Vietnamese sport wrapped up a successful 2015 at international tournaments with 457 gold, 355 silver and 321 bronze medals.
The 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 28) was the final leg of the year for Vietnamese sport before it continues new races to earn official tickets to the Rio 2016 Olympics, which is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5-21.
Vietnam’s ability has been confirmed in Southeast Asia, as in the recent SEA Games, it was always in the top three in the medal tally.
However, in a professional world competition like the Olympics, Vietnam is yet to get a firm foothold, proven by its failure at the London 2012 Olympics - with no medals at all.
With lessons from London four years ago, Vietnamese sport has made more careful preparations for the upcoming event. It has taken a string of measures to realise a strategy on developing sports and physical training by 2020, with a master plan on developing the Vietnamese stature in 2011-2030.
Encouraging initial results have been seen with a generation of young, talented athletes who have made impressive achievements in regional, continental and world arenas.
Among them are swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who pocketed eight gold medals and set eight new records at SEA Games 28, six golds at the Southeast Asia Age Group Championships, and one silver and two bronze medals at the 2015 International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Cup series; and Phan Thi Ha Thanh, who won two gold and one silver medals at the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cups in Qatar and Bulgaria.
Weightlifter Khong My Phuong bagged one gold and one silver in the girls’ 44kg category at the World Junior and Youth Weightlifting Championship in Peru.
At a conference to launch the General Department of Sports and Physical Education’s 2016 tasks, deputy head Tran Duc Phan said that the general department had selected 45 athletes for Olympics qualifying tournaments with a goal of earning at least 15 tickets to the event.
The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics is expected to lure more than 13,000 athletes from 206 countries and territories competing in 28 sport events.