|The Việt Nam national flag is raised at the National Morodok Techo Sports Complex, the main venue of the 32nd SEA Games. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The national flag of Việt Nam has been raised alongside the nine other ASEAN countries at the welcoming ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games on May 3 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The event marked the official presentation of all sports teams at the regional sports meet.
The organisers welcomed delegations to the Games and exchanged gifts with all teams' representatives.
Việt Nam sent 32 athletes, coaches and officials, led by deputy chief-de-mission Hoàng Quốc Vinh, to attend the National Morodok Techo Sports Complex event.
|The first Vietnamese athletes at the SEA Games. They participated in the flag-raising ceremony on May 3 in Phnom Penh. VNA/VNS Photo|
“We are proud to represent Việt Nam at the SEA Games, where we feel warmly welcomed by the host country," said Vinh.
"We saw the organisers' attentive reception since we were at the airport. They also worked well to promote the Games. Morodok Stadium is majestic. I believe this will be a very successful festival."
Also on May 3, the main part of the Việt Nam delegation left for Phnom Penh.
A total of 168 members departed from Hà Nội, HCM City and Đà Nẵng to join the current team in Cambodia. The rest will leave in the next few days, depending on their competition schedules.
"Vietnamese athletes will compete with the national pride and highest determination at the 32nd SEA Games," said Việt Nam Chief-de-mission Đặng Hà Việt.
"We will not only be fighters representing Việt Nam but also the country's ambassadors to show off our friendship, love of peace and national beauty to international friends."
|The core part of the Việt Nam SEA Games delegation poses for photos before flying to Cambodia for the regional tournament. — VNS Photo Quý Lượng|
The Games will officially begin on May 5 and finish on May 17 in the capital city and four other localities.
More than 12,400 athletes, coaches, officials, staff and volunteers will participate in the biennial event.
Team Việt Nam has 1,003 members, including 702 athletes competing in 31 sports. They target to win between 90-120 gold medals for a place in the top three finish.
Competitors of six teams began their competitions before the opening ceremony, including ouk chaktrang chess, where Việt Nam have already clinched gold in the women's doubles thanks to Phạm Thanh Phương Thảo and Tôn Nữ Hồng Ân. However, they will only receive their medal on May 6, when the event finishes.
On May 4, jiu-jitsu and bokator martial artists began competing. The first medals of the Games and Việt Nam might be from these sports.
"The great success of the ouk chaktrang might be a lucky start for Việt Nam at this Games," said Việt. "I congratulate the team and masters Phương Thảo and Hồng Ân. Hope that other athletes will compete as well as them. "
He informed that Việt Nam's Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang would visit and encourage the SEA Games team on May 4. VNS