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The SEA Games 32 torch arrives in Hanoi
Jenna Duong 18:27, 2023/03/22
The torch relay stands for solidarity, friendship, and good cooperation among ten nations in the Southeast Asian region.

The 32nd SEA Games Torch arrived in Hanoi today, March 22. The Vietnamese capital is the first stop for the sacred torch on its journey through ten countries in the region.

The SEA Games torch relay started from Angkor Wat Temple on March 21. Photo: ocasia.org

Earlier, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni lit the SEA Games torch at Angkor Wat Temple, marking the start of the torch relay for the 32nd SEA Games.

This year, the SEA Games flame was ignited by the rays of the sun on the roof of the sacred Angkor Wat temple.

According to Cambodian beliefs, the sun rises exactly on the top of the main temple of Angkor Wat only twice a year, so it is considered a sacred fire. It is also called the equinox - a time of year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator and day and night are of equal length.

The torch is 75 centimeters tall and weighs one kilogram. Its top is designed to reflect the Romdoul, Cambodia's national flower.

The torch left Cambodia on March 22 to tour the 10 Southeast Asian nations participating in the Games. It will return to the Kingdom on April 27, ahead of the opening ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games on May 5 at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The Games will run until May 17 and will be followed by the 12th ASEAN Para Games.

The 32nd SEA Games will see athletes compete in 37 sports with more than 600 events.

Teh holy moment when the sun raises exactly on the peak of the main Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia. Photo: webthethao.vn

According to Deputy Director General of the General Department of Sports and Physical Education Tran Duc Phan, the Vietnamese contingent will participate in the SEA Games 32 with nearly 1,000 athletes, coaches, and sports leaders.

"The athletes will compete in 31 out of 36 sports, aiming to win 90-120 gold medals and rank among the top three in the SEA Games 32 winners' list," he said.

At the SEA Games 31 in Vietnam last year, the Vietnamese contingent won 205 gold, 125 silver and 116 bronze medals, but this year's target has been halved. Events such as shooting, bodybuilding, kuash, rowing and others, which are considered to be the strengths of Vietnamese sports, are not included in the competition list.

In addition, the host country, Cambodia, is able to participate in all of the martial arts content, while others can only participate at 70%, signaling a highly competitive SEA Games.

At present, all Vietnamese athletes are actively training at national sports training centers in the three major cities of Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City.

The 32nd SEA Games is a premise for Vietnamese sports to compete at the ASIAD 19, which will be held in September in Hangzhou, China, and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

 Vietnamese athletes are in full training mode for the SEA Games 32 in Cambodia this May. Photo: VNA

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