SEA Games: Singapore athletes rally for 2017 SEA Games and Asean Para Games baton run

Malaysia Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin handed over baton to MCCY Minister Grace Fu before flag off SEA Games and Asean Para Games baton relay. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE- With the 2017 SEA Games and Asean Para Games (APG) set to be hosted in Kuala Lumpur in August and September respectively, past and present Team Singapore athletes got together for a baton relay on Saturday (May 13) morning.

The baton relay is the first of its kind in SEA Games and Asean Para Games (APG) history. Beginning in March, the baton has passed through the capital cities of nine other South-east Asian countries, with Singapore as the final stop.

After the baton arrives in host country Malaysia, a torch will be lit and it will travel through all the Malaysian states before concluding in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 19 for the 29th SEA Games opening ceremony.

Starting off at *SCAPE at Orchard Road, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu received the baton from Malaysia's Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin before flagging the start of the relay. About 1,000 athletes, officials, volunteers and students took part in the relay.

The two ministers were joined by Team Singapore athletes such as para swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, 2015 200m sprint champion Shanti Pereira and marathoner Mok Ying Ren, who all took turns to carry the baton at various stages along the 18km route that took them from *SCAPE at Orchard Road to the Republic's sporting and iconic landmarks like the Sports Hub, the Merlion Park and the Old Parliament House.

Former national athletes like gymnast Lim Heem Wei, badminton player Ronald Susilo and swimmers Ang Peng Siong and Mark Chay were also present to support the event.

After the relay, Ms Fu said: "Sports has this unique ability to bring people together. The SEA Games and Asean Para Games have been able to bring different countries in South-east Asia together to celebrate sport.

"Our Team Singapore athletes are training very hard - we're all strongly behind you as One Team Singapore. We look forward to a fantastic showing by our athletes."

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