32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games Officially Kicks Off in Magnificent Ceremony

2023 Southeast Asian Games, commonly known as the 32nd Southeast Asian Games or the 32nd SEA Games officially kicked off this evening under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and his spouse Samdech Kittiprittpundit Bun Rany Hun Sen.

Visiting H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Cambodian high-ranking officials, foreign ambassadors accredited to Cambodia, distinguished national and international guests, civil servants and the general public were present on the occasion.

The solemn opening ceremony began with music performances and shows by Cambodian famous singers, dancers and artists, followed by magnificent spectacles, display of colourful lights, parade of Cambodian flag, SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) flag and sports delegates, the arrival of the SEA Games-ASEAN Para Games Torch from its regional relay and its Tonle Sap tour, and firework display above the Morodok Techo National Stadium, the new US$150 million sports complex in Phnom Penh capital.

At this glorious event, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on behalf of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as on his own behalf officially declared the opening ceremony of the 32nd SEA Games from May 5 to 17 and the 12th ASEAN Para Games from June 3 to 9, even though some sports, including cricket, hockey, Ouk Chaktrang (Chess), football, sailing, volleyball, Obstacle Race, Kun Bokator, and Jiu-Jitsu have started since April 29.

After the official declaration, some 60,000 spectators present at the sports complex and more than 12,000 athletes and sport delegates from the 10 ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste shouted with joy and pride.

The regional athletes are set to compete in 37 sports with 581 events: 384 for men, 229 women, and 48 mixed, and ahead of Friday’s official opening ceremony, Cambodian athletes made a strong start with 9 medals (5 gold and 4 silver), followed by the Philippines closely behind with 7 medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze), Laos with 4 medals (a gold and 3 bronzes), and Thailand with 3 medals (a gold, a silver, and a bronze).

Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP)