KUALA LUMPUR— Pomp and pageantry.
His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mohammad the 5th on Saturday evening officially declared the 29th SEA Games open.
“ I declare open the Southeast Asian Games for the 29th time celebrating the Games of South East Asia,” he said.
The 12-day regional biennial meet has a total of 404 events in 38 sports disciplines.
Malaysia is hosting the regional sports meet for the sixth time since 1965. Its other hostings were in 1971, 1977, 1989 and 2001.
Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia and Chairman of the Malaysian Organizing Committee, welcomed participating athletes and officials by drawing inspiration from the founders of the meet. He emphasized that world and Olympic champions from South East Asia begun their dreams through the SEA Games.
Salute to Malaysian color
A salute to Malaysian color. In unity, 320 Malaysian flags representing Malaysia’s population of 32 million followed by flags of the 11 participating countries, along with the federation and edition flags.
Parade of Nations
The parade of nations emerges with the 10 participating nation led by the Malaysian flag and Federation flags.
With pride and honor, the Philippine delegation wearing its national barong tagalog uniform was the sixth nation to enter the stadium with a contingent size of 300 athletes led by Chef de mission Cynthia Carreon, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) member, president of the local gymnastics federation and taekwondo jin; and 2016 Olympian, Kirstie Elaine Alora , Philippine flag bearer.
The Philippines is participating in this regional meet for the 20th time since joining in 1977.
Athletes of host Malaysia were the last to enter the stadium and received a thunderous welcome among the 11-nation sports meet inside the National Stadium with 87,411 capacity.
The 888 contingent was le d by Chef de mission Datuk Marwina Chin, Asian Games and SEA Games multiple gold medalist.
Flag bearers were three world champions — :Azizul Hasni Awang (cycling); Rio Olympics bronze medalist and world champion Cheong Jun Hong (diving); and Rio Olympics silver medalist and world champion, Al-Juferi (silat).
In the games known as KL2017, thousands of spectators witnessed the almost five-hour program which showcased diversity of Malaysia in four parts – “Provenance, Similarities in Diversity, Together We Are Stronger, and a Nation Built on Inclusion.”
The cultural spectacle combined performing arts with spectacular technological innovations used to illuminate the similarities.
The presentation of the Federation Flag and edition flags was led by Malaysian football legends from the 1980 Malaysian Football team Dato James Wong known as ‘King James.”
PERSILAT assistant secretary, and Vice President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Senator Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Bin Tan Sri Omardin, led the officials’ oath. Malaysian high jump champion Nauraj Singh led the athletes oath while YB Datuk Megat for the judges and games officials.
Rimau which stands for Respect, Integrity, Move, Attitude and Unity is the official mascot of the Games.