JOHOR BARU: Some 1,000 parti-cipants, mostly youths, were all hyped up as they welcomed the Malaysian delegates carrying the baton in conjunction with the coming 29th SEA Games and ninth Asean Para Games.
It was exchanged for a torch to mark the start of the Kuala Lumpur 2017 Torch Run here.
Both runs were organised in conjunction with the coming Games.
The air was filled with excitement as Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin brought the baton to the Muzium Tokoh Johor here and exchanged it for a torch.
The swapping ceremony signalled the end of the Rising Together Baton Run series.
The baton has been passed around among 40,000 athletes in 10 countries within the South-East Asia region since it first kicked off on March 5 in Brunei.
The run covered iconic locations within capital cities such as Malacanang Palace in the Philippines, the Lion City in Singapore, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei and That Luang in Laos.
Three Johor sport figures will lead the group of runners in the first leg of the torch run here.
The torch is set to travel around the country, including six districts in the state, showcasing iconic spots in each state.
It started in Johor Baru yesterday and will end in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 12.
Khairy said the torch would be carried up to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah and the caves at the Mulu National Park in Sarawak.
“The torch will also soar high on a giant wau and divers will take it for a dip at Pulau Perhentian in Terengganu, besides making a base jump from the KL Tower and go paragliding in Bukit Jugra in Selangor.
“But the high point is when the torch is brought into the Bukit Jalil National Stadium to light up the Games cauldron at the opening ceremony on Aug 19,” he said.
Khairy urged the people to participate in the run around the country and generate more excitement leading to the Games.