1998 Commonwealth Games
The 1998 Commonwealth Games (Malay: Sukan Komanwel 1998), officially known as the XVI Commonwealth Games (Malay: Sukan Komanwel ke-16), was a multi-sport event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This edition is marked by several unprecedented facts in the history of the event.The 1998 games were the first held in an Asian country and the last Commonwealth Games of the 20th century. This was also the first time the games took place in a nation with a head of state other than the Head of the Commonwealth, and the first time the games were held in a country whose majority of the population did not have English as the first language. For the first time ever, the games included team sports. The other bid from the 1998 games came from Adelaide in Australia.
|Host city||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
(Together we'll glorify this moment)
|Events||214 in 15 sports|
|Opening ceremony||11 September|
|Closing ceremony||21 September|
|Officially opened by||Tuanku Jaafar
King of Malaysia
|Officially closed by||Elizabeth II|
|Athlete's Oath||Shalin Zulkifli|
|Queen's Baton Final Runner||Koh Eng Tong|
|Main venue||National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
Malaysia is the eighth nation to host the Commonwealth Games after Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Jamaica and Scotland. The games were held from 11 to 21 September 1998,although the first finals were held on September 7. Around 3638 athletes from 69 Commonwealth member nations participated at the games which featured 214 events in 15 sports with 34 of them collected medals. The games was opened by the King of Malaysia, Tuanku Jaafar at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
The final medal tally was led by Australia, followed by Canada, England and host Malaysia. Several games records were broken during the games. With little or no controversy at all, the games were deemed generally successful, with the rising standards of competition amongst the Commonwealth member nations.
|1998 Commonwealth Games Bidding Results|
The 16th Commonwealth Games opening ceremony took place on 11 September 1998 at 20:00 MST (UTC+08:00). During the ceremony, approximately 4,840 Soka Gakkai volunteers displayed coloured flip cards which depicted sporting images, flags of the Commonwealth nations and messages that heralded the first games in Asia in the 68 years since their inception. The ceremony was preceded by a pre-show concert by Malaysian pop singers such as Norzila Binti Haji Aminuddin, Shahrul Anuar Zain, Siti Roziana Binti Zain, Shaheila binti Abdul Majid, Amy Mastura Binti Suhaimi, Ning Baizura binti Sheikh Hamzah and Siti Nurhaliza Binti Tarudin, performance by local comedian Harith Iskander and 16 paratroopers who descended down the stadium.
The ceremony began with the arrival of dignitaries including the Chairman of Commonwealth Games Federation Mr Michael Fennel, Prince Edward, Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister Dato Seri, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Yang Dipertuan Agong and Malaysian minister of Youth and Sports Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. This was followed by the parade of nations — 69 participating nations, led by mascot Wira and previous games' mascots (Canada being the first country to come into the stadium as host country of the previous games, and Malaysia entering last as hosts) - and a performance about a Malaysian rainforest by 2,000 school children who dressed as birds, bees and flowers.
After the performance, the Queen's message was delivered in the Queen's Baton, which arrived in the main stadium of Kuala Lumpur on elephant-back, and was run in relay to the stadium while the athletes marched in. 1978 Commonwealth Games badminton gold medal winner Sylvia Ng took the last lap with the baton and handed it off to Koh Eng Tong, a weightlifter who won a gold medal in weightlifting for Malaya in the 1950 British Empire Games, to take the final few feet to Prince Edward.
Contrary to tradition, the games were officially opened by the Malaysian head of state, Yang di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Jaafar by striking the gong three times. A burst of fireworks and blurring of the giant bunga raya and a 16-gun salute which represents 1998 Commonwealth Games being the 16th-edition games, signified the beginning of the games. The Commonwealth Games flag was then brought into the stadium raised to the theme song of the Games Forever As One written by local composer, Goh Boon Hoe. Malaysian bowler Shalin Zulkifli later take the oath on behalf of the athletes.
The ceremony concluded with a 40-minute performance, titled "Aur di Tebing" (Bamboo at the riverside) with the theme 'Unity towards Progress', which was conveyed through dance, music, and intricate human graphics. 2,000 performers swirled and danced carrying trays of bunga emas (golden flowers) on their heads during a mass silat display. The show told the Malaysian history from ancient Malacca to the present development in Malaysia, its political, economical and technological achievements as well as its people's vision of peace, prosperity and unity and lifestyle.
The logo of the 1998 Commonwealth Games is an image of the national flower of Malaysia, the hibiscus (the bunga raya), the first games logo to introduce the colour yellow. (All previous logos had been red, white and blue to reflect the colours of the British Union Flag.) The red, blue, white and yellow colours represents the colours of the Malaysian national flag and Malaysia as a confident, young, dynamic nation. The yellow pollens represent the six regions of the world that includes the 68 Commonwealth member nations.
The official mascot of the 1998 Commonwealth Games is an orangutan named Wira (Malay for "warrior" or "hero"). It is said that the orangutan is the largest and probably the most intelligent primate in Asia which lives in the tropical rainforests of Malaysia. The adoption of orangutan as a games' mascot is to represent the friendly personality of Malaysia as the games' host as well as the charm, intelligence, and sporting ability of the participating athletes.
The host nation was thrilled at achieving its best-ever haul of ten gold medals which has since been surpassed by its achievement in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Malaysia won twelve gold medals.
The 16th Commonwealth Games host newly introduced team sports of cricket, field hockey, netball and rugby sevens and individuals sports of ten-pin bowling and squash, while of athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, lawn bowls, shooting, swimming and weightlifting to make a total of 15 sports contested.
In front of 20,000 fans at the Petaling Jaya Stadium, rugby sevens in particular were an enormous success with New Zealand collecting its 100th Commonwealth Games medal with a 21–12 win over plucky Fiji, (the reigning world champions). Man of the match was the giant Jonah Lomu who had worked tirelessly during the 10-minutes-each-way final.
Led by veteran star David Campese, Australia took the bronze beating Samoa 33–12.
In the squash event many had anticipated a close match between Michelle Martin and Sarah Fitz-Gerald who had both comfortably won their respective semi-finals. Fitz-Gerald had won the previous two years' World Opens and Martin the three prior to that and so it was with some surprise to many that Martin took the gold in three straight sets 9–0, 9–6, 9–5. Fitz-Gerald did avenge this defeat in the final of the world championship later that year, in what many people regard as the greatest women's final ever, coming back from 8–2 down in the fifth to retain her title.
Martin also teamed up with Craig Rowland to take the Commonwealth mixed doubles gold.
The closing ceremony took place on 21 September 1998 at 20:00 MST (UTC+08:00). The attendees of the ceremony included Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Najihah, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Commonwealth Games federation president (CGF), Michael Fennel; Commonwealth of Nations Secretary-general Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Minister of youth and sports Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Executive Chairman of Sukom Ninety Eight Berhad, Tan Sri Hashim Mohd. Ali.
The ceremony began with Queen Elizabeth and King Ja'afar's arrival in a limousine, for inspection of guards of honour of the Royal Malay Regiment. The British national anthem God Save The Queen was played followed by Malaysia's national anthem Negaraku. This was followed by a 3-part cultural performance led by a band performance by 400 school students from Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur followed by an upbeat song performance from local artist Jay Jay.
A 15-minute presentation from England, host of the 2002 edition was later staged which included songs from the group New Order, video-clippings of the city's interesting sites, its people view on the 2002 Games and a message from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
A contemporary farewell dance performance by Malaysia, featured Siti Nurhaliza and Noraniza Idris concludes the cultural performance. Soon afterwards, all the participants, flag-bearers and the volunteers march into the stadium and Olympic council of Malaysia president Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah later declared the returning of the flags of all the participating nations.
Next, the flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation is lowered by Malaysian Armed Forces personnel to the games theme song, Forever as one and is paraded around the stadium before being handed over to the Games Federation president, Michael Fennel. Fennel handed over the flag to the mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Kamarulzaman Sharif who then handed it over to the Chief Citizen of Manchester city, Gordon Conquest. Queen Elizabeth went on to declared the games closed and after that leaves the stadium with King Jaafar and other dignitaries. The national anthem of Malaysia and the United Kingdom, was played again followed by Auld Lang Syne. The ceremony concluded with a concert performed by Six Commonwealth Top Singers representing the six regions of the Commonwealth Federation and local artists.
|Participating Commonwealth countries and territories|
|Debuting Commonwealth countries and territories|
- National Stadium, Bukit Jalil – Opening/Closing Ceremony, Athletics (Track and field)
- Putra Stadium, (Indoor) Bukit Jalil – Gymnastics
- National Aquatic Centre – Aquatics (Swimming, Diving, Synchronised swimming)
- National Hockey Stadium – Hockey (men)
- National Squash Centre – Squash
- Juara Stadium – Netball
- National Lawn Bowls Centre – Lawn Bowls
- Other venues
- Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur – Athletics (Marathon)
- Titiwangsa Lake Gardens – Athletics (Race walking (outdoor))
- Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium – Badminton
- Cheras Veledrome, Kuala Lumpur – Cycling (Track)
- Royal Military College, Sungai Besi – Cricket (Heats)
- Victoria Institution – Cricket (Heats)
- Tenaga National Sports Complex – Cricket (Heats)
- Kelab Aman, Ampang – Cricket (Heats, Bronze playoff)
- Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium, Pantai – Hockey (Women)
- Mines Convention Centre – Weightlifting
- Shah Alam – Cycling (Road)
- Malawati Stadium, Shah Alam – Boxing
- Sunway Pyramid, Subang Jaya – Bowling
- Petaling Jaya Stadium, Petaling Jaya – Rugby
- Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) Kelana Jaya – Cricket (Finals)
- Rubber Research Institute, Sungai Buloh – Cricket (Heats)
- Langkawi International Shooting Range (Lisram) – Shooting
The athletes' village (Vista Kommanwel) is located beside the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil. It consists of three tower blocks of 30 storeys and six hillside blocks of 19 storeys with 1,300 condominiums and an International Shopping Zone.
A total of 55 companies and organisations sponsored the games, including Malaysian state-owned entreprises.
- Bank Bumiputra Berhad
- Canon Inc.
- Leopex Sporting Goods
- Malaysia Airlines
- Pensonic Group
- Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad
- Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme
- Aramas Utama Holdings
- Extol Corporation
- Grace Distribution
- NetCard Corporation
- P.K. Electronics
- Royal Selangor
- Permodalan Nasional Berhad
- Sema Group
- Teknologi Ikram
- Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad
- Pos Malaysia
- Telekom Malaysia
- TH Alliance Asia Pacific
- Genting Group
- Sime Darby
- Antah Group
- Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange
- Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad
- Island & Peninsular Berhad
- Sungei Way Group
- Tenaga Nasional
- Chiyoda Corporation
- Tourism Publications Corporation
- IOI Group
- Golden Hope
|OC||Opening ceremony||●||Event competitions||1||Gold medal events||CC||Closing ceremony|
|Gold medal events|
|Daily medal events||5||3||0||3||0||7||14||14||12||30||22||22||26||38||18||214|
Host nation (Malaysia)
|5||South Africa (RSA)||9||11||14||34|
|6||New Zealand (NZL)||8||7||20||34|
|13||Northern Ireland (NIR)||2||1||2||5|
|Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)||1||1||1||3|
|27||Sri Lanka (SRI)||0||1||1||2|
|Isle of Man (IOM)||0||1||0||1|
|32||Papua New Guinea (PNG)||0||0||1||1|
|Total (34 CGAs)||214||214||244||672|
Medals by eventEdit
|Men's cricket||South Africa||Australia||New Zealand|
Road bicycle racingEdit
|Women's 28 km individual time trial||Anna Wilson
|Men's 42 km individual time trial||Eric Wohlberg
|Women's 92 km road race||Lyne Bessette
|Men's 184 km road race||Jay Sweet
|Men's singles||Kenny Ang
Malaysia, 6046 points
|Women's singles||Cara Honeychurch
|Lai Kin Ngoh
|Men's doubles||Kenny Ang and Ben Heng
|Antoine Jones and Conrad Lister
|Michael Muir and Frank Ryan
|Women's doubles||Cara Honeychurch and Maxine Nable
|Lai Kin Ngoh and Shalin Zulkifli
|Pauline Buck and Gemma Burden
|Mixed doubles||Frank Ryan and Cara Honeychurch
|Richard Hood and Pauline Buck
|Bill Rowe and Jane Amlinger
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- "1998 Commonwealth Games gloriously officiated".
- "Soka Gakkai Malaysia XVI Commonwealth Games".
- "Glittering Ceremony Marks Commonwealth Games Opening".
- Jones, Terry (12 September 1998). "Opening ceremonies were as good as they get". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Opening, closing programmes".
- "Games Operation". Official website.
- "Past Commonwealth Games". CGF. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "1998 Commonwealth Games" (PDF).
- "Malaysia made history 10 golds placed nation in fourth place".
- "Best Ever Commonwealth Games Comes To A Close".
- Commonwealth Games Official Site
- Official Kuala Lumpur 98 – 16th Commonwealth Games Website
- Unofficial site
- KL 98 Games Archives
- 1998 Games nine msn (now nine.com.au) Australia coverage site
XVI Commonwealth Games