Torch run hits Kuala Lumpur streets

The Kuala Lumpur leg of the torch run featured a convoy of 50 cyclists, 50 runners and 50 bikers.

A TORCH Run held to promote the Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) 2018 passed through the streets of Kuala Lumpur, ahead of the games that will be held in Penang next month.

The Kuala Lumpur leg of the torch run saw a convoy of 150 participants running, cycling and riding big bikes through several tourist attractions and roads in the city centre.

The convoy was flagged off at Dataran DBKL by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Socio-Economic Development executive director Datuk Ibrahim Yusoff.

Also present were Penang Women and Family Development and Gender Inclusiveness Committee chairman Chong Eng, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria and Penang APMG Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Linda Geh.

APMG is the first multi-sports masters event in Asia, and will be held in Penang from Sept 7 to 15.

It is hosted by Penang Island City Council, Penang state government and Malaysian Association of Local Authorities. It is also sanctioned by International Masters Games Association (IMGA) and OCM.

Some 5,000 participants from 61 countries will be competing in the games’ 22 sporting categories.

There is no qualifying or selection process involved for participants.

They just need to be of a certain age in their chosen sport, with 30 being the minimum required age on average.

Chong Eng (kneeling, in red shirt) and Norza (kneeling, in black jacket) in a group photo with some of the participants and organisers after the flag-off. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star
Chong Eng (kneeling, in red shirt) and Norza (kneeling, in black jacket) in a group photo with some of the participants and organisers after the flag-off. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star 

Athletes compete in their own age group and category – competitive, recreational or social. Medals are awarded for the podium finishers in all events.

“The APMG torch run started in Kudat, Sabah. It will travel across all 14 states in Malaysia before arriving in Penang for the start of the games,” said Chong Eng.

“It includes a cross-channel swim from Seberang Prai to Penang Island, making it one of the most interesting torch runs in the history of International Masters Games.

“Its theme Beyond the Games reflects the event’s spirit of encouraging people to make friends and have fun, while exercising and competing in sports at the same time.”

She said the games would also develop sports tourism in Penang, promote a healthy lifestyle and boost the local economy.

“Besides core sports (such as athletics), there were several categories that Penang requested, namely pencak silat, wushu and lion dance.

“These categories were chosen because we wanted to showcase sports with local flavours and reflected local cultures,” said Chong Eng.

“Besides offering a platform for former elite athletes to compete, what is unique about APMG is that it also allows public participation,” said Norza.

“Those in their 30’s or older who want to be part of the sports but can’t participate at the highest level can compete in APMG.”

According to Geh, some of the personalities who have confirmed their participation are Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon (football and ping pong), Penang deputy speaker Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah (football), Ong Ewe Hock and Ong Ewe Chye (badminton), and Allen Ong and Cindy Ong (swimming).

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KL leg of event travels through tourist attractions to promote Penang games

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