More than 400 Lao athletes from Laos are to participate in the upcoming SEA Games 2021 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, Gen. Chansamone Chanyalath, and Minister of Education and Sports, Mr. Phout Simmalavong, held a press conference on Wednesday at the National University of Laos to announce Laos’ participation at the games.
Laos is to send teams to compete in petanque, billiards, kickboxing, Lao and Thai boxing, wushu, cycling, taekwondo, kick volleyball, pencak silat, karate, judo, professional wrestling, archery, running, weightlifting, vovinam and swimming.
It is hoped that the Lao wushu team, comprised of five male and two female fighters, can bring home a gold medal for Laos.
Lao competitors hope to bag more medals than they did in the previous SEA Games in 2019, hosted by the Philippines, where Laos finished tenth with 35 medals.
Kickboxer Taipanyavong Soukan beat his Indonesian opponent Lumbantungkup Bonatua taking the country’s sole gold medal that year.
At the press conference, Gen. Chansamone announced that the athletes from Laos would be receiving financial support from the government and donations from the private sector.
The government will fund 18 athletes, with sports federations funding 11 others.
Laos conferred two French athletes of Lao descent with honorary Lao passports last week, allowing them to compete in the upcoming SEA Games. 28-year-old professional tennis player Mick Lescure will compete for his homeland, while Dimitri Silalck, a kickboxer, announced he would be unable to participate.
The SEA Game will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from 12 to 23 May.