Monday, November 14, 2011

SEA GAMES: Colourful Opening For SEA Games Indonesia

PALEMBANG, Nov 12 (Bernama) -- Despite being interrupted by heavy rain, a spectacular display of colourful laser lights and fireworks marked the opening of the 26th SEA Games at the Sriwijaya Stadium, Friday night.

Indonesia last hosted the Games in 1997 and it was also the last time that the country finished atop the medals table.

The 11-day biennial sports meet, involving 11 countries in the region, was officially opened by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Among those who witnessed the historic occasion were Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, his Indonesian counterpart Andi Mallarangeng, Indonesia SEA Games Organising Committee (INASOC) president Rita Subowo and representatives from participating countries.

Malaysia are banking on their strong contingent comprising 872 athletes and officials, who will be competing in 38 of the 43 sports events on offer.

During the opening, spectators were treated to a well-choreographed performance which combined the traditional and modern dances involving more than 3,000 performers.

Besides the colourful, entertaining and informative performance, another highlight was the appearance of three singers -- Agnes Monica (Indonesia), Jaclyn Victor (Malaysia) and K.C. Concepcion (Philippines) -- singing the official Indonesian SEA Games song "Together We'll Shine".

At the march-pass event held at the Gelora Sriwijaya in Jakabaring Sports Complex, the Malaysian contingent was led by chef-de-mission in Palembang Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali, marched in with national shooter, Bibiana Ng who selected as the "Jalur Gemilang" bearer.

Malaysia are eyeing 45 gold medals at the Indonesian SEA Games.

Indonesia are hosting about 5,000 athletes who will compete for 542 medals at stake in Palembang and Jakarta.

The Indonesian SEA Games is the fourth time that the biennial meet is being held at multiple venues.

In 2003 at the Vietnam SEA Games, it was held at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, followed by the Philippines in 2005 (Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Subic City) and Thailand in 2007 (Nakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok and Chonburi).

Meanwhile in JAKARTA, the opening ceremony was also held in the Indonesian capital, albeit on a smaller scale, amid tight security.

It was held at the Merdeka Square in Central Jakarta and attended by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo.


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