Azizul and Co make the country proud in colourful opening ceremony
Malaysia were the 10th contingent to step into the Bird’s Nest Stadium after Madagascar. The order for contingents in the march past was based on the number of strokes written for the names of their countries in simplified Chinese character.
Chef-de-mission and two-time Olympian Datuk Ho Koh Chye led the Malaysia contingent, clad in orange and gold coloured Malay traditional outfits, out of the dug-out. And the spotlight was also on track cyclist and double Asian champion Azizul Hasni Awang, who carried the Jalur Gemilang proudly into the stadium.
The rest of the Malaysian athletes who trooped out along with the officials were swimmers Leung Chii Lin and Siow Yi Ting, divers Leong Mun Yee, Elizabeth Jimie, Pandelela Rinong and Bryan Nickson, cyclists Josiah Ng, Mohd Edrus Yunus and Rizal Tisin.
Malaysian sailor Kevin Lim, who is competing in his fourth Olympics, also took part in the opening ceremony. Kevin came all the way from the sailing host city of Qingdao, nearly 800km away from Beijing, along with his coach, Vedat Alpagut.
All nine shuttlers were absent from the opening ceremony duties, leaving team manager Datuk Lim Teong Kiat and singles coach Wong Tat Meng as the representatives.
So were archers Cheng Chu Sian, Mohd Marbawi Sulaiman and Wan Khalmizam Wan Abdul Aziz, swimmers Lew Yih Wey, Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin and weightlifter Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim. They were athletes who had events to look forward to over the next two days.
Greece, by tradition as the birthplace of the Olympics, were the first of the 204 contingents to enter the stadium. But the loudest cheers were for hosts China, who have their largest ever contingent of 639 athletes.