A TOTAL of 5,461 participants from 65 countries will be taking part in the Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) 2018 in Penang from Sept 7 to 15, exceeding the organisers’ target of 5,000.
APMG chairman Chong Eng said the organisers would also receive the Malaysia Book of Records certificate for being the first hosts of the Masters Games in this region, and for having the most number of participating countries in the Games.
Penang Governor Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas will declare open the Games on Sept 8 at the newly-renovated City Stadium with the opening ceremony scheduled to begin at 7.30pm.
Among the VIPs coming for the event are Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, governors of Hyogo, Japan, and Jeollabuk-do, South Korea, and the International Masters Games Association president Kai Holm.
Chong Eng, who is also the state Women and Family Development, Gender Equality and non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman, said more than 1,000 performers and 1,000 volunteers would be involved in the grand opening ceremony.
Chong Eng (centre) and Yew showing off a replica of the 2018 APMG torch at the press conference. With them are (from left) Rosnani, Geh and Addnan.
She added that the organisers have also received the cooperation and expertise from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in the staging of the lavish ceremony.
“It has been 18 years since Penang last hosted a proper big scale opening ceremony during the 2000 Sukma at the State Stadium in Batu Kawan. It will be worth the wait because I’ve been told that the APMG 2018 opening ceremony will be an exciting event,” she told reporters at Komtar today.
“More than 15,000 spectators are expected for the opening ceremony. I urge very Penangite who has the time to come to the City Stadium and view this historic event.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the opening ceremony of an international sporting event in our own backyard. You can be part of the history too.”
Also present at the press conference were APMG chief executive officer Linda Geh, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang, MBPP secretary Addnan Mohd Razali, Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) secretary Rosnani Mahmod and MPSP head unit of tourism, culture and heritage, Mohd Ridzal Abdul.
Geh said the public is invited to take part in an opening ceremony run from the Esplanade to the City Stadium from 6pm to 7pm on Sept 8. Several roads will be closed during the 5km run.
Those interested to join the run can now register at http://www.actifestyle.com/events/apmgopeningrun
To date, 1,069 participants have confirmed their participation. Entry fee is RM50, with each participant entitled to a T-shirt, medal and a lucky draw. The closing date for entries is Sept 3.
Meanwhile, Yew said the APMG 2018 Torch Run, which started at the northern tip of Borneo on April 28, is now in progress in Perak and will pass the Perak-Penang border on Aug 31.
MPSP and MBPP are getting assemblymen involved by organising cultural and sporting activities in their respective constituency during the torch run.
Rosnani said one highlight in the torch run from Menara MPSP to KTM Bukit Mertajam on Sept 1 would see two horses being used for about 2km.
Chong Eng herself would also take part in the torch run, as a pillion rider during a big bike convoy on Sept 1 in Bukit Mertajam, while Yew himself would join the swimmers to bring over the torch during the Penang International Cross-Channel Swim on Sept 2, which is held in conjunction with the APMG.
The breakdown of the participation by sports:
Archery – 125 participants (12 countries), Athletics – 1,295 (39), Badminton – 539 (19), Basketball – 250 (9), Cycling – 462 (13), Football – 455 (11), Golf – 95 (8), Hockey – 151 (8), Lion Dance – 101 (7), Netball – 136 (6), Pencak Silat – 95 (4), Shooting – 42 (3), Softball – 108 (3), Squash – 111 (12), Swimming – 306 (26), Table tennis – 224 (15), Taekwondo – 68 (8), Tennis – 130 (15), Tenpin Bowling – 131 (6), Volleyball – 197 (15), Weightlifting – 83 (14), Wushu – 214 (14).
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan