Vietnamese petanque team aims for at least one gold medal at 31st SEA Games hinh anh 1Vietnamese petanque team at a training session. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese national petanque team is striving to fulfill the task of winning at least one gold medal at the 31st Southeast Games, according to the national SEA Games 31 organising committee.

According to coach Dang Xuan Vui, the 19-member team convened in March in preparation for the Games. They will compete in eight categories.

Lack of competition is the biggest problem for the team during the preparation for the Games, Vui said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team could not compete with other rivals at international sports events, resulting in the fact that the coaching staff doesn’t have updated information on other teams in Southeast Asia.

Prior to the Games, athletes only participated in two domestic tournaments, which were the national and the club championships.

To deal with the issue, the coaching staff tried to create many competitions among them to help them have competitive feelings.

It’s not easy to earn a gold medal at SEA Games as the world’s leading petanque teams such as Thailand and Cambodia will take part in the tournament. However, with the advantage of playing at home and having enough time to get used to the playing ground, the Vietnamese national team and coaching team are determined to grab at least one gold this time, he said.

Vui said that as far as he knows, during the 31st SEA Games, Thailand will also send a squad to attend the world championship in Denmark, which means their force in the sport will be stretched thin. This is also an advantage for other teams, including the Vietnamese team but this is not a prerequisite, he went on, adding that the most important thing is how the players promote their efforts and strength.

As the tournament is approaching, the training time frame will be arranged close to the competition time so that athletes can adapt.

In addition, we also take measures to help them stabilise their psychology during competition, Vui said.

The Vietnamese team won two bronze medals at 30th SEA Games held in the Philippines in 2019. /.