Fencer An, shooter Vinh selected SEA Games' flag bearer, cauldron lighter hinh anh 1This is the third SEA Games fencer Vu Thanh An is honoured to fly the flag for Vietnam (Photo: VNA)
 Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Reigning fencing champion Vu Thanh An will fly the flag for Vietnam at the 31st SEA Games while Olympic gold medallist Hoang Xuan Vinh will light the cauldron in Hanoi on May 12.

It will be An's fifth time taking the honourable duty for the nation. He previously took the responsibility at the Rio Olympics in 2016, SEA Games 2017 and 2019 and the Asian Games in 2018.

An is considered a 'lucky' flag bearer as after his service, Vietnam won their first ever Olympic and Asian Games golds.

At this year's Games, An is one of Vietnam's golden hopes in the men's sabre fencing event. The 29-year-old won the title at the last three Games.

Meanwhile marksman Vinh is the most successful sportsperson in Vietnam's history. He won one gold and one silver at the Rio Games, Vietnam's best result at the world's largest sport festival.

Vinh, now national head coach of the shooting team, will join nine notable athletes to take the honour of anchoring the torch relay, before he lights up the Games flame at the My Dinh National Stadium.

The nine athletes are Tran Hieu Ngan (Olympic taekwondo silver medallist ), Hoang Anh Tuan (Olympic weightlifting silver medallist), Tran Le Quoc Toan (Olympic weightlifting bronze medallist), Nguyen Thuy Hien (multi-time wushu world champion), Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (multi-time SEA Games swimming winner), Bui Thi Thu Thao (Asian Games winner), Le Tu Chinh (four-time SEA Games athletic champion), Quach Thi Lan (Asian championship 400m winner), and Le Thanh Tung (World Cup gymnastic champion).

Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang will represent all athletes to take the Games' oath while volleyball referee Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa will make a promise to officiate matches based on fairness.

The opening ceremony will feature a cultural and artistic performance featuring 3,000 people over two hours under director Tran Ly Ly, head of the Performing Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The 31st SEA Games' flag raising ceremony will be held on May 11, one day before the opening ceremony.

It is an official event to welcome all teams and encourage athletes ahead of their tournament. It is also expected show Vietnam's hospitality and friendship to international friends.

Almost 400 representatives of all teams, guests and media will take part in the ceremony.

The 31st SEA Games will be held from May 12-23 in 12 cities and province. Football will be the first sport organised from May 6.

The regional biennial event will see the participation of almost 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials of 40 sports./.