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|A bird's eye view of My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress|
Vietnam will host the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), followed by the 11th ASEAN Para Games (Para Games 11) in 2021, as announced by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 14 2019
Both the SEA Games 31 and the Para Games 11 are expected to draw the participation of 11 countries from throughout the region.
In total, the SEA Games 31 will consist of 36 sporting events, while the Para Games 11 will include 14 events.
The SEA Games 31 is scheduled to take place in Hanoi and other nearby localities in late November in 2021. This will be followed by the Para Games 11 which will get underway one month later.
My Dinh National Stadium will be repaired at the end of October to prepare for the organisation of SEA Games 2021, according to the National Sports Administration.
The total estimated budget of VNĐ150 billion (US$6.4 million) will be taken from the State budget for renovation in late October to prepare for the 31st SEA Games.
With the main venue in Hanoi, the My Dinh National Stadium will be the heart of the upcoming SEA Games with the opening, closing ceremony, athletics and football competitions.
Vnexpress reported that Nguyen Viet Tien, director of My Dinh Stadium, said the national sport complex had already finished upgrading its track and field facilities for an estimated of VND40 billion (nearly $1.71 million).
The construction unit has since invited experts from International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) to inspect and certify whether the track is eligible for international athletics tournaments.
The SEA Games or the Southeast Asian Games is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia.
No national or international athletics tournaments have been held at My Dinh Stadium since 2012 due to track degrade.
Duong Duc Thuy, head of the athletics department under the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, and Nguyen Manh Hung, general secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, said they expect to host the National Championships and Athletics Tournament in November so athletes could compete on the new track. However, the race might be moved to Saigon in late September or early October if My Dinh Statium requires further upgrade.
Tien said since the athletics tournament usually spans only seven to 10 days, there is no problem pushing back upgrades for SEA Games one to two weeks.
Repair is also to commence on the grass surface of the stadium, last replaced in 2011-2012, alongside the possible addition of side tracks.
|SEA Games 2003 at My Dinh National Stadium ( Photo: vietnamnet)|
Besides, Thuy said an extra practice field is a mandatory requirement included in IAAF regulations for tournaments.
The General Department of Sports and Physical Training is now considering taking advantage of Hanoi Sports and Training Center near My Dinh Stadium as a training facility.
Renovation will take place from the end of 2020 to 2021 and will force Vietnam's national men’s football team to look for other venues during future international games.
The 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi will feature the largest number of Olympic sports in the event’s history. The government has determined that Olympic and Asian Games fixtures will account for two thirds of the SEA Games, while other countries could propose the inclusion of other events.
Vietnam will be hosting the SEA Games for the second time after first doing so in 2003.
At last year’s games the country finished second in the medals tally with 288, including 98 golds.
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