|The SEA Games 31 closing ceremony in Hanoi on May 23 evening (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh announced the official closing of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) on May 23, describing the event as a demonstration of regional solidarity, peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.
Addressing the closing ceremony, he said it was Vietnam's honour to welcome distinguished guests and more than 10,000 athletes, coaches, and referees to SEA Games 31 – the region's biggest sporting event.
The PM noted the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Games to be delayed from November 2021 to May 2022, but it has made the countries become even closer together, more united, and determined to weather all difficulties and challenges to successfully organise SEA Games 31.
The countries gathered at the Games to help affirm ASEAN's vision and mission of solidarity, peace, friendship, cooperation, and development, according to the Vietnamese leader.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of the Organising Committee, said the success of SEA Games 31 was reflected in not only efforts by hosts Vietnam but also other countries' wholehearted support, the medals, new records, as well as their honesty and nobility, promising a bright future for the region's sports.
He noted 1,759 medals were awarded, including 525 golds, 522 silvers, and 712 bronzes, while 30 new records set. Vietnam went down in the Games' history with 205 gold medals and 17 records.
At the closing ceremony, the Organising Committee honoured four athletes with outstanding performance, namely swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang and runner Nguyen Thi Oanh of Vietnam, swimmer Jing Wen Quah of Singapore, and runner Joshua Robert Atkinson of Thailand.
Vietnam also handed over the Southeast Asian Games Federation flag to Cambodia, which will host the 32nd SEA Games in 2023.
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