Athletes who lit the cauldron in previous SEA Games hosted by Singapore

Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad and his eldest son Irfan lit the SEA Games 2015 cauldron at the end of the opening ceremony on Friday.

Here's a look at the athletes who had the honour of doing so in the three SEA Games hosted by Singapore.

1973 Seap Games: C. Kunalan

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The sprinter set a national record of 10.38 sec in the 100m sprint in 1968. The record stood until 2001, unbeaten for 33 years.

He was the final torchbearer when Singapore hosted the sporting event in 1973, which was then known as the South East Asian Peninsula (Seap) Games.

With just five months of training, the 20-year-old stormed into the scene, winning his first gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 1963 Malaysia Sports Festival in Kuala Lumpur. He ended his sprinting career with four golds, eight silvers and three bronzes in the Seap Games, and a silver and four bronzes when it became the SEA Games in 1977.

Kunalan, now 72, is still active in the local athletics scene. He is the vice-president of Singapore Athletics.

1983 SEA Games: Tan Eng Yoon

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It was the inaugural Seap Games in Bangkok in 1959, and Tan Eng Yoon won Singapore's first-ever gold medal, a perfect finish to the 400m hurdles event.

Just three years before the Seap Games, he had represented Singapore in the triple jump and 100m sprint at the Olympics.

As national coach from 1958 to 1970, he talent-spotted and trained the likes of C. Kunalan and Glory Barnabas. Tragically, he died in a car accident in 2010 at age 82.

1993 SEA Games: Grace Young

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National bowler and three-time Sportswoman of the Year Grace Young ran the last 100m to set off the cannon that lit the flame in 1993. That same Games, she teamed up with Adelene Wee to win gold in the women's doubles.

Between 1987 and 1995, Young won seven golds, two silvers and four bronzes at the SEA Games, and finished third at the World Cup in 1994. She capped it off with medals in the 1994 and 1998 Asian Games, before retiring.

gohruiqi@sph.com.sg

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