Preparations on track for SEA Games, torch relay

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SEA Games

An overview of national Mỹ Đình Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. Photos of SEA Games organisers

HÀ NỘI — The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games torch relay will be held 31 days before the opening ceremony, according to the organisers at a press conference in Hà Nội on Monday.

The torch will be lit up at the Hùng Kings Temple in Phú Thọ Province, the ancestral land of Việt Nam, going through 10 cities and provinces before arriving in Hà Nội on May 12.

“We choose 31 days to symbolise the 31st edition of the regional Games,” said Lê Thị Hoàng Yến, deputy director of the Việt Nam Sports Administration (VSA).

“Because of the pandemic, we could not make it a massive event but expect to have a well-organised event like that I participated in at the Malaysian Games in 2017.”

Bắc Giang Province’s gymnasium will host badminton competitions.

Yến also re-introduced the Games’ logo, website, fan page and slogan (For a Stronger Southeast Asia) and the mascot of the sao la, a rare animal that can be seen only in Việt Nam and Laos.

For the first time, the official song entitled Hãy Tỏa Sáng (Let’s Shine) by musician Huy Tuấn was also presented.

Organisers will open registration for press cards on March 15. Local journalists and news agencies could register online, ASEAN agencies will register through their national Olympic committees, while non-ASEAN bodies should contact Việt Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cards will be delivered at the Games’ main press centre at the National Convention Centre in Mỹ Đình, airports and hotels.

The National Convention Centre will be an area for the main press centre, international broadcasting centre and esports tournaments.

To popularise the SEA Games internationally, there will be no limitation to the number of journalists working in Việt Nam.

Việt Nam Television (VTV) also reported on their works and services at the Games.

Phạm Anh Tuấn, deputy minister of Information and Communications, said up to 17 Olympic sports will be broadcast live and VTV would try their best to show as many live sports as possible.

Countries’ broadcasters and television networks can negotiate with VTV to produce their own programmes.

Yến said organisers would support the media in visa issues and create the best conditions for them to work at the SEA Games.

Đại Yên Sports Palace in Quảng Ninh Province will host volleyball games.

Dr Nguyễn Văn Phú reported about health work and regulations on COVID-19 procedures on anti-doping tests.

He stressed that all teams and reporters must strictly follow regulations to control measures, including negative test results, before arriving in Việt Nam.

Hanaka Paris Ocean Park in Từ Sơn City, Bắc Ninh Province, will host a tennis event. Hanaka is the largest tennis court centre in Việt Nam.

Organisers will regularly update the pandemic status in Việt Nam regularly and inform participating teams of the latest regulations.

No quarantine is applied for SEA Games participants and journalists. After entry into Việt Nam and hotel check-ins, people must register their routines during their time in Việt Nam and are allowed to travel within and around the venues.

The 31st SEA Games will have no athlete’s village. Participants will stay in hotels located near their competition venues. Each team will be located on different floors. And will do their daily activities, training and competing under the bubble concept.

The organisers on Monday also introduced hotels, mostly four-star and better ones. Prices are around US$80 per day.

The organisers will cooperate with the Ministry of Health on plans to face the pandemic. In cases of F0s incidents, patients will be isolated and receive treatment at the hotel spare rooms. Events will be continued as planned.

Rowing, canoeing and kayak will be held in Thủy Nguyên Rowing Centre in Hải Phòng.

The 31st SEA Games will be held from May 12-23 in Hà Nội and 11 surrounding provinces. Almost 10,000 competitors of all 11 member countries will vie for medals in 526 events in 40 sports.

“Not only merely a sporting event, but the Games is also an occasion of cultural and tourist exchange and promotion among countries in the region,” said Hoàng Đạo Cương, deputy ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

“This is a good opportunity for any country that hosts the event to show its responsibility to the international community, hospitality and desire to contribute to ASEAN’s development.

The Việt Nam Sports Administration head office is the mastermind centre of the 31st SEA Games.

“Preparation activities are almost done under the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the VSA and host cities and provinces. With about 70 days left, we will make sure everything is ready.”

The second meet of the SEA Games chef-de-mission will be held on March 18. Officials and media representatives will visit several training and competition venues in Hà Nội, as well as Bắc Ninh and Quảng Ninh provinces on March 19. — VNS

31st SEA Games’ official logo.

31st SEA Games’ official mascot.

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