Sports & Entertainment
High hopes for top Vietnamese athletes
  • | VNS | October 30, 2010 12:37 PM

Vietnamese athletes are ready to compete in next month\'s Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou, China, deputy head of the National Sports Administration Le Quy Phuong said.

Athlete Vu Thi Huong will compete at ASIAD 16

Athletes will be given random doping tests before the Asian Games begin on November 12-27.

Samples will be taken at the national training centres in Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang and sent for testing at a laboratory in Beijing as Viet Nam has not yet built a doping test centre.

Phuong, who will lead the team at the Asian Games, said athletes had taken medical advice during training to ensure that they had avoided banned substances.

"We have proposed a VND76 billion (US$3.8 million) doping test centre project, but it has yet to be completed. However, we must control drug use among athletes who will face testing at the games. At the Beijing Olympics two years ago, gymnast Do Thi Ngan Thuong tested positive for banned substances," Phuong said.

"Coaches and doctors monitored the use of drugs and medicines the athletes took during their training, to ensure they didn\'t use banned substances."

Thuong was banned from competition for a year after she tested positive for diuretic furosemide at the Beijing Olympics.

As the Asian Games is the crucial sporting event this year, the sports administration has increased daily food supplements for athletes from VND120,000 to VND200,000 over a three-month period.

Earlier, the administration also gave special nutritional supplements to the 60 athletes most likely to win medals at the games.

Viet Nam announced its 260-member squad to compete in 29 of the 42 events at the 16th Asian Games two weeks ago.

The country hopes to bring home four to six gold medals to finish 15th out of the 45 participating countries and territories.

"We are targeting 12 sports in which we hope to win between four and six golds. Sepak takraw, karate, shooting, taekwondo, wushu, chess, Chinese chess, and dance sport are events in which Viet Nam hopes to win gold. Four years ago, Viet Nam won three golds at the Doha Asian Games, of which two golds were won by the sepak takraw (rattan kicking) team," Phuong explained.

A farewell ceremony will be held in Ha Noi next Sunday.

The women\'s and men\'s football teams will leave on November 1 and 5, respectively.

All athletes will officially depart for the games on November 10-11.

The sports administration is also giving immediate cash awards of VND30 million (US$1,500) to gold medal winners, in addition to the VND45 million ($2,200) award from the Government.

In Qatar four years ago, Viet Nam won three gold, 13 silver and seven bronze medals to finish 19th in the 45-country strong competition.

Viet Nam began participating in Asia\'s biggest sport event at New Delhi in 1982 and won a single bronze medal in shooting.

In 1994 at the Hiroshima Asian Games in Japan, Taekwondo artist Tran Quang Ha won the country\'s first gold medal, while Pham Hong Ha and Tran Van Thong brought home two silver medals.

At the Busan Asian Games in South Korea in 2002, the country had their best showing, winning four gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals to finish 15th.

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