IPOH: The 19th edition of Sukma (Malaysia Games) was officially declared open by Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah in a colourful and glittering ceremony at the Perak Stadium.
The ceremony on Tuesday (Sept 11) night showcased the culture and traditional dance of the Silver State.
It was a carnival like atmosphere inside and around the stadium although rain started to pour at 8pm.
The other dignitaries present were Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal.
The event started with the official song of Perak Sukma and performance by 700 dancers from various agencies and schools.
A total of 12,000 athletes and officials from 14 states including Brunei are featured in the 19th edition of the Games.
The first state contingent to march into the Perak Stadium were Sarawak led by chef-de-mission Datuk Snowdan Lawan.
The biggest roar of support from the crowd was for the Perak contingent led by former national high jumper and chef de mission Loo Kum Zee, who holds the SEA Games record of 2.24m he set in Chiang Mai in 1995.
Former 400m track queen Josephine Mary is the deputy chef de mission for hosts Perak.
The Silver State are represented by 587 athletes and 129 officials.
The countdown of the Sukma Games began with the entrance of mascot of Perak Sukma "Chor", a Malayan gaur, together with the mascot from all the 14 states.
After speeches by Syed Saddiq and Ahmad, a video montage encompassing the highlights of the journey undertaken during the Sukma Baton Run was displayed.
Kum Zee ran around the track before he passed the baton to Sultan Nazrin who placed it in the stand.
Sultan Nazrin then put the keris in a launch box to lid the Sukma cauldron, which symbolised the opening of the Games.
Perak are organising the biennial Sukma for the second time. They first hosted it in 1994.
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