Loga Bala (right) bringing the torch on a hot air balloon ride to kick-start the run in Putrajaya. — Photos: MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star
THE Kuala Lumpur 2017 Torch Run (KL2017 Torch Run) has travelled through Malaysia for 13 weeks and it finally reached Putrajaya yesterday.
This was a continuation of the run in Wangsa Maju on Thursday, after the torch was handed over from Selangor to the Federal Territory on Aug 6.
The torch, designed by pewter maker Royal Selangor, was brought on a hot air balloon ride by Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan at the Dataran Gemilang field.
Federal Territories Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Iksan and Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali were also present, as three hot air balloons were fired up in a celebratory fanfare.
KL2017 Torch Run participants reaching Menara KBS, the final checkpoint in Putrajaya.
After a 10-minute ride, the torch was then passed on to Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa to start off the run.
Hundreds of participants ran together, passing through some of Putrajaya’s landmarks such as Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Finance Ministry building and the Palace of Justice before reaching its final checkpoint for the day at the Youth and Sports Ministry office (Menara KBS).
As the runners and the torch made their way to the finishing line, loud chants and claps could be heard as the crowd cheered them on.
The run was organised by the Malaysia Organising Committee (Masoc) of KL2017 and the Youth and Sports Ministry as part of the SEA Games and the Asean Para Games tradition.
Spirits were high as well with 37-year-old Zakri Kamaruddin and 33-year-old Farhana Baharuddin who both joined the event in their wheelchairs.
“We are so happy to be able to complete the run with everyone else,” said Farhana.
Lokman placing the torch in front of Menara KBS in Persiaran Perdana, Putrajaya.
“Putrajaya has great accessibility for wheelchair users like us.
“I feel I have done my part in showing my support to the athletes and I hope they will do Malaysia proud,” added Zakri.
The KL2017 Torch Run will continue today, making its way through Cheras and Bandar Tun Razak, before being brought to the Axiata Arena, completing the run.
The run kicked off on May 13 from Johor, with the torch journeying its way through all 13 states, even reaching the highest summit of Mount Kinabalu and passing through the seas of Penang.
The torch will be brought to the Bukit Jalil National Stadium to ignite the Games cauldron at the opening ceremony of KL2017 on Aug 19.
Hot air balloons being fired up in a celebratory fanfare during the event in Dataran Gemilang, Putrajaya