the Republic of Korea, from September 19 to October 4.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said joining athletes from 45 countries and territories from all over Asia for the ASIAD 17 is a highlight for Vietnam ’s sports sector in 2014.

He expressed his belief that all members of the delegation would try their hardest to achieve top results and act as fair sportsmen and –women, representing Vietnam as friendship ambassadors.

According to the head of the Vietnamese delegation Lam Quang Thanh, the delegation includes 289 members from 22 teams competing in 36 sports.

Vietnam expects to do particularly well in 15 sports, including shooting, swimming, fencing, taekwondo, boxing, wushu and apparatus gymnastics, he said, adding that the delegation aims to win 2 or 3 gold medals.

The Vietnamese delegations has been training hard and is fully prepared for ASIAD 17, he stated. Training included sending select athletes of a number of disciplines abroad, including swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien who trained in the US .

“Speed queen” Vu Thi Huong and the young athlete Quach Thi Lan are promising competitors for the track and field events.

On the occasion, the Vietnam News Agency’s The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) newspaper and Saigon-Hanoi Insurance Corporation launched a programme which will follow the Vietnamese athletes at ASIAD 17 and the Asian Para Games 2014, and will present awards to the medallists.-VNA