In the dark on who will carry torch

In the dark on who will carry torch
National badminton players Derek Wong (left) and Jason Wong (right), who are siblings, as well as their father Wong Shoon Keat, who won the 1983 men's singles.

The design of the SEA Games cauldron was unveiled yesterday but the identities of those involved with carrying the Games torch and the all-important flame-lighting ceremony remain a closely guarded secret.

The torch-bearers for the opening ceremony will feature athletes and officials both past and present.

A few duos will be inter-generational pairs, such as family members, coaches and athletes as well as mentors and mentees - to symbolise the passing down of sporting values.

More than 10 torch-bearers will feature in a torch relay, before the cauldron is lit at the Singapore Sports Hub's Waterfront Plaza on June 5.

Speculation has been rife regarding the identity of the torch-bearers and the person who will light the flame, which will remain burning until the Games closes on June 16.

Among the names that have cropped up for the potential pairings are those of 1983 badminton champion Wong Shoon Keat and his son Derek; football legend Fandi Ahmad and son Irfan; and the famous swimming Chans, with either 39-gold winner Pat and/or brother Bernard, partnering his daughter Nur Marina Chan.

In 1993, when the Games was last held here, there were no pairings for the torch relay and the Games flame was lit by bowler Grace Young.

With the cauldron being located outside the National Stadium, spectators inside will watch the lighting of the flame via a live telecast.

Colonel Lawrence Lim, chairman of the opening and closing ceremonies, said: "We have placed it there because we want people to come up close with the cauldron, connect with it, read the stories and think about the SEA Games.

"We hope that this will allow more Singaporeans to come and support the Games."

The 19.2m cauldron was designed by DP Architects and made locally. The sculptural art piece was transported overnight on Tuesday and is being installed on the site outside the stadium.

The triple helix structure embodies the theme of the Games - Celebrate the Extraordinary.

The DNA structure connects nations, communities and individuals together in a unity of aspirations.

The 11 segments represent the 11 participating nations.

As part of making the Games community-centred, Toh Boon Yi, chief, corporate and community outreach, Singapore South-east Asian Games Organising Committee executive committee said: "At every juncture, our communities will be part of the torch-up journey by either co-creating a Torch-Up! public art installation or by taking part in the countdown formations."

chongcjy@sph.com.sg

Who could be torch-bearers?

Wong Shoon Keat and Derek Wong (badminton)

The elder Wong won Singapore's first men's singles gold medal at the 1983 SEA Games, still the country's only triumph in that event so far. His 26-year-old son is a silver medallist from the Commonwealth Games last year.

 

Fandi Ahmad and Irfan Fandi (football)

Fandi is one of Singapore's most iconic and recognisable sportsmen. Irfan, 17, his eldest son, has impressed in the Under-23 team.

 

Bernard Chan/Pat Chan and Nur Marina Chan (swimming)

Marina hails from the famous Chan family of swimmers. Father Bernard took part in the 1964 Olympics while aunt Patricia is the original Golden Girl who reigned supreme in the 1960s and 1970s.


This article was first published on May 7, 2015.
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