SEA Games Opening Ceremony Held in Hanoi

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The opening ceremony the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam(photo: Việt Nam News)

The official opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games was held at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi in front of a large crowd of spectators and athletes.

The event was attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who announced the official opening yesterday and welcomed athletes from Southeast Asian nations. 

Hot air balloons bearing the flags of the participating countries were sent into the sky as part of the spectacle.

Vietnamese lotus dancers were a highlight of the opening ceremony, in tribute to the country’s symbolic national flower.

An athlete parade saw representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Laos will compete 29 sports out of forty in 526 programs, including petanque, billiards, kickboxing, Lao and Thai boxing, wushu, cycling, taekwondo, kick volleyball, pencak silat, karate, judo, professional wrestling, archery, running, weightlifting, vovinam and swimming.

Also on the bill will be football, badminton, tennis, beach volleyball, gymnastics, E-sports, shooting, table tennis, bodybuilding and dancesport. 

The Laos U-23 football team made initial headway in Group B, beating Singapore 2-0, however, losing to Indonesia and Cambodia has left them out of the running.  

Vietnam is on the top of the medal tally with 15 gold, 9 silver, 12 bronze medals followed by Malaysia with 11 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze