With the 29th Southeast Asian Games and Ninth ASEAN Paralympic Games fast approaching, hosts Malaysia launched a charm offensive ahead of the spectacle with a baton run around Phnom Penh on Saturday morning, at the start of a relay in other major capitals in the region.
As many as 600 runners, including some of the Kingdom’s best known athletes, officials and coaches took part in the 9km run from the Malaysian Embassy to the Olympic Stadium as a mark of solidarity with Malaysia.
At the end of the “Rising Together” run, the baton was passed on to Indonesia, with a similar event to be held in Jakarta on April 30 before the final stop in Singapore.
Among the stars taking part were Asian Games taekwondo gold medallist Sorn Seavmey, petanque world champion Ouk Sreymom and 2013 and 2015 petanque world champ Ke Leng.
“This was a unique experience for us and an opportunity for the country to show its appreciation for the efforts Malaysia have been making,” said secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun.
The SEA Games, marking the 60th Anniversary of Malaysian independence, will be held from August 19 to 30.