|Artists perform during the SEA Games count down event held on April 11 in Hà Nội. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — A ceremony in Hà Nội yesterday celebrated the 31-day mark until the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
This is an important milestone for the regional largest biennial sports festival which will lure more than 7,000 athletes competing in 40 sports from May 12-23 in Hà Nội and 11 other cities and provinces.
Hà Nội will hold 20 sports and take charge of organising the opening and closing ceremonies.
"Hà Nội wants to hold a safe and successful SEA Games and leave beautiful memories with international friends. The SEA Games will show Việt Nam's sporting talent and potential. It is also a way to popularise Việt Nam's amazing landscape and friendly people to the world," said chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.
Also on April 11, the 47th Hà Nội Mới Newspaper's Run for Peace was launched.
The annual event, often held in October, is one of the activities that celebrate the 77th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2); 68 years of liberation of the capital and 23 years of the capital being recognised as a city for peace by UNESCO.
As many as 3,000 Hanoian leaders and residents took part in the Olympic Run Day for public health. The activity appeals to people to follow the “all people take exercise following the example of great Uncle Hồ" campaign.
SEA Games list
Việt Nam will send a strong contingent of more than 1,300 members to the SEA Games, making them the largest delegation as they compete for the top of the medals' charts on home turf.
Trần Đức Phấn, deputy director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration, is the chef-de-mission. He is assisted by two deputies, Hoàng Quốc Vinh, head of the Elite Sport Department 1, and Ngô Ích Quân, head of the Elite Sport Department 2.
Host athletes will compete in all 40 sports at the Games. This is the second time Việt Nam will host the games, the last being 19 years.
A target has been set of winning 140 of 526 available gold medals, which would put them on top of the medal tally.
Among competitors, athletes in track-and-field are the largest number, 68, who also shoulder the heaviest task of winning 16 golds. Việt Nam's athletics has set up their domination in two recent Games, dethroning Thailand who overshadowed them for 14 Games.
E-sports, basketball and swimming are three teams standing behind athletics in terms of the number of participants.
Aerobic, rhythmic gymnastics, chess and Chinese chess have the smallest number of seven to nine players.
Football and futsal are two teams that have not finalised their members.
Currently, Laos and Cambodia have not sent their list of athletes.
Eight other teams have already completed their list; Thailand has 888 athletes; the Philippines 643; Malaysia 654, Indonesia 541, Singapore 474, Myanmar 352, East Timor 69 and Brunei 24.
The final SEA Games competitors will be officially announced in a meeting in early May. — VNS