As the month of April approaches, it is an instant reminder that time is moving and that means the opening of the delayed 31st Southeast Asian Games (also referred to as 31st SEA Games, SEA Games 31 and Hanoi 2021) in Hanoi, Vietnam is gradually approaching. That being said, the authorities and event stakeholders over there are working hard on the preparations not just for the games but for the nation as a whole in relation to their recent reopening of borders to foreigners.
Even though Vietnam currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases as well as the highest daily average of new cases, there is no stopping the SEA Games from formally opening on May 12, 2022. In fact, there are certain sports events of the regional games that will happen even before opening day such as football, chess, handball (beach), kickboxing and rowing.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from a report published by VietnamPlus.VN. Some parts in boldface…
Only less than 50 days left, the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) will officially take place. At present, Vietnam is urgently making efforts to complete the final preparations for the safe and successful organisation of the region’s biggest sport event.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEA Games 31 could not take place as planned in November 2021, and was postponed to May 2022. The organising committee encountered many difficulties in preparations, while athletes did not have opportunities to compete regularly and have training abroad.
The goal of successfully holding the Games is an important task. Thanks to the close direction of the Government, the companionship and coordination between the concerned ministries and sectors, the preparations are on the right track, with the progress ensured. At a recent field trip by Southeast Asian sport delegations, the delegation heads appreciated the host country’s preparations.
“Since Vietnam announced SEA Games 31’s official date in late 2021, the country has exerted tremendous efforts, and preparations are in full swing to meet the deadlines,” said Director (Projects) of the Singapore National Olympic Council Anthony Lee.
He believed that the regional sporting event this year will be smooth-sailing and organised efficiently.
The renovation of My Dinh National Stadium, which is to host football and track and field, has been fundamentally completed while the Water Sports Stadium is also being renovated to meet international standards, ready to host the Games.
For his part, Vice President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia Paduka Nur Azmi Ahmad spoke highly of progress made in the preparations at the My Dinh Stadium and the National Sports Training Centre, despite various challenges facing Vietnam, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
Underlining the significance of the facilities serving the Games, he added that Vietnamese agencies need to speed up the remaining tasks and make sure that deadlines will be met.
Deputy Secretary General for Administration of the Philippine Olympic Committee Carl Sambrano highly valued Quang Ninh province’s preparations, particularly at the 5,000-seat gymnasium which will host indoor volleyball matches.
He added that the expressway linking Hanoi and Quang Ninh facilitates the travel of participating teams between the two localities.
Chong Fui Kim from the Singapore National Olympic Council said although the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a heavy blow to Vietnam’s preparations for SEA Games 31, most of the competition venues in Quang Ninh stand ready to host the regional event.
He spoke highly of efforts and determination of the organising committee and Vietnamese people in preparing for the Games despite the complex developments of COVID-19, believing that the event will be successful.
With regards to the SEA Games preparations in the city of Hanoi, watch the video below…
Meanwhile, here in the Philippines, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) assured that the SEA Games are on track to finally taking place this May. This assurance was given following the Philippines’ participation in a recent big meeting in Hanoi that also drew the presence of the representatives of the many competing countries. The entire Philippine delegation to the SEA Games will receive funding from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Knowing the latest about Vietnam’s preparations for the SEA Games, how excited are you about the region’s biggest sports event right now? Do you think that the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Vietnam will fall down significantly by the start of May?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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