HANOI: The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday, 12 May, after being delayed for a year due to the COVID pandemic.
With Vietnamese president, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in attendance, many spectators and athletes were without facemasks as the Vietnam government eased Covid-19 measures in the lead up to the Games.
The opening ceremony included 1,300 athletes and officials from the 11 participating nations, with more than 5000 athletes set to compete across 40 sports.
The 31st SEA Games is hosted in Hanoi and 11 surrounding cities until 23 May, with Vietnam hosting for a second time since 2003.
Next year, the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games will be hosted by Cambodia.