|Saola, SEA Games 31's mascot
The countdown celebration will signal the start of a series of activities in the buildup to the opening ceremony of both the SEA Games and Para Games which will get underway in Vietnam next year.
During the event, the organising committee of the Vietnam SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games will announce the competition’s logo, mascot, and slogan, whilst also holding a torch relay and a ceremony to initiate the start of the games.
The 31st SEA Games is scheduled to start on November 21 and run to December 2, while the ASEAN Para Games is to take place between December 14 and December 21 in 2021.
As hosts, Vietnam has decided to include events such as the triathlon, bowling, jiu jitsu, and e-sports in next year’s SEA Games. The move has received approval from the Southeast Asian Games Federation Executive Committee.
The addition of these four sports is set to increase the total number of sports to be competed at next year’s games to 40, or 16 less than the previous SEA Games. Vietnam has put this decline down to the economic downturn caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
SEA Games 2021 will mark the second time that the country has hosted the regional largest sporting event, with the previous occasion coming back in 2003.
At last year’s event held in the Philippines, Vietnam finished second in the rankings with 288 medals, including 98 golds.