The event was attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Politburo member and Secretary of Hanoi municipal Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai, among others. The ceremony started with a parade of over 3,000 officers, athletes and coaches, representing over 7,000 athletes, 2,500 coaches and 2,200 referees from 63 provinces and cities as well as two army and police teams. The parade of athletes at the opening ceremony (Photo: VNA) Three outstanding athletes, including shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh, track and field athlete Bui Thi Thu Thao and rowing athlete Pham Thi Thao, took the torch relay. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam noted that the games aimed to contribute to developing sports and encouraging the movement of ‘all people doing physical exercises following Uncle Ho’s example’. An art performance at the opening ceremony (Photo: Minh Giang) The ceremony also featured an art programme with the participation of more than 1,600 artists, actors and actresses from troupes and theatres in the capital city. The athletes are competing for medals in 743 events of 36 sports, including athletics, wushu, swimming, boxing and golf. The 2018 National Games will last until December 10.