Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games begins this Saturday.


My home capital, Kuala Lumpur will be hosting the 29th Southeast Asian Games beginning this Saturday. This biennial event will take place from 19th to 30th August 2017 and will see participation of 11 countries in the South East Asia region. This will be Kuala Lumpur’s 6th time in hosting the games. Its last edition here in KL was way back in 2001. There will be 404 events in 38 sports in this games including the first ever winter-sport (ice skating) events included in SEA Games history.

In preparation of the games, the old sports complex in Bukit Jalil went through a major refurbishment and rebranded as KL Sports City. The sports complex was previously built to host the 1998 Commonwealth Games. That was almost 20 years ago and many areas and venues in the complex were in serious need of upgrade works. And they are now all done for the coming SEA Games. One of the major upgrades is the addition of a skin system to the present Bukit Jalil Outdoor National Stadium. Well, it looks good on the stadium with the LED colour-changing lights on it.

Malaysia hopes to be the top of the medal ranking at the end of the games. This is expected since we are the host nation and there would be advantages on our side as usual. However, in my opinion, reaching the top at this games means nothing. It is just a small regional event. Malaysia shall aim higher by targeting to reach top 10 in future Asian Games (we are placed at 14th place in Incheon 2014 with 5 golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes) or even top 30 in future Olympic Games (we are placed at 60th place in Rio 2016 with 4 silvers and 1 bronze…haiz, 4 silvers and not even 1 gold…sad). Opps…we have not even won a single gold medal in the Olympics yet. We are basically weak in most of the sports. Even our performance in badminton (our most popular and considered to be our best shot for medals) keep on dropping in these recent years. We should look up to China on how they train their athletes. They are crazily strong in almost all sports now.

On the other hand, Malaysia should consider strongly to bid for bigger games in the future such as the Asian Games. I remember Thailand had hosted it for many times and we have not even hosted it once. We should bid for Asian Games. I think we have all the necessary stuff needed to host the games. Aim higher. We do not even need to spend much on building new infrastructures as we already have most of them. So why not? It will not cost much and by hosting bigger-scale games, our unity spirit and international recognition will rise. Wait…how about hosting the Olympics? Wow…this dream is way too far. It is still possible if Malaysia and Singapore work together for a joint bid. But for now, we should set our eyes on bidding for Asian Games first. Oh no…we have to wait to bid for the 2030 Asian Games. The host for 2018, 2022 and 2026 games have already been decided earlier. Year 2030…hmm…I will turn 39 years old by then.

Anyway, back to this coming SEA Games. I will still wish for the best for the Malaysian athletes! I have no doubt we will get No.1 in this games in overall medal tally. Let just see this as a warm up for much bigger games ahead. Malaysia Boleh! I hope the country will be doing something cool for the opening ceremony this Saturday! Perhaps matching the quality of the opening ceremonies in Olympic Games. I doubt it.

(Images and video in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

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