THE 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam will be staged from May 12 to 23, 2022.

This was announced by the organizers of the biennial sporting meet on Vietnam’s national Olympic committee website and reported by Channel News Asia.

The Games will kick off three days after the Philippines holds its national elections on May 9, 2022, and according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, most of the athletes, coaches and officials on Team Philippines would be unable to cast their votes.

“This is one of those sacrifices of having to represent the country in an international competition,” said Tolentino, whose POC has already determined a 626-athlete delegation to the Vietnam games, which will be played in the Hanoi main hub.

“The main bulk of the delegation will be leaving for Vietnam no less than a week before the opening ceremony,” Tolentino said. “This is because our athletes need to acclimatize and get the feel of the competition venues, environment and weather.”

Vietnam originally scheduled the games from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 last year but was forced to postpone the games because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hanoi will be the main hub with 11 other sub-venues.

Vietnam has allocated a budget of around US$69 million for these games, which are expected to attract close to 20,000 participants, 7,000 of them athletes from 11 countries.

“With the dates set, our athletes, through their national sports associations, could now specifically program their training and peak at the right time in May,” Tolentino said.

The Philippines will compete in 39 of the 40 sports on the Vietnam games program.