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Sea Games


KUALA LUMPUR – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has apologised to his Indonesian counterpart over a mistake on the Indonesian flag in a booklet on the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017.

He said that the mistake was purely unintentional.

“Bapak Imam, please accept my sincere apologies for this. There was no malice.

“I very much regret that this mistake happened. My apologies, ” he said on his Twitter account in response to a tweet from Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, regarding the matter.

In the booklet, the Indonesian flag appeared upside down.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia SEA Games Organising Committee (MASOC), in a statement, apologised to all Indonesians over the unintentional mistake.

It said Khairy, who is also MASOC chairman, would call on Imam Nahrawi today to extend a personal apology on behalf of the committee.

“We truly regret this error and we hope that the close ties between the two countries will be further enhanced in the spirit of the SEA Games, ” the statement said.



KUALA LUMPUR – Diving’s rising star Nur Dhabitah Sabri was the missing piece of the puzzle after all when the petite lass rose above the stadium’s tarmac in spectacular fashion to light the cauldron that served as the highlight of the SEA Games (KL2017) opening ceremony last night.

As the nation waited with bated breath on who was going to be the ‘chosen one’, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games bronze medallist made her way to the majestic golden cauldron and lit up a ring of small flames on the lip of the cauldron.

Dubbed as the first woman to light up the cauldron in the history of six SEA Games hosted by Malaysia since 1965, the 18-year old diver was chosen as a symbol to reflect the future of Malaysian sports.

Nur Dhabitah, who hails from Kuala Lumpur won the bronze medal in the 10m platform synchronised swimming in Glasgow as well as two gold medals in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games and 2015 Singapore SEA Games, respectively.

The cauldron looked enormous next to the 5 foot Nur Dhabitah but about 84,000 spectators at the stadium went wild as she lighted up the cauldron to the applause of those present at the stadium as well as the millions watching the opening ceremony that was telecast live by several television stations.

The spirit of unity was embedded in the cauldron design, which was inspired by the traditional Malaysian oil lamp torches used to welcome guests during festivals.

It had five spokes inscribed with the Rukun Negara and the gold served to honour Malaysia’s monarch, as well as a nod to the highest award at the biennial games.

The weave motif on the cauldron signified the strength in unity and was symbolic of all the athletes and officials rising together as one. It was also an acknowledgment to the heritage of traditional craft Malaysians share with its neighbours.

Earlier, nostalgia filled the air in the stadium when eighteen, including Nur Dhabitah, sporting icons representing past, present and future champions proudly relayed the torch for KL2017.

The long-standing tradition commenced when a group headed by 1998 Commonwealth games double gold medallist for tenpin bowling Kenny Ang appeared at the bridge in the stadium, accompanied by Malaysia’s first champion in the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and SEA Games triple gold medallist Muhammad Rafiq Ismail.

The historic moment continued when Bangkok Asian Games gold medallist for cycling Datuk Ng Joo Ngan grasped the torch from Kenny Ang before he was accompanied by SEA Games triple gold medallist Fatehah Mustapha and World Cup bronze medalist Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom.

Four times SEA Games gold medallist in hockey Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi who was flanked by 2010 Asian Games silver medallist Faizal Saari and Asia’s Most Promising Player 2016 Hanis Nadiah Onn when he received the torch.

The torch relay continued with eight-time SEA Games gold medallist in long jump and triple jump Mohd Zaki Sadri taking over together with national 100m and 200m sprint record holder Khairul Hafiz Jantan and World Junior Championship triple jumper Kirthana Ramasamy.

Zaki Sadri then passed the torch to 1992 Olympics bronze medallist in badminton men’s doubles Datuk Razif Sidek who was together with 2016 Rio Olympics badminton mixed doubles silver medallist Chan Peng Soon and 2015 World Junior Champion Goh Jin Wei.

The torch went into the hands of five-time SEA Games gold medallist Bryan Nickson Lomas and reigning diving champion Pandelela Rinong, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is a six-time SEA Games gold medallist before Nur Dhabitah.

The torch made its way to Malaysia after travelling in the Rising Together Baton Run across countries participating in the 29th edition of the SEA Games.

The whole nation was also exultant when 320 Jalur Gemilang, representing the country’s population of 32 million, lead the procession, followed by flags of 11 participating countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam and Malaysia, along with the SEA Games Federation as well as the Games flags.

The Malaysian contingent paraded last as host of the KL2017 with three world champions as flag-bearers namely world keirin champion ?The Pocket Rocket Man’ Azizulhasni Awang, diving queen Cheong Jun Hoong who recently was crowned world champion at the FINA World Diving Championships in Budapest and 2016 world silat champion Mohd Al-Jufferi Jamari.



KUALA LUMPUR – National synchronised swimmer Gan Hua Wei produced a golden splash to delivere a surprise gold in the solo synchronised swimming technical event at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil here this evening.

Hua Wei, 18, collected 73.8386 points to beat Free routine solo gold medal winner Debbie Soh Li Fei by a mere 0.1333 points to claim the gold and overcome the disappointment of finishing second in 2015 while another Singaporean Miya Yong Hsing took the bronze with 72.3769 points.

Hua Wei’s sister Gan Zhen Yu settled for fourth place with 70.0292 points.

In the 2015 SEA Games hosted by Singapore, Hua Wei managed two silver medals through the Technical team event and Free routine team event.

The gold was Malaysia’s third today and fourth overall since archers had contributed two gold medals from the men’s and women’s compound events.


SHAH ALAM – National SEA Games squad head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was satisfied with the performance of his charges despite the slim 2-1 victory over Brunei in their opening Group A Kuala Lumpur SEA Games match at the Shah Alam Stadium, last night.

He said collecting three points in the opening match was more import than scoring more goals as it will boost the players confidence to face the next group match against Singapore at the same venue on Wednesday.

“The players missed a lot of goal scoring chances as the Brunei players had ‘parked the bus’ which made it even harder for the players to score more goals but I’m happy that we managed to secure three points in the first game,” he told reporters after the match.

In the match, Muhd Safawi Rasid put Malaysia in front as early as the fourth minute before Mohamed Zulkhairy Hady Razali equalised for Brunei in the 12th minute but Adam Nor Azlin turned saviour for Malaysia after heading in the winner in the 60th minute.

Kim Swee also praised the performance of a few newcomers in the squad, especially Muhd Safawi who struck a good understanding with other players although he had only trained together for a few weeks before the start of the SEA Games. – Bernama


SHAH ALAM – Malaysia scrambled to a 2-1 win over minnows Brunei in their opening Group A match at the Shah Alam Stadium last night to kick off their Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) campaign in unconvincing fashion.

Malaysia, despite playing on home soil and in front of about 8,000 fans, failed to capitalise on the many chances created after having taken the lead as early as the 4th minute through a spectacular volley by Muhammad Safawi Rasid.

Undaunted by the home crowd and having conceded the lead early, Brunei fought back to score the equaliser in the 12th minute through Mohamed Zulkhairy Hady and looked menacing until Adam Nor Azlin’s 60th minute header ensured Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s side all three points.

Malaysia had numerous chances to extend the lead but poor finishing led to hurried shots over the bar or well off target.

After sharing the spoils in the first half, Malaysia dominated the second half but despite breaking through the Brunei defence, the strikers failed to find the target.

The win saw Malaysia move into second place in Group A behind Myanmar who had earlier beaten Singapore 2-0.

Malaysia face Singapore on Aug 16 before taking on Myanmar on (Aug 21) and Laos on (Aug 23).

All matches involving Malaysia would start at the Shah Alam Stadium at 8.45pm.



KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia should not have much problems against Brunei in their opening match in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games football competition today.

In the last seven meetings in the biennial Games, Malaysia had won all the matches and in fact conceded only one goal.

With coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee having guided the national Under -22 squad to qualify for the final round of the 2018 Under-23 Asian Football Confederation Cup, it would indeed be an earth-shattering matter if Malaysia were to lose to the minnows today.

However, three full points will not suffice, Kim Swee’s boys must pile on the goals as this can make or break the team from reaching the semifinals.

Midfielder Syahmi Safari, 19, said he would be going all out to show what he is capable of if selected for the first eleven. – Bernama


BANGKOK – A local newspaper has accused Malaysia of undermining Thailand’s prowess in Sepak Takraw by limiting the number of events participating countries can take part in the popular sport at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Local English daily, The Nation in its editorial yesterday alleged that Malaysia as the host country had requested Thailand not to compete in the men’s singles team event, which is considered as the top most competition in the sport.

“It was reported that, while the host gets the privilege of participating in all five events (in Sepak Takraw) at the 2017 SEA Games to be held in Kuala Lumpur from August 19 to 30, other participating countries are allowed to compete in no more than three,” said the newspaper.

The Takraw Association of Thailand it said bowed to Malaysia’s request and will field players in only three events – multiple team, duo and quartet.

According to The Nation, a lot of local sport fans are angry at the “unfair advantage” and highlighted a problem stemming from a long running practice which put the host country at an advantage over other competing nations particularly during the region’s biennial multi-sport event.

“This practice will only anger and upset the non-hosts and their people. And the vicious cycle will never end unless the true spirit of sportsmanship is honoured,” said the newspaper.



PUTRAJAYA – In a confidence-boosting speech to Malaysian athletes picked for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games (KL2017), Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked them to dig deep inside themselves to give the performance of a lifetime and bring glory to the country.

The prime minister said they could count on the support of over 30 million Malaysians as they do battle with regional athletes at the 29th SEA Games scheduled for Aug 19-30 and the 9th ASEAN Para Games, from Sept 17 to 23.

Expressing confidence that success was attainable, Najib said that he and all Malaysians were behind the national athletes but despite all the cheering and clapping, in the end it would be the athletes themselves who would determine the colour of the medals.

“We want to see world standard performance by each athlete so that we can be the best in the ASEAN region.

“So, on the behalf of the 30 million Malaysians we ask you to give your very best so as to bring glory for the country, ” he said at the ceremony to hand over the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) to the Malaysian contingent to KL2017 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today officially opened the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017).

Both are located at the newly-opened Malaysian International Trade Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in the Malaysian capital.

In his speech, the minister said that the number of media members covering the KL Games was nearly three times more than those at the Singapore SEA Games two years ago.

Among others, the MPC is equipped with 744 workstations while the IBC will be used by nine broadcasters from five countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and host country Malaysia.

The KL2017 officially starts on Aug 19 and ends on Aug 30. — Bernama


KUALA LUMPUR – Sprinter S. Komalam Shally was dropped from the SEA Games athletics squad due to repeat of indiscipline offence, said team manager Datuk Salim Parlan.

He said the decision to drop the runner from the SEA Games squad was made after taking views from various parties including the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president, officials and national coaches for the benefit of the team.

Due to the decision, Malaysia will only have one representative in the women’s 200 metres (m) event, which will be Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli at the biennial Games scheduled from Aug 22-26 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here although a country is allowed to field two representatives in every event.

Salim said the decision would not affect the national squad’s performance in the women’s 4x100m relay as she was dropped from the relay team since returning from the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship in India in mid-July.

“She was dropped for the benefit of the team because we felt that nobody, including me, is bigger than the team. It is not based on a single incident, we have given her many chances before that.