Malaysia reigns supreme at SEA Games with 145 gold medals

Fireworks explode during the closing ceremony for the 29th Southeast Asian Games at Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 31 August 2017

Malaysia reigns supreme at SEA Games with 145 gold medals

KUALA LUMPUR: Host Malaysia has won 145 gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games to emerge as overall champion for the first time in 16 years, making it a double celebration in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of its independence from British rule.
The medal bounty exceeded Malaysia’s record of 111 golds in the 2001 games that it last hosted, and comes as a bonus ahead of its Independence Day celebration on Thursday.
Thailand, which was champion in four of the last five games, had 72 gold medals.
Vietnam had 58, Singapore 57, Indonesia 38, Philippines 24, Myanmar 7, Cambodia 3 and Laos 2. The sultanate of Brunei and new state Timor Leste (East Timor) failed to win any gold in the region’s largest multi-sports event that ended with a closing ceremony Wednesday.
The biennial Games, which started in 1959, covers a wide range of sports, many that are on the Olympic program. It also includes sports distinct to the region such as the pencak silat martial art, sepak takraw that is played with a rattan ball, and Thai kickboxing muay thai.
Malaysia’s medal haul was a big jump from the 62 golds they won at the 2015 games in Singapore, but it is not surprising as host countries can tailor the program to match their strength. In 2007, Thailand took 183 out of 477 on home soil while host Indonesia finished with 182 out of 554 in 2011.
The next SEA Games will be contested in the Philippines in 2019.
Malaysia’s organization and some games results attracted controversy.
Indonesia accused Malaysia of cheating in the pencak silat competition after two Malaysians won gold in the men’s artistic doubles. Indonesia team manager Edhy Prabowo alleged that the duo, who had lost many times to Indonesia, were awarded an unfairly high score.
The allegation came after a gaffe by Malaysia in printing the Indonesian flag upside down in a souvenir guidebook for the games. The error made the red-and-white Indonesian flag resemble Poland’s and caused anger in Indonesia, where “shameonyoumalaysia” became the most popular hashtag on Twitter.
Malaysia was quick to apologize for the “unintentional” mistake and said it would reprint the guide books.
In athletics, a Malaysian woman was criticized after she overtook a Vietnamese competitor to win the gold medal in a women’s walk event by apparently running in the final stretch to the finish line. Officials also complained that games venue and timing were changed at the last minute.

Saudia E-Prix returns to Ad Diriyah with double header

Updated 24 June 2019

Saudia E-Prix returns to Ad Diriyah with double header

  • The event will take place on Nov. 22 and 23
  • Two major races will take place in this year’s E-Prix, which made its Middle East debut in the Kingdom last year

DUBAI: The Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix is set to bring two races and more global acts in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 22 and 23, adding twice the excitement to a historic event held at UNESCO world heritage site, according to the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA).

“This year we look forward to igniting an even bigger season of motor racing for Formula E, we’re ready to welcome even more international visitors, and create another unforgettable moment for our people,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Chairman of the GSA, said in a statement.

Two major races will take place in this year’s E-Prix, which made its Middle East debut in the Kingdom last year with only one race. Music icons such as David Guetta, Enrique Iglesias, One Republic and the Black-Eyed Peas performed during the event. It was reportedly attended by some 60,000 people.

“This year sees even more teams enter the Formula E championship, with Porsche and Mercedes entering the fray. Last year Ad Diriyah was the launchpad for the new Gen 2 race cars and the exciting Attack Zone innovation. This year will be the first-time drivers will have an additional 10kW of power available when using that Attack Mode, rising from 225kW to 235kW,” Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF), said.

“Add to that, a double header – two races instead of one - with a total of 24 cars competing. This will fire up Saudi Arabia’s passion for motorsports and we are ready to welcome Formula E back,” he added.

The GSA is expecting crowds of up to 100,000 people to attend the E-Prix, given the improvements in the visa processing for tourists.

The 2019 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix will be the second year of a 10-year partnership between ABB FIA Formula E and the GSA and the SAMF.