Vietnam target three golds at Asian Games 2018
Updated : Thursday, January 04, 2018 2:40 PM (GMT+0700)

Aftera year of success, Vietnamese sportsmen are headed for a busy 2018 with atarget of at least three gold medals at the most important event, Asian Games(ASIAD) in Indonesia.

Long jumper Bui Thi Thu Thao celebrates her victory at the 29th SEA Games last August

At a recent meet with sportsmanagers and officials, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen NgocThien said, “I have heard reports about plans to train young talents to improveVietnam’s results in international competitions. However, the most importanttask now is to focus on ASIAD 2018 where we have to win at least three goldmedals — as many as what we did in 2006. We could do it in the past so why notnow!”

According to Thien, thefirst step of the plan is to select the most outstanding athletes for theGames.

“There is no time to think.We have to do it now. We have athletes who have already reached the worldlevel. I want managers, coaches and experts to sit down together to build aplan, which will be popularised for public opinion before the final decision ofsending athletes to the best venues and destinations for training andcompetition. Through these activities, we could find the best ones for the Games.It is not a difficult job”, he said.

At the upcoming tournamentin August, Vietnam plans to take part in about 20 of the 40 sports. Karate,wushu and pencak silat are the sports in which players stand a chance to wingold medals.

The other sports, which arebelieved to have athletes on top of the podium, are weightlifting,tracks-and-field, swimming and shooting.

“More than 400 athletes and85 coaches will be summoned in five different centres for the Games. Apart fromtaking part in domestic competitions, key athletes will be sent abroad forinternational events. We also plan to hire 15 foreign trainers for some sports,which are believed to have a chance of bringing gold medals”, said Hoang QuocVinh, head of the Elite Sports Department 1 of the National SportsAdministration.

“This year, we will alsoapply science and technology of biomedicine, psychology-education and solutionsof nutrition and fitness recovery in the training activities. The best trainingequipment and competition clothes will be given to all national trainingcentres so that athletes can enjoy the best environment and conditions”, hesaid.

According to Nguyen ManhHung, chief of the Secretariat of the Athletics Department, apart from martialarts such as karate and wushu, which brought Vietnam gold medals in theprevious Games,  Vietnamese runners could vie for gold in severalcategories.

“This year, the athleticsdepartment has been given a 4 billion VND (179,000 USD) budget. The money willbe spent on key athletes to reach our target. We have high hopes in the women’s400m and 400m hurdle and especially the women’s long jump event”, Hung said.

The tracks-and-field teamhad an outstanding year in 2017 with two Asian championships’ titles for runnerNguyen Thi Huyen in the women’s 400m hurdle and for Bui Thi Thu Thao in thewomen’s long jump. The duo also contributed four medals to Vietnam’s record of17 golds at the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia.

Hung said there were plansto send athletes to train abroad. Runners such as Quach Cong Lich, Quach ThiLan and Le Tu Chinh will enjoy their courses in the US.

Head of the WeightliftingDepartment Do Dinh Khang said his lifters Thach Kim Tuan and Trinh Van Vinh,world champions in the men’s 56-kg and 62-kg categories, respectively, wouldreceive special focus to win ASIAD golds. Another hope could be Tran Thi MyDung, who took a silver in the Asian Championship 2017.

Shooting coach Nguyen ThiNhung said there were plans of training Olympic winner Hoang Xuan Vinh so thathe could regain his top form in 2018.

Nhung, General Secretary ofthe Shooting Department, said these activities were aimed at helping world No 1Vinh grab his first-ever ASIAD title that he regrettably missed in the previousGames. 

In gymnastics, Asian and SEAGames champion Le Thanh Tung is expected to make a break. His senior teammatesPham Phuoc Hung, Dang Nam and Dinh Phuong Thanh are working hard to change thecolour of their two bronze medals that they won at the Incheon Games four yearsago.

In swimming, trio Nguyen ThiAnh Vien, Nguyen Huy Hoang and Nguyen Huu Kim Son will have to try their bestfor a target of one gold.

In Incheon, Vietnam won onegold, 10 silver and 25 bronze medals to rank No 21. The country’s best resultwas four golds at the Busan Games in 2002.


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