10 Athletes to Deliver SEA Games 31 Flame

Ten Vietnamese athletes who have won medals at the Olympics, ASIAD, and SEA Games will join the torch relay at the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in Hanoi, slated for May 12.
The mascot and logo of SEA Games 31. (Photo: VNA)
The mascot and logo of SEA Games 31. Photo: VNA

The opening ceremony of the largest sporting event in the region will be held at 7 pm on May 12 at the My Dinh National Stadium, and is scheduled to last for 120 minutes.

After a parade of 11 sports delegations and the host country’s announcement of opening the regional games, the torch relay will kick off.

Taekwondo martial artist Tran Hieu Ngan, who won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2000 and a bronze medal at 1988 Asian Games (ASIAD), will be the first torchbearer.

The flame will then be transferred to weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan, a silver medal winner at the 2008 Olympics; weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan, a bronze medal winner at the 2021 Olympics; Wushu martial artist Nguyen Thuy Hien, a gold medal winner at the 2001 SEA Games; and swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, a gold medal winner at the 2015 SEA Games.

It will then pass to track-and-field athlete Quach Thi Lan, a gold medal winner at ASIAD 2018; track-and-field athlete Le Tu Chinh, a gold medal winner at the 2019 SEA Games; and gymnast Le Thanh Tung, a gold medal winner at the 2017 SEA Games.

Marksman Hoang Xuan Vinh, who claimed a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, has been tasked with lighting the cauldron.

10 Athletes to Deliver SEA Games 31 Flame
Hoang Xuan Vinh claimed a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Ha Noi Moi

Vinh is the most successful sportsperson in Vietnam's history. He won one gold and one silver at the Rio Games, Vietnam's best result at the world's largest sport festival.

Vinh, now national head coach of the shooting team, will join nine notable athletes to take the honor of anchoring the torch relay, before he lights up the Games flame at the My Dinh National Stadium.

Reigning fencing champion Vu Thanh An will fly the flag for Vietnam at the 31st SEA Games.

10 Athletes to Deliver SEA Games 31 Flame
Fencing champion Vu Thanh An. Photo: H.A

It will be An's fifth time representing the nation. He previously took the responsibility at the Rio Olympics in 2016, SEA Games 2017 and 2019 and the Asian Games in 2018.

An is considered a 'lucky' flag bearer as after his service, Vietnam won their first ever Olympic and Asian Games gold medals.

At this year's Games, An is one of Vietnam's golden hopes in the men's sabre fencing event. The 29-year-old won the title at the last three Games.

Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang will represent all athletes to take the Games' oath while volleyball referee Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa will make a promise to officiate matches based on fairness.

10 Athletes to Deliver SEA Games 31 Flame
Swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang. Photo: H.A

Delegation Registration Meeting to take place early May

Chiefs of delegations and National Olympic Committees of Southeast Asian nations will gather at the Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM) from May 1 – 6, both in-person and online.

They are scheduled to discuss and confirm all information regarding the organization of the tournament, from the number of athletes, entry and exit procedures, venues, accommodations, match schedules, doping testing to transport, logistics, reception, healthcare and security services, and more.

The meeting is expected to be attended by about 80 delegates, including 35-45 from Vietnam and 30-40 from other regional countries.

The SEA Games was scheduled to run from November 21 to December 2, 2021. However, it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Games will feature over 40 sports, and 526 events with the participation of some 10,000 athletes and officials from 11 Southeast Asian countries.

The Vietnamese team will compete at the region’s biggest sports event with 1,359 members.

At the 30th SEA Games in 2019, Vietnam finished second in the overall medal tally, with 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes, just behind the host Philippines./.

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