It was a regal, grand and dazzling opening for the 24th edition of the SEA Games 2 nights ago (December 6,2007) at the His Majesty The King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium, Korat. Spectators totaling up to more than 20,000 , mostly claded in pink and yellow outfits to symbolize loyalty and respect to King Bumhibol who celebrated his birthday a day before the games opening ceremony (December 5th). It was a cool evening, around 14 to 15 degree celcius in Korat(Nakhon Ratchasima), one the 3 venues for the 2007 SEA Games. Other 2 venues include Chonburi(Pattaya) and Bangkok. The evening kicked off with a spectacular performance entitled ‘The Amazing Great King’, followed by ‘The E-Saan Wonder’, ‘The Amazing Glorious City’, and 5 other performances. Regal, cultural and traditional elements were the main attractions. Other than that was the awesome and beautiful golden dragon boats which ‘sailed’ across the stadium, and at 1 point, there was another silver dragon boat which ‘floated’ over the stadium. Colourful and rich costumes which are synonymous to Thailand tradition were put into parade by graceful and elegant Thai traditional dancers . The fourth segment of the evening ‘The Amzaing Sport Ceremony’ saw 11 contingents doing the march past. Malaysia contingent was led by pole vaulter, Roslinda Samsu of Kuala Nerang. Th national athletes of Malaysia wore the orange top (with the black tiger stripe) and black slacks.
The protocol events followed on; the official speech by Thailand’s sports minister, Dr.Suvit Yodmani, the official opening by the Crown Prince of Thai, Crown Prince Mahavajira Longkorn, followed by the flag raising ceremony, oath taking ceremony and lighting of the Games cauldron by Udomporn Polsak, the first Thai athlete to win an Olympic gold, in the weighlifting event, during the 2004 Athens Olympics.
A note to Malaysia sports enthusiast(you might already know this), the Malaysian contingent is taking part in all events except for sepaktakraw,muaythai and another event.. (cant remember..). Hilang seri sepak takraw without Malaysia’s participation..! Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM)’s decision to pull out from the sepaktakraw event has decreased our chances for medals by 8 gold , 8 silver and 16 bronze which brings to a total of 32 medals !!!! A black history for the Malaysia sports for this is the first time Malaysia is withdrawing their sepak takraw team from the SEA Games. The withdrawal was based on the the SEA Games organizers to use the Marathon Gen-II takraw ball, which has yet to gain any approval from the Asian Sepaktakraw Federation(Astaf). Haris Abdul Rahman, the national sepaktakraw elite coach said in an interview that ‘ Kita tak gentar, sebaliknya tuan rumah Sukan SEA XXIV takut dengan bayang-bayang sendiri. ‘
ps: really sorry for the late entry guys.. been real busy this week ! more SEA Games updates coming up !