SEA Games: Spectators pack stadium as first Games since pandemic begins in Hanoi, Latest Team Singapore News
HANOI – The SEA Games returned to Vietnam for the primary time in nearly 20 years on Thursday evening (May 12) with a blinding gentle present and spectacular pyrotechnics witnessed by over 20,000 spectators in a packed My Dinh Stadium.
Vietnamese president Nguyen Xuan Phuc formally declared the thirty first version of the SEA Games open on the opening ceremony, earlier than 11 of the host nation’s athletes – led by monitor and discipline star Quach Thi Lan – lit the flame that symbolised the beginning of 12 days of sporting motion within the nation’s capital.
Postponed from November 2021 owing to the pandemic, this would be the first SEA Games to be staged since Covid-19 emerged.
But Vietnam – which final hosted the Games in 2003 – like many Asean nations, is taking assured strides in direction of returning to normalcy.
Spectators have packed the stands at SEA Games occasions that began early – corresponding to soccer and diving – and plenty of have been noticed not carrying masks.
This was additionally the scene at My Dinh, the place locals started submitting in as nightfall fell over the venue about 90 minutes earlier than the ceremony’s begin.
Team Singapore, comprising 427 athletes who will compete throughout 33 sports activities, had been represented by a 31-strong contingent for the ceremony. They comprised chef de mission (CDM) S. Sinnathurai, assistant CDM Asmah Hanim, flagbearer Sheik Farhan and representatives from athletics, archery, cue sports activities, e-sports, jiu jitsu and silat.
Singapore National Olympic Council president Tan Chuan-Jin was additionally current within the stadium to cheer on the contingent.
Some athletes have but to reach within the nation as they adhere to journey schedules tied to their occasions, whereas others most popular to relaxation in preparation for early battles on Friday.
Silat exponent Farhan, who’s looking for to retain his Class J title from 2017 (it was not contested in 2019), mentioned: “The previous two years have been powerful.
“It’s hard to believe that after three years, we are here at the SEA Games. Walking with my teammates and fellow countrymen into the My Dinh Stadium felt surreal. I felt immense pride carrying the flag for my nation.”
Added Sinnathurai: “We are hopeful that this evening’s spectacular opening ceremony will set the stage to an exciting SEA Games in Hanoi in the coming weeks ahead.”
Thursday evening’s ceremony featured performances from over 1,000 performers, primarily native artists and artwork college students, set towards a formidable backdrop enhanced by augmented actuality know-how.
A slideshow of the 11 taking part South-east Asian nations, in addition to symbols for the 40 sports activities set to be contested on the Games, had been displayed within the type of Vietnam’s conventional Dong Ho people artwork portray.
The SEA Games embody Olympic sports activities corresponding to athletics and swimming, but additionally regional ones like sepak takraw. Some unconventional sports activities, corresponding to fin swimming on this version, can also function relying on the host nation.
Among the world-class athletes set to gentle the competitors stage are Olympic champions Panipak Wongpattanakit (Thailand, taekwondo) and Hidilyn Diaz (Philippines, weightlifting), in addition to Asian file holder Ernest Obiena (Philippines, pole vault).
For these watching again residence in Singapore, the opening ceremony can be a precursor to what followers can count on when the SEA Games returns in 2029. Just hours earlier, the Singapore National Olympic Council and Sport Singapore introduced in a joint media assertion that the Republic would host the biennial occasion in seven years’ time.
The 2029 Games will mark the fifth time Singapore is organising the Games after taking part in host in 1973, 1983, 1993 and most lately in 2015, when it yielded its finest efficiency ever – a haul of 84 gold, 73 silver and 102 bronze medals.