This month the nation springs into action as the 29th Southeast Asian Games, packaged as KL2017, touch down with a total of 4,885 athletes registered to compete across 38 sports and 404 events. Some 1,332 medals will be up for grabs in what will go down as one of the most memorable sporting events in years to come.
Coinciding with the nation’s 60th Independence Day celebrations, this year marks the sixth time Malaysia hosts the Games with the first being in 1965.
Themed Rising Together, the Games run from 19-30 August and draw contenders from 11 nations, comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Athletes from these nations will come together in the true spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie to compete for gold and glory.
Sports History Made Out of the 38 sports contested in this year’s Games, a total of five will be making their debut including for the first time ever two winter sports – Ice Skating and Ice Hockey, with the former comprising Figure Skating and Speed Skating.
These fully-fledged medal events will pave the way for Southeast Asian nations participating in future winter games, including perhaps the Winter Olympics further down the line.
These ice-based sports will be held in the newly built Empire City Ice Arena, an Olympic-sized rink that will seat some 500 spectators. A total of eight gold medals will be up for grabs in ice-skating and one in ice-hockey.
The Nations Converge The last time Malaysia hosted the iconic games was in 2001, where they emerged as overall champions and this year the bar has been set similarly high. The host nation will represent with a record contingent of no less than 871 athletes competing in all sports – the biggest number since the 2007 Korat SEA Games.
Coming in a close second in numbers and arguably, Malaysia’s biggest threat is Thailand with 858 athletes. Thailand has been crowned champion of the games thirteen times since 1959 and is set to put up a fight with strong teams across the board.
Next year’s Asian Games hosts, Indonesia, are sending a contingent of 629 athletes, followed by Singapore (582), the Philippines (497), Myanmar (457), Vietnam (455), Laos (201), Cambodia (178), Brunei Darussalam (109) and Timor Leste (48).
A Digital KL2017 To ensure that everyone gets a fighting chance to catch the Games in all their glory, a suite of digital assets has been specially designed for KL2017. Covering the events from a 360 degree perspective, this suite includes four components, comprised of social media platforms including the official website (kualalumpur2017.com.my), facebook, Instagram and twitter; as well as the official KL2017 App, YouTube Channel and City Guide. These will all provide a continuous flow of information that will keep fans up-to-date with the latest information on sports, events, athletes and medal tally.
29th SEA Games When: 19-30 August, 2017 9th ASEAN Para Games When: 17-23 September, 2017 Where: KL Sports City, Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), Nilai Velodrome, Putrajaya, MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre, Langkawi (Kedah), Kuala Terengganu (Terengganu) kualalumpur2017.com.my