VPBank Hanoi Marathon Discloses Special Tickets to 31st SEA Games

Information of nonprofessional marathon runners being able to attend the 31st Sea Games to be held in Hanoi has further been the focus of attention of the domestic running community, with a number of questions, such as: Which are the criteria to select accompanying runners? Which marathon will the accompanying runners be chosen? At which running tracks runners could easily meet the required criteria?

The VPBank Hanoi Marathon will help runners get the correct answers from the following talk between Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF), and the site Webthethao.com.

VPBank Hanoi Marathon Discloses Special Tickets to SEA Games 31


Interest has been rising high among the running-passinate community of the information that "200 nonprofessional runners are to selected to run in the 31st SEA Games marathon". There are huge questions going around, such as: What are the selection criteria for a competing slot? How many male and female runners will be selected to join the 31st SEA Games?"

Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, VAF General Secretary, has disclosed many interesting details on the topic that has been stirring up the domestic running community.

Mr. Hung said that the running movement in general and marathon in Vietnam have been well developed, with running groups gathering up to thousands. This is the basis for the VAF to propose to the Asian Athletics Federation to create conditions for Vietnamese athletes to get the competing opportunity at the 31st SEA Games.

“The Asian Athletics Federation highly welcomes this idea and has agreed to the proposal of the VAF. This will be the first time in a SEA Games when nonprofessional athletes have the opportunity to compete with elite runners in the marathon content,” Mr. Hung emphasized.

To win the "special ticket" to the 31st SEA Games, athletes must meet the performance standards set by the VAF on the standard running course managed by the federation, according to the VAF General Secretary.

“Now the running tracks at the VPBank Hanoi Marathon, the Tien Phong Marathon and the Halong Bay Heritage Marathon are the standard ones managed by the VAF, but only two marathons, the VPBank Hanoi Marathon and the Tien Phong Marathon, are suitable in terms of timing for us to select the top 200 athletes to participate in the 31st SEA Games,” Mr. Hung said.

Of the 200 selected athletes, it is not necessary to divide the men and women into two equal groups, but it will be based on their own performance standards. For example the standard for female runners is about three hours to four hours.

Currently, there are only 30-40 female runners who have completed the marathon in Vietnam within three to four hours. Therefore, the VAF plans to pick 30 female runners, while the rest will be male runners (170).

Evaluating the two standard running tracks which the VAF has chosen to "recruit for the SEA Games", Mr. Hung said the VPBank Hanoi Marathon running track (which is scheduled for October 24, 2021) was more beautiful, and it would be easier for runners to be qualified because the track is flat and lies in the city.

The tracks of the Tien Phong Marathon (to be held on March 28, 2021) in Pleiku city of Gia Lai province is characterized by many steep slopes, wind and sunshine will limit athletes' achievements.

Another advantage of the VPBank Hanoi Marathon running track is its similarity to the 31st SEA Games track, as per Mr. Hung's assessment.

"The VPBank Hanoi Marathon has a great advantage not only because of its beautiful track, but also because of the cool autumn weather, similar to the weather at the time of the SEA Games. All elements of the VPBank Hanoi Marathon tracks can leave impact on runners' achievement,” Mr. Hung said.

Among the two above-mentioned running tracks, which one to be selected by runners in order to qualify for the standard is up to the runners, but the VAF General Secretary affirms that runners have two opportunities. If they have not achieved their desired results at the Tien Phong Marathon to join the 31st SEA Games, they can still improve their performance to achieve their goals at the VPBank Hanoi Marathon. This means that runners have the right to use the best performance of either the marathon to register, just like professional athletes who can participate in 10 different races to qualify for the Olympics.

Another issue in which the Vietnamese running community is highly interested is how the 200 selected athletes are going compete at the SEA Games later this year.

Responding to this question, Mr. Hung said: “SEA Games is a tournament of regional level so it will be controlled very tightly. The running track must be measured by Class A referees. The track will be completely fenced, so it is difficult to stretch on many city roads. We plan to fence the F1 track in My Dinh area off for the 31st SEA Games.

Normally, SEA Games stipulates that each country can send two athletes to attend, while the maximum is 20 male athletes and 20 female athletes. However, in recent years only more than 10 athletes attended this distance. Many countries did not send their athletes to attend.

Vietnam is the host, but only two elite male and female athletes participate officially in the 31st SEA Games. Having not been selected for the official run, athletes from other teams will also join in the capacity of accompanying runners among the 200 runners.

Accompanying runners may start at the same time as the official athletes, but the organizers will make lanes or have a reasonable plan to separate the official athletes from the nonprofessional athletes to make sure they won't affect the performance of the official athletes.”

Finally, when asked to comment on the chance to win marathon medals at the 31st SEA Games, especially that for Vietnamese athletes, the VAF General Secretary did not hide his optimism. He said: “In the previous SEA Games in other countries, the organizers would often hide the route, so arriving there several days in advance to adapt and get familiar (with the tracks) is not enough, sometimes runners still get lost. The marathon characteristics is that (runners need) to get familiar with the track and climate. In particular, in Southeast Asia only in Vietnam it is cold in November and December. That is the advantage for our athletes. In addition we will also get strong support from domestic fans.

Eighteen years ago, when the SEA Games was held in Vietnam, athlete Nguyen Chi Dong won a silver medal in the men's marathon with a PR of 2 hours 21 minutes 51 seconds. This record has so far not been broken by any Vietnamese athlete. If we are well prepared, we can compete for the top position”.

Source: Webthethao.com




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