Vietnam’s sports sector is doing all it can to turn difficulties into advantages for athletes in the race for berths at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Boxer Nguyen Van Duong poses with his 'Olympic ticket'
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of many international sporting events, hindering the Vietnam Sports Administration (VSA)’s plans for athletes to train abroad.
The VSA is now assessing the achievements by athletes and Olympic qualifying standards to devise specific training plans for promising ones.
Vietnamese athletes have also been preparing for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) on their home turf scheduled for November and December next year.
Vietnam sent 23 athletes to the Rio Olympics in Brazil in 2016 and now aims to have up to 20 athletes attend the Tokyo Games.
Only five, however, have secured their tickets to Tokyo, including gymnast Le Thanh Tung, swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang, archers Do Thi Anh Nguyet and Nguyen Hoang Phi Vu, and boxer Nguyen Van Duong.
The Olympic Games were to take place in August but have been delayed to summer next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will, however, retain the name “Tokyo 2020”, according to the International Olympic Committee.
Only some 57 percent of Olympic spots have been determined, and some athletes have been infected with COVID-19./.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will start on 23 July, 2021 and finish 8 August, with the Paralympics following from 24 August to 5 September.
After about 16 years in and around the sport, Thanh has made many ‘firsts’ and the national head coach is looking for more challenges.