KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 2017 : The 29th SEA Games returned to the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil in a blaze of colour, light and fireworks as Kuala Lumpur welcomed 4,900 of the region’s best athletes after a lapse of 16 years.
The Malaysian contingent marched proudly into the arena to loud cheers and applause with the unprecedented trio of keirin world champion Azizulhasni Awang, world diving queen Cheong Jun Hoong and world silat champion Mohd Al-Jufferi Jamari bearing the Jalur Gemilang.
Spectators packing the nearly 90,000-capacity stadium also greeted the rest of the 10 participating countries with loud applause as they marched according to the alphabetical order starting with Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia as the final group.
Malaysia, who are eyeing 111 gold medals to become the overall champions of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) , are leading the gold chase with seven gold. At stake are 404 gold medals in 38 sports, including the debut of ice hockey, ice skating, indoor hockey and cricket.
The ceremony broadcast live throughout the country and beyond kicked off at 6pm with the crowd kept entertained by, among others, school band displays and a show by the Malaysian Armed Forces before the arrivals of foreign dignitaries, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. – Bernama