The Vietnamese sports delegation has dethroned Malaysia to stay atop the medal table at the ongoing 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with a total of 17 medals on Wednesday afternoon, one day before the opening ceremony.
Playing host to the Games, Vietnam already claimed six gold medals, five silvers, and six bronzes at the time of writing, according to statistics on the event’s official website.
Kurash contributed four golds and men’s beach handball fetched another on Tuesday, while pencak silat added one more gold on Wednesday morning.
Rowing athletes also won two gold medals in the middle of the day, which have yet to be updated on the official website.
Malaysia, previously the medal leader, fell to second place with six golds, one silver, and four bronzes.
Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand round off the top five, respectively.
The 31st SEA Games are taking place in Hanoi and 11 neighboring provinces and cities.
The official duration is from May 12 to 23, but some events commenced a few days before the opening ceremony, including men’s and women’s football, kickboxing, diving, futsal, beach handball, rowing, and kurash.
The opening ceremony will be organized at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi at 8:00 pm on Thursday and broadcast live on Vietnam Television (VTV) channels.
The biennial event was originally scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 2, 2021 but was postponed after Vietnam saw a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in late April the same year.
The tournament will be attended by 11 delegations from Southeast Asian nations and consist of 526 categories in 40 sports.
Over 7,878 athletes, coaches, and members of the 11 sports delegations have registered for the event.
Vietnam’s delegation participating in this year’s SEA Games consists of 951 athletes competing in 508 categories, 250 coaches, 30 experts, and 46 team managers.
Team Vietnam sets a target of winning at least 140 gold medals and ranking first in the medal table.
Vietnam ranked second behind host the Philippines, winning 98 gold, 85 silver, and 105 bronze medals at the 30th SEA Games in 2019.
This is the second time that Vietnam has hosted the SEA Games after the first time in 2003.