The 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games opening ceremony will be held on May 12 of next year as Hanoi as the main hub with 11 other sub-venues, announced by the organizers on Friday.
The games will open three days after the Philippines' national elections on May 9. The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) recognized that some of the participants which are the athletes, coaches, and officials may be unable to vote on the election date.
"This is one of those sacrifices of having to represent the country in an international competition,” said POC President Bambol Tolentino.
POC has already identified a 626-athlete delegation for the next edition of the SEA Games, where the Philippines is the reigning overall champion. POC also bared the Philippines will join in 39 of the 40 sports on the Vietnam games program.
“With the dates set, our athletes, through their national sports associations, could now specifically program their training and peak at the right time in May,” Tolentino said.
Hence, the team will leave for Vietnam a week before the SEA Games begins. This is to have the athletes be accustomed to the conditions of the venue.
Initially, Vietnam has set the date of the games from November 21 to December 2, but due to the rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19 in July that have receded only a few weeks ago, they were forced to postpone the event.
The country has hosted the SEA Games once before, in 2003, when Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City shared responsibility.