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From Vikneswaran Raman
SOLO (Indonesia), Aug 6 (Bernama) -- ‘Terima kasih Indonesia, Chom Reap Sour Cambodia.’ (Thank you Indonesia, Hello Cambodia.’
The 11th ASEAN Para Games (APG) was officially declared closed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Manahan Stadium here tonight, after a week of breathtaking action.
The grand closing ceremony began after the parade of the 11 contingents representing the Southeast Asian countries, with the Malaysian contingent, all dressed up in their stand-out ‘Rimau’ jacket and tracksuit, being the fourth to march into the stadium to rapturous cheers from the crowd.
Throughout the two-hour ceremony, the 10,000-odd spectators at the multi-sport arena were entertained by a combination of cultural and musical performances signifying Indonesia’s rich and diverse traditions and in-trend artistes like Andien, Yovie & Nuno and Yura Yunita.
During his speech, Jokowi thanked the 1,200 participating athletes, saying Indonesia was proud to have hosted the eight-day sporting extravaganza for persons with disabilities (PwD).
Also in attendance were the First Lady of Indonesia Iriana Jokowi, Indonesian ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (INASPOC) head Gibran Rakabuming Raka and ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) President Gen Osoth Bhavilai.
After the APSF flag was handed to Cambodia, the host of next year’s edition, the kingdom staged another stunning traditional performance as a mark of welcome for next year’s Games.
Cambodia is set to host the SEA Games from May 5-16 May and the APG from June 3-9 next year in Phnom Penh.
The finale for the night at the Manahan Stadium was the spectacular fireworks display, which light up the skies of the Central-Java city shortly after the Games cauldron was extinguished.
Malaysia, represented by some 70 athletes, ended the campaign with a haul of 36 golds, 20 silvers and 14 bronzes to be placed fourth in the medal standings.
Host Indonesia, as expected, topped the medal tally with a haul of 177-144-107 for the third time after the 2013 and 2017 editions in Myanmar and Kuala Lumpur respectively, while Thailand (113-113-86) and Vietnam (63-58-54) finished second and third respectively.
Indonesia agreed to host the APG just a few months before the Games were scheduled to begin after 2019 hosts the Philippines and 2021 hosts Vietnam cancelled the Games citing financial constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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