Athletics with a heavy burden of medals

The Executive Committee meeting of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, term VII (2019-2023) held at the weekend agreed with the goals of the national athletics team in 2022 such as: Topping the 31st SEA Games; strive to defend the gold medal at ASIAD 19. Compared to many other subjects, it is clear that the national track and field team will carry a heavier burden of medals.

The goal is not easy to reach

The above goal has also been mentioned by the athletics department (General Department of Sports and Sports) and the leaders of the sports industry themselves in meetings to deploy tasks in 2022. It seems to be a natural thing for Vietnamese athletics when often ranked first in the number of gold medals at the last two SEA Games. Meanwhile, at ASIAD 18 in 2018, Vietnamese athletics also won 2 gold medals by Bui Thi Thu Thao (long jump) and Quach Thi Lan (women’s 400m hurdles).

The 31st SEA Games in 2022 takes place right in Vietnam, so claiming the top spot in this playground has been considered the top goal of the year for Vietnamese athletics. This also aims to affirm the strength of Vietnamese sports in basic sports in the Olympic competition system – a goal that has been mentioned many times in recent years. It is no coincidence that the athletics team has gathered up to 75 players for the campaign to defend the top of the SEA Games. All are athletes who have achieved top results in the events participating in the National Athletics Championships and have confirmed their performance since the beginning of the year.

Athlete Quach Thi Lan receives many expectations from the Vietnamese track and field team in 2022.

The problem lies in having a large army, but it must be strong and at the moment, Vietnamese athletics managers are only temporarily reassured with the existing force to be able to realize the goal of winning at least 16 gold medals in order to protect themselves. defending the top of the SEA Games. Nguyen Manh Hung, in charge of athletics (General Department of Sports and Sports), General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, assessed that he must win 16 gold medals in 47 competitions to be able to hope to win the first place in the competition. athletics at the 31st SEA Games. With the existing force, Vietnamese athletics can count on Nguyen Thi Oanh (1,500m, 5,000m, 3,000m obstacle course), Quach Thi Lan, Nguyen Thi Huyen (400m, 400m fence), Pham Thi Hong Le (10,000m), Khuat Phuong Anh (800m)…, or young actors who can compete for gold like Tran Van Dang, Giang Van Dung (800m)…

Meanwhile, as commented by athletics expert Duong Duc Thuy, the game at SEA Games 31 of the Vietnamese athletics team will not be easy. Thailand has lost the first place in the last 2 SEA Games, so it wants to create a throne right in Vietnam. The strength of Thai athletics is always in the top group of Southeast Asia, so it is completely possible to achieve this goal. And if not for objective reasons, when the Thai people completely focus on this goal, it will create many difficulties for Vietnamese athletics in conquering the top of the 31st SEA Games.

The most obvious is in the men’s 800m event, where Vietnamese athletes often win gold medals in recent SEA Games, Thailand has had the presence of a naturalized athlete with the same competition parameters as the top athletes in Vietnam. Currently. Therefore, the journey to defend the top position of SEA Games of Vietnamese athletics right now has been difficult.

Meanwhile, at the ASIAD 19 playground, Vietnamese athletics only cautiously used the word “strive” for the gold goal, even though they won 2 golds at the ASIAD 18 four years ago. Nguyen Manh Hung, in charge of athletics (General Department of Sports and Sports), General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation once analyzed that, when winning the gold medal in the women’s long jump at ASIAD 19 in 2018, Bui Thi Thu Thao only reach 6m55. Most recently, at the National Athletics Championships in December 2021, Bui Thi Thu Thao returned to the competition after 2 years of practice and still won gold but the specifications were only 6m27. In Asia, there are a lot of athletes who overcame 6.6m, even reaching 6m85. Meanwhile, in September 2022, ASIAD 19 took place. The time until ASIAD 19 was really difficult for Bui Thi Thu Thao to be able to put herself in the gold competition group again.

As for the 400m hurdles event – where Quach Thi Lan was crowned champion 4 years ago, naturalized athletes from Middle Eastern countries is still a difficult problem to solve. Then the emergence of new factors, in addition to athletes from the Middle East, also need to be taken into account. So, if at the next ASIAD, even if Vietnamese athletics won 1 gold, it would be too successful.

Effort as much as possible

In fact, Vietnamese athletics has been implementing many solutions to achieve the goal. As with the 31st SEA Games playground, in order to participate, Vietnamese track and field players must meet professional criteria that have been approved by the athletics department (General Department of Sports and Sports), the Vietnam Athletics Federation and the coaching staff. unified national team. In particular, the time to consider professional standards for athletes of groups to compete for the 31st SEA Games will be from December 1, 2021 to the end of March 10, 2022 through results in training, results of tournaments. national championship in 2021 as well as in internal selection tournaments held in early March.

The selection of athletes to attend the 31st SEA Games is specified that only the 2 best athletes in each individual event and the 6 best athletes in each relay event will be registered to participate. If there are 2 or more athletes in 2nd place with equal results, the younger athlete will be selected.

Also in order to fully realize the goal of winning the first place at the 31st SEA Games, on the occasion of the coming Lunar New Year, 75 athletes and nearly 30 coaches can gather the national athletics team at 5 national sports training centers in the coming year. The whole country won’t go home. Team members will start practicing from the 1st of Tet, with no days off.

With the ASIAD 19 playground, it is still necessary to develop a detailed, really tight and definitely expensive plan to be able to strive for gold. Quach Thi Lan is still the brightest name for this goal and in the managers’ plan, she will be given the opportunity to train in Europe, compete in the US, and be given significant resources on Nutrition combines sports science – health… The problem is that foreign training also has many potential risks of COVID-19 infection when the COVID-19 epidemic in the world is still unpredictable. The lesson of Vietnamese female football players infected with COVID-19 while training in Spain is still a valuable experience. Therefore, choosing where to train also needs to be considered.

The year 2022 is full of expectations but also a challenging year for athletics – a subject that still brings pride to Vietnamese sports in the ASIAD arena as well as the SEA Games in recent years!


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