Goodbye Myanmar, hello Singapore

Goodbye Myanmar, hello Singapore
Chairman of the Myanmar SEA Games (SEA Games) organising committee U Thint San (R) hands over the SEA Games flag to Singapore Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan Jin (L).

NAYPYIDAW - Myanmar ended its successful hosting of the SEA Games with a closing ceremony in its capital last night, which also marked the beginning of a new chapter - for Singapore.

The ceremony marked the official start of the Republic's hosting of the 2015 Games, slated to be held from June 5 to 16.

In a symbolic handover gesture near the end of the ceremony, Mr Tint Hsan, chairman of the Myanmar SEA Games organising committee, handed the SEA Games flag to Singapore's Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also an executive committee member of the Singapore National Olympic Council.

This was followed by a performance by Singapore Soka Association members and national gymnastics and taekwondo athletes.

Yesterday also saw the online launch of the 2015 Games' official website at www.seagames2015. com and Facebook page.

Other key components like the theme song, mascot and logo will be rolled out from next February.

Myanmar, meanwhile, last night drew a close to three weeks of competition with a lavish ceremony that marked the end of the 27th SEA Games.

Said Mr Tint Hsan: "Although the ASEAN region has so many different religions, dialects and traditions, the fact that we are able to compete in friendship throughout the SEA Games showed everyone the unifying power of sports."

Billed as the "coming-out party" of the once-reclusive nation, the Games gave Myanmar the opportunity to showcase not only its athletic prowess, but also its hospitality.

It won a record 86 golds, far above its previous best gold medal haul of 57, achieved in 1969 when it last hosted the Games.

It also garnered 62 silvers and 85 bronzes this year.

Myanmar finished in second place on the medal table, behind Thailand, which won 107 golds, 94 silvers and 81 bronzes.

Vietnam was third with a 73-86-86 tally.

Singapore finished sixth in the medal table with 34 golds, 29 silvers and 45 bronzes.

While usual gold mines like swimming and sailing continued their winning tradition, the Republic's campaign was made memorable by several historic victories.

Dinah Chan (cycling), Saiyidah Aisyah (rowing), Janine Khoo (equestrian), Ho Han Boon (judo) and Chan Jing Ru (archery) won the first golds in their sports in at least 16 years, while Mok Ying Ren became the first Singaporean to win the men's marathon.

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