Sat, 2 Dec 2023



Asian Games: Malaysia set 27 medal target
Published on: Tuesday, September 12, 2023
By: Bernama
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Asian Games: Malaysia set 27 medal target
Wan Azizah (centre) and other officials with the national contingent during the flag handing over ceremony.
Kuala Lumpur: Those in charge of the Malaysian contingent have decided - for the first time in decades - not to announce the specific medal target for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the athletes.

Under the new approach, it was only announced that the target is for the national contingent to deliver 27 medals from 13 sports, without stating the specific number of gold medals, for the Sept 23-Oct 8 Asiad in China.

Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Chong Kim Fatt (pix) said they will be banking on diving, badminton, track cycling, equestrian, hockey, karate, archery, athletics, sailing, sepak takraw, squash, wushu and e-sports to deliver the medals.

In the Hangzhou Asiad, Malaysia will be represented by 289 athletes, who will compete in 22 out of the 40 sports.

“Announcing only the gold medal target will put additional pressure on the athletes and it will affect their performance,” he told a media conference after the ceremony to hand over the Jalur Gemilang to the Malaysian contingent to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and Asian Para Games here today.

He said the decision was made after taking into account the views of all the parties involved, including Japan’s Nippon Sport Science University, which has forged a close collaboration with the National Sports Council (NSC).

Meanwhile, NSC athlete division director Jefri Ngadirin said such a move (not announcing specific targets) was adopted by many other countries, including world powers like Japan and Australia as well as Southeast Asian countries like Singapore and the Philippines.

“We have already lost 12 medals (won) from the previous edition, namely two golds from bowling; six silvers (two from bowling, four from pencak silat); and four bronzes (from pencak silat) which won’t be contested this time. We received feedback from the athletes after the previous SEA Games that they felt pressured when targets were set.

“Internally, surely every sport and athlete has a target. For example, (track cycling ace) Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang wants two gold medals, but we will not announce them to avoid putting pressure on them. We have 14 athletes who are in the top-five rankings in Asia, they can get on the podium at any time,” he said.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Najib, in describing the 27-medal target as being realistic and achievable, however, feels that it might open the door to a better achievement as the athletes will not be under pressure to deliver.

Malaysia, who set a seven-gold target for the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, managed to return home with 36 medals - seven golds, 13 silvers and 16 bronzes.

The Malaysian contingent to the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games in May was lambasted for producing a lacklustre performance and failing to meet the 40-gold target.

The national SEA Games contingent could only rake in 34 golds, 45 silvers and 96 bronzes to be placed seventh in the medal standings.

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail handed over the Jalur Gemilang to Kim Fatt and Asian Para Games chef de mission KM Rajendran.

Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, OCM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria and Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin. 

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