Hanoi marks one year until hosting SEA Games

The official countdown to next year’s Southeast Asian Games began on Saturday when representatives of regional countries met in Hanoi for a ceremony witnessed by thousands of local residents.

Hanoi marks one year until hosting SEA Games
ASEAN representatives push botton to kick off the countdown clock to mark one year to SEA Games in Hanoi on November 21. — Photo bvhttdl.gov.vn

The event held at the Ly Thai To Garden next to Hoan Kiem Lake was part of activities to celebrate one year to the 31st tournament.

The Games will be held in Vietnam for the second time, following the first time in 2003.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam will try its best to prepare and organise a successful SEA Games. The tournament will be a chance for ASEAN countries to show our friendship, solidarity and understanding with each other,” said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, head of the 31st SEA Games organising board.

The biennial Games will be on November 21-December 2 with 40 official sports held mainly Hanoi.

“It is a year from now to the opening ceremony. We still have many things to do, the preparation for infrastructure, athletes and logistics,” said Le Hoang Yen, deputy head of the Vietnam Sports Administration.

“But it is really an honour for us to hold such a big competition and we believe that sports officials and Vietnamese people will be proud of being hosts, warmly welcome international friends and promise a fair-play competition on home turf,” she told Việt Nam News.

Many national champions attend the event.

“As the winner of the 2019 SEA Games, my top target definitely is to defend my title,” said world Muay Thai champion Bui Yen Ly.

“Along with my teammates, I am working hard to ensure our readiness for the Games. I hope that I will perform best for another title, especially when I am fighting at home with great local support,” she told Việt Nam News.

The 11th Para Games with 14 sports will follow the SEA Games, starting mid-December.

Meanwhile, a rare mammal known as the sao la in Vietnam had been chosen as the mascot for the 31st SEA Games mascot, according to the Vietnam Sports Administration.

The animal, also known as the Vu Quang ox, spindle horn or Asian bicorn (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), is a forest-dwelling bovine found only in the Truong Son Mountain Range stretching across Vietnam and Laos.

 

The species was defined following the discovery of its remains in 1992 in Vu Quang Nature Reserve.

Sao la by painter Le Xuan Khoi beat more than 550 other entries over a two-year contest.

"The mascot is a rare animal in Vietnam which is smart and cute. It is a clear symbol for both formal ceremonies and a sporting festival," said Le Huy Tiep, one of the judges.

"I've been intrigued by the sao la since it was first known to the world in 1992, and now I have a chance to express my love for it," said Hanoi-based Khoi.

"It is also a way to introduce the sao la to our international friends as well as protect the animal from extinction. I believe the sao la will be talked about a lot in the year to come," he said.

The official logo for the Games is a work by Hoang Xuan Hieu, an art lecturer from Hue.

The logo is a combination of five fingers holding the 10-circle chain Southeast Asian Games Federation logo, shaping an image of a dove, which is a symbol of peace. 

"I created the logo with pride. There are short and long fingers in a hand. But at the SEA Games there are no differences between athletes. They will all compete for their nation's success," said Hieu, who overcame nearly 1,000 other participants.

The mascot will also be used for the 11th Para Games.

Hieu designed the logo for the Para Games using the same shape, but the emblem of the Southeast Asian Games Federation is replaced by that of the Southeast Asian Para Sports Federation.

The organisers also reveal 'For a Stronger Southeast Asia' as the slogan for the competitions.  VNS

Hanoi ready for next year's SEA Games 31

Hanoi ready for next year's SEA Games 31

They may be a year away, but Hanoi authorities are ready to host the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 31.

 
 

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