Everytime the biennial SEA Games takes place, I just can't stop my memory to drift back to the XXIst SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2001. I was part of the Games back then while working with Proton - one of the Official Partners for the Games besides Petronas, TM and TNB. I still remember having to go to places like Penang and JB to recce games venues, to see best angles/spots to place our promotion/sponsorship items like A-boards, banners, buntings and other facilities like VIP suites/corporate box, VIP parking, hotels, etc.
The best of all is getting the chance to watch the opening ceremony from the corporate box in Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil. Awesome view and luxurious foods! Not to forget all-access accreditation that I hold, allows me to simply walk into any venues. Nice!
And I could not forget, watching the Men Football Gold Medal match between Malaysia and Thailand in Stadium Shah Alam. We lost the match but it is nice to see talents like Hairuddin Omar to come out at this level. Then, the Men Badminton Team Gold Medal match between Malaysia and Indonesia in Stadium Malawati Shah Alam. We had not won the team gold medal for a while and I lost my voice that night, cheering for Malaysia which eventually won the Gold. As the mighty Indonesian fell, it was also the night when the World Trade Center in New York fell down to earth.
This XXVth edition of SEA Games in Vientianne, Lao PDR has many of its firsts. It is the first time Lao PDR hosts the SEA Games. And at the very least, Malaysian athletes continue to rewrite our sports history.
Daniel Bego has become the first male swimmer for Malaysia to win five gold medals in a single SEA Games. For women, I hope you still remember Nurul Huda Abdullah who won some 7 or 8 golds in a Games. Bego strikes gold in 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, and 100m and 200m butterfly.
The women shuttlers won team gold medal after 34 years at the SEA Games - it was at the 1977 SEAP Games in Bangkok. None of the winning shuttlers were born yet in 1977.
And last but not least, the men soccer team ended Thai's reign of 36 years as SEA Games champion by knocking them off in the group stage. The semi final win last night against the host, marks the first time after eight years Malaysia qualify for the Gold medal match. Another win against Vietnam in the final will create another
history, winning the gold medal after the last time in 1989 in KL by beating the mighty Thailand 1-0.
I seriously think it will be a tough battle against Vietnam but until then, let's enjoy the semi-final win! Malaysia Boleh!!!
...and oh ya! It is also the first time in sooooo many years that Malaysian are not able to watch the Games, live or delayed telecast (oh well! except the semi final match last night), due to Malaysia's objection to the broadcasting rights fee imposed by the host nation. Luckily for me, I can still get a taste of the Games through Singapore's Channel 5.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Posted at 9:45 AM