Sunday July 8, 2012
Crowd enthralled by grand and colourful ceremony
THE 15th Sukma (Malaysia Games) was officially opened by Pahang’s Ruler Sultan Ahmad Shah Sultan Abu Bakar in a colourful ceremony at the Darul Makmur Stadium last night.
The arrival of the guest of honour together with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek was greeted by a mass choreographed performance.
The march past had the official mascots of four elephants named Tahan, Puteh, Rajah and Teku, leading the contingents.
Pahang, who are hosting the Games for the second time in 16 years, welcomed some 5,000 athletes and officials participating in 24 events offering 377 gold, 377 silver and 453 bronze medals.
The visitors were given a rousing welcome with a colourful traditional dance performance and drums display reflecting the tradition of Pahang.
Malaysia’s pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin then belted out her hits from the top of a mechanical elephant to entertain the sell-out crowd at the stadium.
Eleven competitions had begun ahead of the official opening ceremony with two events – karate and taekwondo – ending on Monday and Friday. The Games which will be held in three districts – Kuantan, Pekan and Temerloh – will end on July 16.