Vietnam to upgrade My Dinh Stadium ahead of 2021 SEA Games

By Dang Khoa   April 25, 2020 | 07:08 pm PT
Vietnam to upgrade My Dinh Stadium ahead of 2021 SEA Games
A bird's eye view of My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
My Dinh Stadium will undergo a VND150 billion ($6.4 million) renovation in late October to prepare for the 31st SEA Games.

Nguyen Viet Tien, deputy 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 Stadium 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.

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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