Hoang Xuan Vinh in the relay (Source: webthethao)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Over 2,000 people, including 150 outstanding athletes, joined a relay in response to the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 29) and the 9th Southeast Asian Games for Athletes with Physical Disabilities (Para Games 9) in Hanoi on April 9.

Addressing the event, Malaysian Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk M.Sarvana said the programme was initiated by Malaysia to encourage support from local people for SEA Games 29 and Para Games 9 slated for August in Malaysia.

It also aims to raise public awareness of the healthy lifestyle and foster solidarity among ASEAN countries, he added.

The race consists of three stages. The baton was passed from the Malaysian Deputy Minister to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai, and to Olympic Rio 2016 gold medalist Hoang Xuan Vinh.

The race started and finished at Ly Thai To Flower Garden, passing various iconic locations in Hanoi.

At the finish point, head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Vuong Bich Thang received the baton from athletes and handed over it to a representative from Timor Leste, the next destination of the relay.

Hanoi is the sixth destination of the relay after Brunei, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

The race will continue in Timor Leste, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore before coming to host Malaysia in May.

SEA Games 29 will be organised in Malaysia from August 19-31 while Para Games 9 will take place from September 17-23.-VNA