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Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening

/ 05:18 PM November 30, 2019

BOCAUE—Filling up the largest indoor sports arena in the world wasn’t so much of a concern after all as thousands came in droves to Philippine Arena here Saturday for the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony.

A large number of spectators braved the heat as they queued up around the 55,000-seater venue several hours before the scheduled start at 7 p.m.

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Gates opened at 3:30 p.m. but the venue is expected to be on lockdown at 5 p.m. for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte, who will declare the games open.

“We’re really happy. I think it just shows the Filipino spirit is strong and well. Everybody is just here to support the country and all our athletes and that’s what counts,” Vince Dizon, president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the SEA Games, said Saturday hours before the opening.

“We’re really excited for our country and for our athletes.”

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The Philippine SEA Games organizing committee promised a world-class show during the opening ceremony where a parade of the top athletes from the 11 participating nations will be held.

Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting) Margielyn Didal (skateboarding), EJ Obiena (pole vault), Nesthy Petecio (boxing) and Kiyomi Watanabe (judo) and Eumir Marcial (boxing) will carry the Philippine flag during the parade.

Petecio and fellow world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao are the country’s torchbearers.

Interestingly, the controversial cauldron is located at New Clark City.

Fil-American artist apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas is among the performers during the show.

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TAGS: 2019 SEA Games, Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, SEA Games, sea games opening, Sports
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