The 81st annual Kedah River Sports carnival, “Temasya Sukan Sungai 2012” was held recently at Dataran Tanjong Chali, Alor Star, Kedah in conjunction with the Sultan Kedah, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Almu’tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah.
Also present was Royal Council of Regency’s Chairman, Tunku Bendahara Datuk Seri Utama Annuar Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, members of the Regency Council, Prime Minister Najib Razak, Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak and members Kedah Exco.
Crowds gathered at the waterfront of Jalan Pengkalan Kapal and on the banks of Sungai Kedah to get a glimpse of Tuanku Abdul Halim and the boats all set for the carnival. Roads leading to the river in Pekan Melayu / Pekan Cina was closed for a stretch of 500 meters to make way for the crowds from as early as seven in the morning.
This year’s competition saw the participation of 52 teams from various countries in the region including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapura, Cambodia, Brunei dan Malaysia which took part in various categories including the dragon boat and the long boat competitions. Individual and doubles canoeing events were also held at the same time.
In the final race, the rowing team from Indonesia reigned as the champions, winning themselves a cash prize of RM10,000 and a trophy. Followed by first runner up from Cambodia, winning RM5,000 and a trophy. Second runner up went to our home team, Malaysia, winning RM3000, and a trophy.
Tuanku Abdul Halim gave away the Championship trophies and cash to the winners. His Majesty was accompanied by his wife Tuanku Haminah Hamidun, the Sultanah of Kedah and the reigning Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia. Tuanku Haminah was later seen congratulating the boat race champions and light heartedly teased the runner up, encouraging them to try harder next year.