Source: Vientiane Times
Runners taking part in the Cambodia Torch Relay ahead of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th Asean Para Games next month, on Tuesday proudly paraded the flaming torch through Vientiane, with the games set to take place in Cambodia from May 5-17.
The parade began at the Cambodian Embassy to Laos, with runners carrying the burning flame to the That Luang esplanade.
The torch parade has been making its way across Asean countries to promote the upcoming tournament to be held in Cambodia for the first time in 64 years. Laos is the last destination before the torch returns to Cambodia on April 27 where it will go to the Morodok Techo Stadium for the opening ceremony on May 5.
A press conference took place at the That Luang esplanade, attended by the Cambodian Ambassador to Laos, Ms. Thong Sokuntheary.
Also present on the occasion was a representative of the Cambodian SEA Games and Asean Para Games Organising Committees, Mr Hor Sarun; Vice President of Laos’ National Olympic Committee and Mayor of Vientiane, Dr Athsaphangthong Siphandone; Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Ms Khanthaly Siriphongphanh; other senior officials from Laos and Cambodia; and Lao athletes.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Hor said this year’s SEA Games are a wonderful opportunity to promote Visit Cambodia Year 2023. “Cambodia welcomes all athletes, who will be provided with free food and accommodation, while spectators can also watch the games for free,” he said.
Spectators from Asean countries can attend the opening and closing ceremonies and sports events free of charge, but seating will be limited, he added.
The torch relay will next pass through Pakxe district in Champassak province on April 26, and on April 27 it will cross the border between Laos and Cambodia.
On April 28, the torch will arrive in Phnom Penh before being paraded through the provinces.
Dr. Athsaphangthong said the torch relay was symbolic of the SEA Games and was a great part of the games’ success, publicising the event and garnering support from people in Laos and other participating countries.
He praised Cambodia for allowing spectators to watch the games free of charge and show their support for their home teams, and wished Cambodia every success in hosting the SEA Games.
The torch relay began in Vietnam, then passed through the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, and finally Laos.