Myanmar women Chinlone team won the first gold medal of the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) on December 4.

They defeated Thailand in the Women’s Linking event.

Six countries, host Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand are playing in the six-day sport of four Chinlone events from December 4 to 9.

Chinlone is a traditional sport in Myanmar somewhat similar to sepak takraw.

Each member of the six-athlete team enters the circle marked on the floor one after another for dribbling a chinlone with several set touches without letting it fall during 10-minute section.

The teams play three-sets, 10 minutes in each set and every single touch is observed for points or reductions.

The 27th SEA Games, the region’s biggest sports event, will take place from December 11 to 22 with 460 sets of medals at stake. However, some competitions already began on December 1, such as floor ball and Chinlone.

With a combined team of 750 athletes and officials to the Games, Vietnam will compete in 29 of 33 sports events at the tournament, hoping to bring home at least 70 gold medals.

At the last SEA Games held in Jakarta two years ago, Vietnam ranked third, winning 96 gold medals, trailing the host Indonesia with 182 and Thailand with 109.-VNA