Malaysia: Biggest annual sports events

By Lucy Grecock

From Formula 1 to martial arts, competitive sports events take place during every month in Malaysia’s calendar. Here are four of the most popular annual events that you might want to include in your next Asian sojourn; some feature top British competitors and the quality of events might surprise you too.

Malaysian Grand Prix: March
A key Formula 1 race, the Grand Prix is widely recognised as Malaysia’s biggest international sporting event. Held at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor, the track is located right next to Kuala Lumpur’s international airport – you can even catch a glimpse of the venue on the bus route towards the city centre.

Malaysia Grand Prix. Pic: 3cinr3b, Flickr.

Malaysia Grand Prix. Pic: 3cinr3b, Flickr.

Kuala Lumpur Marathon: June 

The largest marathon event in Malaysia, this annual race was established in 2009 and has been ‘running’ ever since. With the start and finish points in Merdeka Square, the race takes competitors past major city landmarks in the capital, including the Petronas Twin Towers and the Houses of Parliament and is typically attended by more than 30 different nations.

Sukma Games: July 2013
Also referred to as Sukan Malaysia, or the Malaysian Games, this national championships has been held since 1986. The games include competitions in athletics, badminton and sailing, as well as traditional Chinese and Indonesian martial arts. Held at different locations each year, 2012’s event was hosted in the state of Pahang and Sukma 2013 is to be held in Kuala Lumpur.

Monsoon Cup: Nov/Dec
This international regatta has transformed the once sleepy town of Pulau Duyong, at the mouth of Terengganu River, into a world-class marina and resort. One of nine international sailing events on the World Match racing Tour, British sailor Ian Williams, has won the Monsoon Cup three times in the past five years, and Ben Ainslie took the top spot in 2010.

Monsoon Cup. Pic: didiz rushdi, Flickr.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website


Author Bio

Lucy Grewcock (UK)

Lucy Grewcock is a freelance writer based in Brighton, UK. Specialising in adventure travel, she has kayaked, skied, trekked and surfed her way around the planet, has led expeditions in the Arctic and the Amazon. Her work has appeared in The Independent on Sunday, The Mail on Sunday, Wanderlust and ABTA Magazine. In 2011, Lucy won the Guardian newspaper’s Adventure Travel Writing competition. She blogs at and tweets @lucygrewcock.