Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Paralympic medalist Josephine Medina lead runners on Saturday, March 12, for the 29th Southeast Asian Games’ Rising Together Baton Run along the streets of Manila.
They will be joined along the way by Olympians Marestella Torres-Sumang and Joy Tabal of Athletics, members of the national team, Paralympics athletes and players from Gilas Pilipinas and the NCAA, runners from the Presidential Security Group, Senate and the Office of the President.
The Philippine Sports Commission has been working with its counterparts in Malaysia, through its embassy here, on the organizing of said run. The event is a government to government initiative to drumbeat support and interest for the SEAG, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur this coming August.
“We welcome the government of Malaysia’s enthusiasm. This is a good way to strengthen ties with our neighbors in Southeast Asia ” PSC Chairman William Ramirez said.
The run held its first leg in Brunei March 4. The Philippines was represented by Philippine Ambassador in Brunei, H.E. Meynardo Montealegre and PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram.
After the Philippine leg, the baton is set to be passed on to Laos. It will visit all 11 member-countries of the Southeast Asian Games Council.
The SEAG motto, “Rising Together” also serves as the run’s theme. The Baton Run is part of the 2017 SEAG Organizing Committee legacy program and a key project to promote the Games across the SEA region. The 7.5 kilometer course will wind up at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Team Philippines is expected to see action in 38 sports of the 29th SEA Games to be held in August of this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.