Vietnamese athletes plagued by difficulties before Olympics

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The Vietnamese gymnastics and track and field teams pose before flying to London for the Olympics

The Vietnamese Olympic gymnastics and track and field teams have had to move their UK training center twice as the two initial locations provided didn't have enough room for them.

England's unfriendly weather and food have also been problems.

There were not enough places for the teams to practice at their initial training location in London, and the athletes had to move to England's northwestern city of Bradford, 300km from London.

The teams' coaches said that when they arrived at Bradford College there was not enough equipment for the gymnasts and the athletes did not even have a field to practice on.

The gymnasts then had to move to Leeds City, 35km from Bradford, and the track and field team had to move to another university, 25km away.

Female high jumper Duong Thi Viet Anh said she and her compatriots were struggling.

"The weather is pretty cold in England now," she complained. "There is not a place for practice so we had to move a pretty long distance; and car sickness is a problem for Vietnamese athletes."

English food not known for its particularly enticing flavors has also been a problem for the Vietnamese teams.

However, the General Department of Physical Training and Sports said the Vietnamese athletes were training normally and they are all confident they will be prepared for the global competition.

Lam Quang Thanh, head of the Vietnamese athletic delegation at the 2012 Olympics, said the Olympians were resilient.

"We had expected difficulties when competing in a foreign country, but I believe the Vietnamese athletes will soon adapt to the situation and make good preparations."

In related news, the Vietnamese Paralympics athletes have also left for the London Paralympics, aiming to win at least a medal after failing to bring home any medals from the past three competitions.

The disabled athletes will train in Ireland until August 9 when they will travel to Bradford College in England (assuming there is room for them there) on the 10th of August for more practice before the contest begins on the 29th.

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