Being at the Asia Pacific Masters Games

It’s a year since the 1st Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG 2018) was held at Penang, Malaysia (7-15 September 2018). 9 days, 22 disciplines and a whole lot of inspiration.

APMG2018 disciplines

When I heard that this was the 1st games, and it was being held at a time of the year convenient for me, I decided that I had to take part, despite a chronic knee problem. I’m really glad I did.

The grand opening ceremony was preceded by a 5 km opening ceremony run for which my friend Savita and I had signed up.

name on board

start of opening run

With Cun

on the way

after the opening run

The organisers announced that 5564 athletes from 64 countries from all over the world had registered. India had the second largest contingent (after hosts Malaysia) with over 300 athletes. Most of us didn’t know each other. As we lined up for the opening ceremony, we found that coming from various clubs, various sports disciplines from various parts of India, the Indian athletes were dressed in various outfits. There was a basketball team dressed elegantly in crisp cotton sarees. Some were in tracksuits. Savita and I were the only Indian athletes from our group who took part in the opening run, and we couldn’t change into our blazers, so we joined the march past in the opening run t-shirts.

at opening ceremony

india contingent

march past


Competing in any sport at any age is challenging. Whether 15 or 50, there are butterflies in the stomach at the starting blocks. Participating itself is an achievement and if one can come away with a medal or two, it is indeed fulfilling. India had a rich haul in athletics with over 250 medals across men-women and all age groups (30+ to 85+).

Arathi medals apmg2018
3 silver, 1 bronze, 1 finisher medal (Athletics, 45-49 age group)
relay victory stand
4x100m relay (cumulative age < 160 years) – silver (Veerpal, Seema, Arathi, Jayshree)            [India, India, Malaysia]
hurdles bronze
400m hurdles bronze from Malaysia’s 1972 Olympian Peyadesa
with Sunita
4x400m relay silver – with teammate Sunita (others – Veerpal, Seema)

Miscellaneous pictures

Penang is a lovely city with a rich heritage. A large Tamil-speaking population and a variety of Indian cuisine often made us feel we were back home. We met many interesting people on and off the field and I hope to write more about this in future posts.

The 2nd APMG will be at Kansai in 2021. There was this Japanese gentleman distributing coat pins and already getting people to pledge to be at Kansai in four years time.

signing for Kansai
Signing for Kansai

Looking forward to Kansai 2021!

Pictures taken by yours truly and other athletes, shared in our communication groups

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