The Vietnamese sports sector has declared its 2015 goals of maintaining a seat in the top three at the Southeast Asian Games and securing at least 18 spots in the Olympic Games 2016.

The goals are realistic, since they were all achieved in 2011 with a third-place finish at the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia and 18 athletes competing in 11 sports in the London Olympics one year later.

Vietnamese sports have secured a top three ranking in the region every year since 2003 when, as the host nation, Vietnam topped the medal table with 158 gold medals.

There are grounds for optimism, given Vietnamese Olympic sports have made significant progress in recent years.

At the Asian Games 2010, 15 of Vietnam’s medals were won in Olympic sports, and four years later in Incheon, the Republic of Korea, athletes in Olympic sports brought home a total of 26 medals.

Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Vuong Bich Thang said the sector has continued its development strategy with a focus on key sports Vietnam has been strong in, such as weightlifting, swimming, shooting and gymnastics.

Tran Duc Phan, Deputy Director of the Department, said the goal is to lead the region in Olympic sports while making investment for long-term plans beyond the Asian Games 2018 and Olympic 2020.-VNA