SEA Games 31 brings curtains down in spectacular fashion

By Giang Huy   May 23, 2022 | 06:57 am PT
After two weeks of sporting activities, the curtains came down on SEA Games 31 with an exuberant closing ceremony in Hanoi Monday night.

The ceremony began with a musical show of strength at Hanoi's My Dinh Indoor Athletics Arena.

Against a striking backdrop of ancient Hanoi houses, a light and sound show with music and dance kept both guests and locals enthralled.

Vietnam delivers a dearest and warmest farewell to regional friends with a mix of contemporary music and dacing, spectacular entertainment and light feast-inspired closing ceremony.

A musical performance at the SEA Games closing ceremony in Hanoi, May 23, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

The ceremony honored four outstanding athletes: Vietnamese runner Nguyen Thi Oanh who won three gold medals and broke the 3,000m hurdles record, and swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang who won five gold medals and broke two records in the 400m and 800m freestyle events.

Thai runner Robert Atkinson and Singapore's swimmer Jing Wen Quah were also honored for their impressive performance at the Games, which saw more than 5,000 athletes compete in 40 sports.

Referees and volunteers who helped with the tournament's organization were among around 3,000 guests at the event.

An art performance was delivered to regional friends by Cambodia artists, welcoming Southeast Asian athletes to Phnom Penh in 2023.

An art performance is delivered to regional friends by Cambodia artists, welcoming Southeast Asian athletes to Phnom Penh in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

In the second part of the ceremony, Vietnam handed over the SEA Games official flag to Cambodia, the hosts of the 2023 event.

Cambodia artists also threw a performance featuring their iconic apsara dance and other acts to welcome Southeast Asian athletes to Phnom Penh next year.

The hosts responded with a performance of quan ho, a northern folk music genre in which intricate melodies are sung in perfect harmony, to wrap up the ceremony.

Vietnamese arists perform quan ho, a northern folk music singing.

Vietnamese artists perform 'quan ho', a northern folk music singing. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Vietnam finished on top of the table at this year's SEA Games, earning a total of 205 gold medals and breaking the record of 194 set by Indonesia in 1997.

Thailand came second with 92 gold and Indonesia third with 69.

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