Sukma 2004Negri Sembilan May 28 - June 6
NEGRI Sembilan brought the 10th Malaysian Games (Sukma) to a close with a colourful and glittering ceremony at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi last night.
After two weeks of intense competition, more than 40,000 people thronged the stadium to witness the athletes from the 17 contingents come together in a show of friendship and solidarity.
Selangor emerged as the overall champions for the fifth consecutive Games since winning the crown in Kuantan in 1996.
They amassed a total of 684 points from 56 gold, 58 silver, 52 bronze and 35 fourth-place finishes.
The crowd, who were still in a celebratory mood after Negri Sembilan had snatched a historic first football gold medal a day earlier, were still streaming into the stands when the closing ceremony started unofficially at 5pm.
An entertainment show kicked off the proceedings with local artistes Ruffledge, Ezlynn, Ito, comedy group Senario and others kept everyone entertained for the next three hours.
The official ceremony began at 8pm with the arrival of the dignitaries and guest of honour, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Next was a rhythmic gymnastics performance followed by the march past of the 17 contingents.
Swimming proved to be the flavour of the 2004 Sukma as both the best Sportsboy and Sportsgirl awards went to athletes from the sport.
Sarawak's Daniel Bego and Perak's Cindy Ong were picked as the best athletes of the Games.
Daniel and Cindy received their awards from Najib. Cindy, who was scheduled to fly back to the United States yesterday at 2pm, postponed her flight to receive the award.
The 15-year-old Daniel won seven gold and three silver medals and in the process rewrote the boys' 50m breaststroke record.
He also won golds in the 100m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 4x100m medley.
If the Bukit Jalil Sports School student's achievements at the Aquatics Centre in Paroi were impressive, the efforts of Cindy were more remarkable.
The 20-year-old “Miss Butterfly” from Ipoh shattered five national records en route to six gold medals in the Games.
The records tumbled in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly and 50m breaststroke events. Cindy also won the 200m butterfly gold medal.
After the awards presentation, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Datuk Mohamad Hasan, delivered his speech of thanks to express gratitude to everyone connected to making the Games a success.
This was followed by speeches from the Sports Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman, and the Deputy Prime Minister.
The crowd were then mesmerised with a five-minutes pyro-technics performance.
The Games was officially brought to a close when the Sukma flag was lowered by Armed Forces' personnel and the Games' flame was extinguished.
Short bursts of fireworks lighted the Seremban skies to mark the end of the Games.
The final official act of the 2004 hosts was the handing over of the flag by Mohamad Hasan to Najib.
Kedah will host the next Games in 2006 and the Deputy Prime Minister handed the flag to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain.
The evening's proceedings came to an end with the 2006 hosts giving an early indication of what to expect in two years' time with a vibrant dance show, encompassing the rich cultural heritage of the northern state.