The flame ignition ceremony for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) was held at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi on May 6 afternoon to prepare for lighting the cauldron at the Games opening ceremony six days later.

Eleven outstanding Vietnamese athletes who represented the 11 participating sports delegations took part in the ignition ceremony.

They had laid wreaths and paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum before Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh handed over the lit torch to fencer Vu Thanh An at the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

The athletes arrived at My Dinh National Stadium at 7pm.

The flame will be kept at the Ho Chi Minh worshiping hall of the stadium before it lights the cauldron at the opening ceremony on May 12 evening and shines throughout the Games that lasts until May 23.

Themed “For a Stronger Southeast Asia”, SEA Games 31 will feature 40 sports and take place in Hanoi and 11 nearby localities.

This is the second time Vietnam has hosted a SEA Games, after the first in 2003./.