What to expect at the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
In May 2022, the 31st Southeast Asian Games will be held in Hanoi, highlighting the region’s sporting champions and rising talents.
Vietnam will host the Southeast Asian Games for the second time, from May 12 to 23, 2022. The COVID-19 epidemic forced the postponement of the 31st Southeast Asian Games, originally scheduled for November-December 2021.
Vietnam is delighted to welcome teams from all 11 Southeast Asian countries to compete in this exciting biennial multi-sport event. 10,000 participants, coaches, and sports delegations are anticipated to compete in 526 events over 40 sports.
Expect the Opening Ceremony
On May 12, the SEA Games 31 opening ceremony will take place at Hanoi’s Mnh National Stadium. It will portray a beautiful, warm, and welcoming Vietnam.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, it is working with other ASEAN member nations to strengthen itself.
The torch relay, in which elite Vietnamese athletes carry the torch to each other, will be part of the two-hour entertainment spectacle.
The usage of cutting-edge technology, such as mapping, augmented reality (AR), and extended reality (EX), will be a highlight of the event.
Specifically, the insignia of 40 sports will be portrayed through graphic representations employing the Dong Ho folk painting style, a traditional Vietnamese craft.
According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the event will be a colorful light and sound technology performance that will introduce audiences at home and abroad to the culture, tradition, and people of Vietnam while conveying the spirit and theme of the Games, ‘For a Stronger South East Asia.’
Expect to see a lot of “Saola”
A contest to name the mascot, as well as create a slogan and song for the festivities, was held in August of last year and received 557 entries. The saola design by Hanoi artist Ngo Xuan Khoi was voted the winner after meeting all of the organizers’ requirements.
The saola is an endangered bovine indigenous to the Truong Son mountain range in the central region.
Expect the Sports Activities
Athletics and swimming, Olympic sports, and Southeast Asian sports in need of preservation are the three primary branches.
Football, tennis, table tennis, basketball, badminton, volleyball, handball, golf, bowling, pétanque, and sepak takraw, as well as snooker/pool, are among the various track-and-field, cycling, and aquatics activities.
There are chess and Xiangqi tournaments. There’s also karate, judo, jujitsu, muay Thai, taekwondo, Pencak Silat, wushu, and Vietnamese vovinam, as well as boxing, wrestling, kurash, and kickboxing. Bodybuilding and dance sports are among the others. E-sports will be added as a medal sport as well.
Football, handball, kickboxing, and rowing kick off the schedule in early May. The rest of the activities start on or after May 13th.
SEA Games’ E-sports
In terms of participation in the Southeast Asian Games, e-sports is still in its infancy. The 31st edition is only the organization’s second multi-sport medal event. There are ten e-sports medal events taking place this week, with League of Legends being the most popular e-sports title at the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
The League of Legends (LoL) event will feature six countries: the host country Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, and the Philippines. From May 20 to 22, the game will be played over three days, with the group stage taking place on the first day.
In the case of Malaysia, SEM9 will be representing the country with an all-Malaysian roster, whereas Singapore has three Impunity players in its lineup. The Philippines will rely on Jan “Cresho” Edward Hortizuela, previously of the now-defunct Liyab Esports, for international expertise.
Expect the Olympic Gold Medalists
Olympic gold medalists such as Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines and Singapore’s Joseph Schooling will set the bar high.
Hidilyn Diaz (Weightlifting)
Hidilyn Diaz, a gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, is a major favorite in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Diaz will defend her SEA Games gold medal in the 55-kilogram women’s category, the same class in which she won the country’s first gold medal at the Olympics in Japan.
Joseph Schooling (Swimming)
The Singaporean swimmer, who famously defeated Michael Phelps at Rio 2016, will compete in what may be his final SEA Games in Hanoi.
Expect the world champions
World champions Loh Kean Yew of badminton and Carlos Yulo of gymnastics will be looking to add to their continental championships.
Loh Kean Yew (Badminton)
Loh Kean Yew hopes to win his first South East Asian Games championship in Vietnam.
On the first day of the Thomas Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, the reigning badminton world champion overcame Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting 21–13, 21–14, demonstrating that he’s ready to compete for his first SEA Games championship in Hanoi.
Carlos Yulo (Gymnastics)
Carlos Yulo, a gymnastics superstar, is predicted to capture four gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games.
Yulo wowed at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, winning two golds and five silvers to become one of the Philippines’ most decorated athlete.
Expect the Philippines’ performance
The Southeast Asian Games will be held in the Philippines in 2019. The country won the most medals of any country at that event, with 146 gold, 117 silver, and 119 bronze medals. Despite the fact that the epidemic has made it difficult for athletes to prepare and practice, organizers have stated that they are targeting a top three result. Team Philippines has 656 athletes, which is the third largest delegation after Thailand and the host country Vietnam.
The Philippines at SEA Games 2022 — Basketball
Basketball has long been a popular sport in the Philippines, and Gilas Pilipinas hopes to add to its 18 gold medals. Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, as well as six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, will lead the team.
Gilas Pilipinas has won 14 consecutive SEA Games men’s titles, and a win here would be their 15th.
The Philippines at SEA Games 2022 — Volleyball
Volleyball is another sport to watch, as the Philippine women’s team is aiming for a medal this year, while Thailand defends their title. Alyssa Valdez, team captain Aby Marao, and Jaja Santiago practiced for two weeks in Brazil in the hopes of carrying the team to a medal.
The Philippines at SEA Games 2022 — Combat Sports
Athletes from a variety of combat sports amassed a big collection of gold medals, which helped the Philippines win the previous Southeast Asian Games.
In the present 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Team Philippines chef de mission Ramon Fernandez is not astonished if the Filipino boxers bring home a large number of gold medals.
The Philippines at SEA Games 2022 — Esports
Esports was first presented as a medal-placing sport at the SEA Games in 2019 and Team Philippines won gold in major events at the inaugural event.
They would want to do it again. They are expected to win gold in the following games: League of Legends: Wild Rift, PUBG Mobile, Garena Free Fire, Arena of Valor, FIFA Online 4, CrossFire, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Other athletes to watch out
EJ Obiena set a SEA Games record of 5.45 meters and currently holds the Asian men’s record of 5.93 meters. This time around, the world’s number five-pole vaulter is expected to leap even higher. EJ will also carry the Philippine flag during the opening ceremony, which he was meant to do in Tokyo but was unable to accomplish owing to scheduling conflicts.
Other Filipino competitors will be hoping to defend their gold medals in their respective races.
There are also additional competitors competing for medals, such as twin sprinters Kayla and Kyla Richardson. Alex Eala, a tennis star who achieved big success in 2021, is expected to compete in the SEA Games for the Philippines.
Indeed there’s a lot to expect and look forward to in the 31st SEA games.
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