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31st SE Asian Games officially open in Vietnam

31st SE Asian Games officially open in Vietnam

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 20:58 GMT+7
31st SE Asian Games officially open in Vietnam
Artists put on a performance during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games officially kicked off with a glittering opening ceremony at the 40,000-seat My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday night.

The opening night began with a flag-raising ceremony in the background of Vietnam’s national anthem, ‘Tien Quan Ca,’ then came a flashy dance demonstration depicting the rich Vietnamese culture.

The sports delegations of the 11 participating nations paraded into the stadium, with the Vietnamese contingent preceded by flag-bearer and swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang.

Vietnamese delegates wave during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese athletes wave flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The parade of officials and athletes was followed by the hoisting of the Southeast Asian Games Federation’s flag.

Vietnam's State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc then declared the 31st SEA Games officially open.

Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc declares the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games officially open at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc declares the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games open at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

To conclude the opening, track-and-field athlete Quach Thi Lan was shown lighting the cauldron at My Dinh National Stadium, before colorful fireworks lit the surroundings at the complex.

The 31st SEA Games, which feature 526 categories in 40 sports, are taking place in Hanoi and 11 neighboring provinces and cities and will run until May 23.

Malaysian delegates wave during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Malaysian athletes wave flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The biennial event was originally scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 2, 2021 but was postponed after Vietnam saw a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in late April the same year.

Over 7,878 athletes, coaches, and members of the 11 sports delegations have registered for the event.

Philippine delegates wave during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Philippine athletes wave flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s delegation participating in this year’s SEA Games consists of 951 athletes competing in 508 categories, 250 coaches, 30 experts, and 46 team managers.

Team Vietnam sets a target of winning at least 140 gold medals and ranking first in the medal table.

Lao delegates wave during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Lao athletes wave flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam ranked second behind host the Philippines, winning 98 gold, 85 silver, and 105 bronze medals at the 30th SEA Games in 2019.

This is the second time that Vietnam has hosted the SEA Games after the first time in 2003. 

Below are some pictures of the 31st SEA Games opening ceremony:

Spectators attend the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Spectators attend the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's national flag is hoisted during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's national flag is hoisted during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Artists demonstrate a performance during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Artists demonstrate a performance during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An artist demonstrates a flute performance during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An artist puts on a flute performance during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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