sport

SEA Games hold flag-raising ceremony ahead of opening


The 31st SEA Games flag-raising ceremony team. VNA/VNS via ANN

The 31st SEA Games flag-raising ceremony team. VNA/VNS via ANN

HANOI— The flag-raising ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games took place at the My Dinh National Sports Complex in Hanoi on Wednesday with the participation of more than 8,000 delegates.

At 9.34 am, the national flag, along with the flags of ten Southeast Asian countries, rose over Stand B of the complex. There were 11 sports delegations including the Philippines, with 31 members of each delegation, and representatives of their embassy in Vietnam there for the event.

At the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, who is also deputy head of the SEA Games 31 Organizing Committee Hoang Dao Cuong warmly welcomed leaders, officials and sports delegations of Southeast Asian countries to SEA Games 31.

Cuong said this was the second time that Vietnam has been honored by hosting the SEA Games, demonstrating the right, the obligation and the responsibility of the host country for Southeast Asia.

In the past two years, the region’s most prominent sports event was postponed due to the complicated development of COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are many difficulties and challenges, but with the Government’s determination, the Vietnamese people’s strong support and the enthusiastic support of the sports delegation of 11 Southeast Asian countries, in particular, the organizing committee gained more faith to organize a successful and safe SEA Games,” he said.

Cuong said SEA Games 31 would be held between May 12 and 23 in Hanoi and 11 nearby cities and localities.

The event will be a sports gathering of Southeast Asia’s outstanding athletes to compete with the further goal of preparing for the Asian Games which was supposed to be held this year.

“We hope that you will have wonderful experiences with the natural beauty of our country, as well as our hospitality during SEA Games 31,” he said.

The flag-raising ceremony is held in every regional, continental and world Sports Games. In Vietnam, the ceremony aims to mark the presence of participating countries, welcome all sports delegations to the 31st SEA Games and encourage the competitive spirit of athletes.

It is also expected to help introduce Vietnam’s cultural identity and people to international friends, bringing a memorable experience to SEA Games competitors.

The opening ceremony of the biennial tournament officially kicks off on Thursday.

Vietnam hosted the SEA Games for the first time in 2003.

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