Official opening for Asean meet

Official opening for Asean meet

Members of the Thailand contingent hold their national flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st SEA Games at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)
Members of the Thailand contingent hold their national flags during the opening ceremony of the 31st SEA Games at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)

HANOI: The SEA Games officially opened in the Vietnamese capital on Thursday night.

After a six-month Covid-19 delay, thousands of competitors are in Hanoi and 11 nearby northern provinces to compete in 40 sports, mainly those played at the Olympic Games.

Hosts Vietnam are leading the medal table with 10 gold medals after two days of competition while Thailand, who are aiming to win 112 gold, have just one gold from pencak silat (men's seni regu team trio event).

Meanwhile former world No.3 Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm (James Wattana) travelled to Vietnam on Thursday as part of the Thai billiards sport team in Vietnam.

The 53-year-old said the team are targeting one to two gold medals in the tournament.

Veteran star Praprut Chaithanasakun (Rom Surin) is also included in the team.

There are 10 gold medals on offer: two from billiards (singles, double); two from snooker (15 and 6 reds); four from pool (9-ball and 10-ball men and women) and two from carom ball.

Ratchapol, 53, said the team are expecting a tough competition from Singapore, who have English-born Peter Gilchrist in the team. The two-time world billiards champion became a Singapore citizen in 2006.

- Chaba Kaew play again -

The Thai women's football team face Myanmar in their second match of the tournament at Cam Pa Stadium on Friday at 7pm.

The Chaba Kaew defeated Singapore 3-0 in the opening match three days ago.

Laos are the other team in Group B.

Group A consists of hosts Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Malaysia and Singapore will host the 2027 and 2029 SEA Games respectively.

Olympic Council of Malaysia presi­- dent Norza Zakaria said in a statement that a meeting at a Hanoi hotel saw the SEA Games Federation "unanimously" award his country the event for the seventh time.

The 2023 SEA Games are scheduled to be held in Cambodia and the 2025 episode will be staged in Thailand.


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