A to Z of SEA Games

A to Z of SEA Games
The grand finale of the opening ceremony of the 28th SEA Games hosted by Singapore.

A ATHLETICS: The sport usually offers the most gold medals and there are 46 up for grabs.

B BANGKOK: The birthplace of the Games, which was the brainchild of Luang Sukhum Nayapradit, then vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand. Conceived as a means to help forge strong regional cooperation, understanding and unity, the inaugural edition took place from 12 to 17 Dec 1959, in Bangkok, and has been hosted by the city another three times since.

C CAULDRON: Located at the Waterfront, the locally-designed 19.2m-tall tower depicts the human DNA and incorporates 11 segments to represent the nations participating.

D DEBUT: Floorball will make its first appearance at the Games. It first featured in 2013 in Myanmar but it was only a demonstration sport then, and no official medals were given out.

E EXPO: The halls of the Singapore Expo will be where fight sports silat, taekwondo, judo and wushu will be held.

F FOOTBALL: The football gold medal is Singapore's holy grail. Sixty-five years, 27 tournaments - a handful of which were graced by special talents like Fandi Ahmad and V Sundramoorthy - and yet the coveted gold remains elusive. Can Aide Iskandar and his boys prove the naysayers wrong and create history on home soil?

G GIANTS: Singapore might just be a little red dot on the map, but at the SEA Games, its swimmers are veritable giants. A total of 225 golds have been mined over the past Games, and its swimmers held 18 of 38 South-east Asian swimming records prior to the 28th SEA Games.

H HEARTLANDS: Bedok (waterskiing), Bishan (football, gymnastics) Yishun (bowling, indoor shooting), Choa Chu Kang (rugby sevens) and Sengkang (hockey) will all get a taste of SEA Games action as competition venues.

I INDONESIA: South-east Asia's largest and most populated country is the record-holder for most golds won at a single Games, a whopping 194 at the Jakarta Games in 1997.

J JOSEPH SCHOOLING: He is only 19, but he will arguably be Singapore's biggest star at the Games and is expected to rule the pool at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. A historic 2014 saw Schooling win gold in the the 100m butterfly at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and then become the first Singaporean to win a swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games when he won silver in the same event.

K KALLANG: The Games will return to the central area of Singapore where it all began 42 years ago, when the Republic played hosts for the first time in 1973. The old National Stadium has made way for the spanking new Sports Hub, but many other sports, like archery, softball, squash and tennis, will be held in familiar, less-flashy venues just a stone's throw away.

L LOGISTICS: The Singsoc Logistics Centre, located on the premises of Singapore's largest home-grown logistics provider, CWT Limited, is the storage place for almost 3,000,000 snacks, drinks and giveaways, over 100,000 items of stationery, 3,400 sports equipment items, and 58,000 pieces of volunteer apparel.

M MEDALS: A total of 1,327 medals will be up for grabs, from 402 events out of 36 sports. Each medal measures 8cm in diameter and weighs 183g.

N NILA: First conceived for the YOG in 2010, the mascot has been out and about town in the lead-up to the Games, and even made it into the Singapore National Book of Records for "The Largest Display of Handmade Plush Toys".

O ORCHARD ROAD: Singapore's premium shopping belt features prominently at the Games. A shop selling merchandise was launched in front of Wisma Atria in November, and the lighting of the SEA Games arch was carried out in March.

P WATER POLO: The men's water polo team have made a clean sweep of every gold since the sport was introduced at the 1965 Games in Kuala Lumpur, and are gunning for their 26th straight title.

Q QUEST: Nila's Quest is a web-based digital game specially created for the SEA Games. The football team have also been using the hashtag "This Is Our Quest" on social media.

R RECORDS: The last SEA Games in Myanmar saw one athletics and eight swimming Games Records (GR) set. But only one existing GR from the two sports was set in Singapore - the men's 5,000m run by Malaysian M Ramachandran in 1993. Could that change?

S SPORTS HUB: The $1.33b Sports Hub is the centrepiece for the Games, and, in addition to being the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, it will also host nine of the 36 sports.

T TICKETS: Only half of the 36 sports are ticketed, as organisers look to manage expected crowds.

U UNBREAKABLE: The title of one of three official theme songs of the 28th SEA Games, "Unbreakable" is written by Amir Masoh and performed by Tabitha Nauser. The other two ditties are "Greatest", written and performed by Daphne Khoo, and "Ordinary" written by Amir and performed by The Sam Willows.

V VOLUNTEERS: The Games will see more than 17,000 volunteers across 29 areas of Games operations such as photography volunteer, anti-doping volunteer and media relations volunteer. Over 220 training sessions have been held to make sure they are able to carry out their roles without a hitch.

W WALL CLIMBING: One of several sports - the others are paragliding, roller sport, soft tennis, and bridge - that featured just once at the SEA Games, in 2011 in Indonesia. It's not hard to see why they were included: The home nation swept 41 out of 51 golds up for offer!

X X-FACTOR: The New Paper has set Team Singapore a 75-gold target, and we are confident the Republic's contingent of 748 athletes can turn on the X-factor and deliver. Y JOSCELIN YEO: The former swim queen is the region's greatest gold champion, winning 40 over eight Games. Her biggest haul at a single Games? The 1993 edition, where she bagged an astounding nine out of nine.

Z ZUBIN PERCY MUNCHERJI: The 1.88m-tall 18-year-old runner made headlines last year when he broke a 40-year-old national record by clocking 47.29sec in the 400m event, and hopes to be Singapore's first medallist in the event since 1975.

This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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