The delegation took part in a send-off ceremony on November 20 at theNational Sports Training Centre in Hanoi, where they displayed theirdetermination to bring home victory.
Speaking at theceremony, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh askedall athletes, coaches and officials to maintain a spirit of fair-playwhile, at the same time, winning medals for the country.
“For many years, Vietnam has been one of the top teams competing atthe SEA Games. I have seen and appreciated how all athletes have workedso hard, through their labours and efforts in the past months, inpreparation for the Games,” said Anh.
“I believethat they will do their best to win in Myanmar, where they will alsoshow off their solidarity, spirit of fair-play and each of them will bean ambassador to promote Vietnam’s image to our world-wide friends,” hesaid.
On behalf of the 519 athletes participating atthe SEA Games, pencak silat martial artist Nguyen Thi Thuy said sheunderstood that being a national team member is a matter of pride forall Vietnamese. Also, she said she was aware that participating as ateam member carried important duties and responsibilities, and promisedto compete and return home with SEA Game medals.
Sponsors and awards
As regulated, a SEA Games gold medal winner will be awarded 65millionVND (3,100 USD), while an athlete who sets a new Games record willreceive 15 million VND (700 USD).
According to headof Vietnam’s team Lam Quang Thanh, apart from these bonuses, athleteswill also receive ‘on-the-spot’ awards. Team leaders will present 6million VND (285 USD) for a champion in individual events, whilefootball will offer the largest bonus of 60 million VND (2,850 USD) forteam events.
Many businesses have also promised to support the national teams with both cash and presents.
The SPM Company, whose My Vita brand sells vitamin and ginsengnutritional products, will provide every athlete with their products toassure they remain in top form during the tournament, while offeringbonuses for best athlete of the day of 15 million VND (710 USD) and bestathlete of the Games of 20 million VND (950 USD).
Also, the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation will present a digitalsatellite receiver and 12 months’s free access to its network to everygold medalist.
The Vietnamese athletes alsoenjoy significant support from Dong Luc Sport Group and An PhuocGarment, which have contributed up to 5.2 billion VND (248,000 USD) foruniforms and footwear.
Vietnam will send a combinedteam of 750 athletes and officials to the Games, where they willcompete in 29 of 33 sports events at the tournament, hoping to bringhome at least 70 gold medals, said officials.
Football teams will be the first to arrive in Nay Pyi Taw on November26, while the largest group from the delegation will leave for thecompetition on December 4.
The Games will officiallyopen on December 11 and close 11 days later on December 22. The openingand closing ceremonies are both to be held at Wunna Theikdi Stadium inthe capital.
At the last SEA Games held in Jakartatwo years ago, Vietnam ranked third, winning 96 gold medals, trailingthe host Indonesia with 182 and Thailand with 109.-VNA