The 17th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were held in Singapore from 12 to 20 June 1993. It marked the third time that Singapore hosted the games; the previous two occasions being the 7th (when it was known as the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games) and 12th editions in 1973 and 1983 respectively. The 17th SEA Games comprised 29 sporting events involving 4,611 athletes and officials from nine Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Singapore was represented in all 29 events by a contingent of 461 athletes. While the Kallang sports complex – which included the National Stadium, Singapore Indoor Stadium and tennis and squash courts – was the main centre of activity, events were also held at venues in major housing estates such as Woodlands, Toa Payoh, Tampines and Clementi to bring the games closer to the people.
Then-President Wee Kim Wee declared the opening of the 17thSEA Games in front of a 45,000-strong crowd at the National Stadium on 12 June 1993. The opening ceremony featured mass displays, fireworks and musical performances. That evening, the 48-hour SEA Games torch relay culminated in the much-anticipated lighting of the cauldron by Singapore bowler Grace Young. The relay had commenced on 10 June following the lighting of the games torch by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in a ceremony held at the Sentosa Musical Fountain. The ignited torch was handed over to 1960 Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Tan Howe Liang as well as representatives of the participating nations. It was then passed to former athlete Tan Eng Yoon to begin the first leg of a 500-kilometre journey that will pass through all constituencies, involving some 70,000 runners.
With 50 gold medals, 40 silvers and 74 bronzes, Singapore was fourth in the overall medal standings behind Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. This was also Singapore’s best performance in terms of gold medals – beating the previous record of 45 in the 1973 games. Swimmer Joscelin Yeo snagged the most number of medals, taking home nine gold and a silver. The 17th SEA Games ended on 20 June with the closing ceremony held at the National Stadium. Thailand was the host of the next SEA Games in 1995.
1. Singapore National Olympic Council. (1993). SEA Games bulletin: XVIISEA Games 93 Singapore (p. 3). Singapore: Singapore National Olympic Council, 1993 SEA Games Press and Public Relations Specialist Committee. Call no.: RSING 796.0959 SEA.
2. A brief history of the games. (1983, May 22). The Straits Times, p. 36. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. SEA Games Federation Official. (2010). 17th SEA Games, 1993 Singapore. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from SEA Games Federation Office website: http://www.seagfoffice.org/games.php?y=17
4. Ho, S. (1993, April 24). Singapore will compete in all 29 sports. The Straits Times, p. 39. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Hakikat Rai. (1992, March 10). Venues at people’s doorsteps. The Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Sparkling lion city start to the friendship games. (1993, June 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. The Straits Times, 13 Jun 1993, p. 1.
8. Koh, T. (1993, June 11). Games flame begins 500 km journey. The Straits Times, p. 36. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. The Straits Times, 11 Jun 1993, p. 36.
10. Robert, G. (1993, June 21). Out of the bronze age into a new golden era. The Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Singapore National Olympic Council. (n.d.). Historical medal count at Southeast Asian Games. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from Singapore National Olympic Council website: http://www.singaporeolympics.com/pdf/HistoricalMedalCountatSouthEastAsianGames.pdf
12. The Straits Times, 21 Jun 1993, p. 31.
13. Goodbye Singapore, hello Thailand. (1993, June 21). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.