The 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi next year will be the first to include all the same disciplines as the Asian Games and Olympics.
SEA Games host countries traditionally gain an advantage in the medals table by skewing the disciplines towards their own traditional sports. Vietnam will still include some traditional sports, but the wider-than-usual field of other sports will mean more opportunities for participating countries to win medals, according to Tran Duc Phan, deputy director of Vietnam’s General Department of Sports and Physical Training.
Tran revealed at a SEA Games meeting in Hanoi at the weekend that Olympic and Asian Games sports will account for two thirds of the events at next year’s Games. Tran has tasked Vietnam’s national sports federations with designing events for the Games under Olympic competition formats.
The traditional Vietnamese sports set for the Games include shuttlecock kicking, diving and vovinam – a Vietnamese martial art.
Participating countries will also be able to propose the inclusion of other sports as per usual practice.
Vietnam finished second in the SEA Games 2019 medals tally with 288, including 98 golds. Next year will mark the second time Vietnam will host the Games, after first hosting them in 2003.