The 87-member contingent will join nearly 2,000 student athletes in Singapore, which is hosting the annual ASG for the second time, since its introduction in 2009. This year’s event also coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. This is the first time all the 10 member-countries will be competing together.
ASG 2017’s theme is “Together as ONE,” representing the goal of ASEAN youths to achieve solidarity through school sports, friendly competition and cultural exchange. During the seven-day competition, events in 10 sports, including basketball, tennis, badminton, tenpin bowling and volleyball will be held.
Vietnamese competitors will take part in four sports, including athletics, table tennis, swimming and gymnastics.
“Vietnam students have been preparing well for the games, but we have not set any target for them. We expect them to learn and exchange knowledge with friends, with a view to narrow the gap between the regional students and to promote friendship among participating members of the ASG,” said Nguyen Thi Nghia, deputy minister of education and training.
Nghia said Vietnamese students would compete for national pride. They will try their best to show their friends the development Vietnam has achieved in sport, especially among its students, he said.
Vietnamese athletes are expecting to win in athletics, table tennis and gymnastics, as they have performed well in these disciplines in different competitions ahead of the games.
Among the athletes, Nguyen Trung Cuong (boys’ 2.000m steeplechase), Ngo Thi Khanh Ny (girls’ 2.000m steeplechase) and Bui Thi Trang (girls’ 400m hurdle) have the potential to win titles. All of them qualified to take part in the ongoing world International Association Athletics Federation’s World U18 Championship in Kenya after their outstanding performance at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Thailand in May.
Cuong won a gold, Ny took a silver, while Trang was fourth in their respective categories.
Because of the lack of cash, they could not compete in Kenya but are now focussing on the Singapore Games.
The ASG’s opening ceremony will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium tonight. This will be followed by five days of competition until July 19.
ASG is the annual games for ASEAN schools. Organised under the auspices of the ASEAN Schools Sports Council (ASSC), it is an apolitical regional sports organisation that promotes sports amongst the member countries.
ASG is expected to promote ASEAN solidarity in our youth through school sports. Through the games, school athletes have a chance to benchmark their sporting talents in the region. They also can interact and engage in cultural exchange within ASEAN.
In last year’s games, Vietnam finished with 19 gold medals. Hosts Thailand topped the ranking with 56 titles, followed by Indonesia with 30.