SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES: BADMINTON LEGEND LIGHTS THE FLAME
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS REPORT is presented by badminton world champions
YANG YANG (1987 and 1989) and ZHAO JIAN HUA (1991) and by
YANG YANG BADMINTON PRODUCTS **
October 12, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Ferry Sonneville, the first Indonesian
to gain world prominence in the sport of badminton, was given the signal
honor of lighting the ceremonial flame at opening ceremonies of the 19th
SouthEast Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia last night before thousands of
Indonesian sports fans at the Senayan sports complex.
Sonneville, now aged 66, ran a lap around the track at the main stadium with
a torch and then was raised by an open elevator to the lip of the giant
cauldron where he applied his torch to light the SEA Games flame.
The opening ceremonies were very colorful and were marked by fireworks,
skydivers, marching bands, native Indonesian dances and a 19-gun salute as
well as a parade of the more than 4,000 athletes and officials participating
in the Games.
Indonesian President Suharto welcomed the delegations from the ten countries
that are part of the SouthEast Asian Games Federation and formally opened the
competitions when he set off a wailing siren with the push of a button.
The countries represented in the Games are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, host
Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The badminton competition starts today with the preliminaries of the men's
and women's team events. The team semifinals is slated for tomorrow with the
championships on Tuesday. Wednesday is a rest day for badminton, with the
individual events beginning on Thursday and ending on Saturday.
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