Awie, Jaclyn, Amir blaze the stage at 20th Sukma opening

Awie, Jaclyn, Amir blaze the stage at 20th Sukma opening

Legendary tenpin bowling queen Shalin Zulkifli lighting the games torch in Bangi September 17, 2022. — Bernama pic

Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 7:04 AM MYT

BANGI, Sept 18 — The performances of Datuk Awie, Jaclyn Victor and Amir Masdi stole the limelight at the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) opening ceremony which was held at Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak (DECTAR), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) last night.

Amir, real name Amir Syazwan Masdi, Awie (Datuk Ahmad Azhar Othman) and Jaclyn lifted the spirits of the contingent members with a performance of the song Demi Malaysia followed by chants of Demi Malaysia at the climax of the ceremony.

Tonight’s ceremony began with defending champions Terengganu leading the march of over 800 athletes and officials representing 15 contingents, including Brunei to thunderous cheers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob then officiated the games that is taking place from Sept 16-24.

Then, former Sukma outstanding athletes — Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold medalist Aznil Bidin, Ng Joe Ee (Commonwealth gymnasium gold), R. Sharmendran (three SEA Games karate gold medals), and Choong Javen (Commonwealth table tennis bronze) — carried and raised the Games flag, followed by the pledge recitation.

Soon after, legendary tenpin bowling queen Shalin Zulkifli, who was the 1992 Sukma Most Promising Sportswoman as well as 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2002 National Sportswoman lit the games torch.

Held in a closed hall and not an open stadium, the fireworks display that is usually the main attraction was replaced by a variety of exciting and futuristic performances that rocked the hall.

Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.

A total of 6,652 athletes and 2,709 officials from 15 contingents, including Brunei, will compete for 426 gold medals in 31 types of sports.

The biennial event is back after Sukma 2020 Johor was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Johor will now host Sukma in 2024.

Terengganu emerged Sukma champion for the fifth time in the 2018 Perak edition after winning 56 gold, 51 silver and 53 bronze out of 427 events, while the Federal Territory (52-38-50) and 2016 edition champion Selangor (47-68-67) finished second and third respectively.

Medal events had unofficially started on Wednesday with Johor currently topping the medal tally with 18 gold, 14 silver and six bronze as of 9.30pm tonight, followed by Sabah (11-7-10), Terengganu (10-9-5) and Melaka (9-7-6). — Bernama