PUTRAJAYA – Athletes bound for the Incheon Asian Games must forget their disappointment at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and focus on the task ahead in South Korea from Sept 18 to Oct 4.
National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said athletes must start their quest for medals in the Asian Games on a clean slate to erase the disappointment of now achieving the seven gold target in Glasgow.
Based on the current performance and achievement of some athletes in recent international competitions, Zolkples was confident that they (athletes) would be able to produce a better result than before.
“Athletes involved in the Commonwealth Games, forget what people said about not achieving the medal target in Glasgow. Just ignore whatever happened in Glasgow and go to Incheon with confidence.
“Squash player Low Wee Wern’s ability to win the China Open Squash Championship, the consistent performance of the tenpin bowling team and track cyclists Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa are seen as positive signs,” he told reporters after opening the final phase of centralised training for the Malaysian contingent at the IOI Palm Garden Resort, here Monday.
At the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China four years ago, Malaysia won nine gold, 18 silver and 14 bronze medals, the country’s best achievement, with squash turning out to be the biggest contributor with three gold medals.
Karate and tenpin bowling added two each.
Meanwhile, Asian Games chef-de-mission Datuk Daniyal Balagopal Abdullah said programmes organised in the centralised camp was to prepare athletes physically and mentally plus inculcate a family like environment.
“Once athletes reach Incheon, they are not individuals anymore, they will represent the country as Malaysians and fly the Jalur Gemilang. There will be talks on doping, motivation and activities to strengthen the physical and mental ability of athletes,” he said.
The Malaysian contingent comprising 219 athletes and 54 officials will take part in the 16 sports. – Bernama