2017 SEA Games kicks off in spectacular fashion

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Fireworks explode above the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, August 19, during the opening ceremony for the 29th SEA Games.
Fireworks explode above the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, August 19, during the opening ceremony for the 29th SEA Games.

The 29th SEA Games officially got underway in Malaysia last Saturday, August 19, in a glittering and spectacular opening ceremony.

The event was held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur and was witnessed by some 87,000 spectators.   The ceremony, officiated by the Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, was also attended by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan as the President of the National Olympic Committee, and Deputy Prime Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragon, responsible for sports affairs.

Thailand’s female water polo players celebrate poolside after their win over the Singapore in the event final, Saturday, August 19.
Thailand’s female water polo players celebrate poolside after their win over the Singapore in the event final, Saturday, August 19.

The parade of the Thai team was led by HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, while sepak takraw player Pornchai Kaokaew, who won 8 gold medals from various Asian Games and was a champion in the past 7 SEA Games carried the Thai flag into the stadium.

The Thai team got off to a flying start before the opening ceremony had even taken place.  Thailand’s female water polo team won the gold medal in their event with a 5-1 victory over Singapore, while another gold medal for the Thai athletes came from the male sepak takraw team, beating Malaysia 2-0 in the final match.

Marathon runner Nattaya Tanaronwat won a bronze medal in the women’s race, passing the finish line in a time of 2:58.17 hours.  The gold medal went to a runner from the Philippines.

More than 8,000 athletes from 11 participating nations are competing in 38 sports and 404 events in the 2017 SEA Games, which officially close on August 30.

The Thai men take on Malaysia in the sepak takraw final.
The Thai men take on Malaysia in the sepak takraw final.

(Source: NNT/Photos by 2017 SEA Games media)