|Runner Quách Thị Lan will light the torch at opening ceremony of 31st SEA Games. Photo laodong.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games’ organising committee has selected track and field athlete Quách Thị Lan to light the torch at the Games’ opening ceremony at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hà Nội on May 12.
According to the original plan, the task of lighting the torch was given to shooter Hoàng Xuân Vinh, who won gold for Việt Nam at the Rio Olympics Games in 2016. However, he has turned to coaching for this year's SEA Games.
Vinh will only participate in the torch relay and will hand the torch back to Lan before she lights the torch. This is considered a message from the previous generation to the younger generation: let's play well and win glory for the country at the region's biggest sporting event.
At the upcoming Games, Lan will take part in the 400m. Earlier, at the 30th SEA Games held in the Philippines, Lan won two golds, one silver and one bronze. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, she was the only representative of Vietnamese athletics to reach the semi-finals of the women's 400m hurdles.
In addition to Lan and Vinh, the torch relay group includes former taekwondo athlete Trần Hiếu Ngân, former weightlifter Hoàng Anh Tuấn, former weightlifter Trần Lê Quốc Toàn, former track and field athlete Nguyễn Thị Tĩnh, former wushu martial artist Nguyễn Thúy Hiền, former karate athlete Lê Bích Phương and swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên.
The fire ceremony will begin at 5 pm on May 6, at the Hồ Chí Minh Museum.
All those participating in the ceremony will gather at Trịnh Hoài Đức Gymnasium. Leading the delegation will be police cars, followed by two cars carrying 11 outstanding athletes, representing each of the 11 countries at the Games. Then there will be 31 motorcycles representing the 31st SEA Games with flags of countries and flags of the Southeast Asian Sports Federation.
The delegation will come to Uncle Hồ's Mausoleum to lay a memorial wreath. After that, they move to the Hồ Chí Minh Museum to perform the ceremony of asking for fire.
The sacred fire will move to Mỹ Đình National Stadium and to Uncle Hồ's worship room, where it will be stored. The flame will be lit in a lamp stored at the stadium and kept until the opening ceremony of the Games. VNS