Its aim is more modest than at the former Games in Thailand because a number of star athletes are failing to find their form this year, says Duong Duc Thuy, head of the athletic team.
“Two years ago in Korat (Thailand), we won eight golds but things have now changed a lot,” he says. “After the third Asian Indoor Games (AIG) and the Asian championship, we can now look for golds in the women’s 100m, 200m, 800m, 1,500m and men’s decathlon events.”
Vietnam’s sprinter Vu Thi Huong is believed to take the lead as she set a new women’s record of 7.24 seconds in the women’s 60m at the AIG.
Vietnam is also expecting Asian Grand Prix champion Truong Thanh Hang to win golds. At this year’s SEA Games she will defend her titles in the 800m and 1,500m.
Thuy, who is also head of the National Sports Administration’s athletics department, says he is also concerned about former Asian champion and SEA Games defending champion Bui Thi Nhung. The high jumper just managed to clear the bar at 1.8m at the third AIG in Hanoi this year, 0.14m lower than the level she recorded in Thailand in 2005.Vietnamese athletic team ended second behind host Thailand in the previous SEA Games two years ago.