Vietnamese athletes are set to compete in 36 sporting events for a top three spot at the 26 th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the largest regional sporting event of its kind, in Indonesia next month.

Head of the national squad, Lam Quang Thanh, told reporters at a press conference on Oct. 20 that Vietnam would do its utmost at the SEA Games against powerhouses including Thailand , Malaysia , Singapore and the hosts to bag at least 70 gold medals.

"Vietnamese athletes will compete at the SEA Games to promote solidarity, friendship and development within ASEAN," Thanh said.

"One of the toughest tasks will belong to the men's under-23 football team in its quest for top honours," he added, saying that the SEA Games will be a crucial test for Vietnamese athletes ahead of next year's London Olympics.

Vietnam has also set its sights on martial arts events including vovinam, karate, wushu, taekwondo and judo.

Speaking at the press conference, sponsors promised to give an immediate cash-prize of 50 million VND (2,500 USD) to the first five gold medal winners at the event.

The 26th SEA Games will draw athletes from 11 countries to compete in 42 events for 545 medals in Jakarta and Palembang from November 11-22.

Vietnamese athletes, coaches and officials will join in a seeing-off ceremony at the Opera House in Hanoi on October 30./.