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Malaysian Contingent Targets Medals From 56 Pct Of SEA Games Events

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PUTRAJAYA – The Malaysian contingent to the Singapore SEA Games hopes to win medals from 56 per cent of the 35 events participated by the athletes, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

He said the target painted a more comprehensive picture of the development of sports in this country.

“We use the SEA Games for sports development as about 50 percent or 310 of the contingent are back-up athletes. For athletes under 21 years-old, winning the silver or bronze medals will be remarkable.

“We will not be too obsessed with winning gold medals as the SEA Games is for development of young athletes,” the minister told reporters after handing over the Jalur Gemilang to the Malaysian contingent to the Singapore SEA Games in Putrajaya, Sunday.

Sports associations, however, are not prevented from making their gold medals target based on the performance of athletes, he said.

Khairy said it was difficult to set a gold medal target for the SEA Games as the events change according to the organising country compared with the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games which have not changed much.

“The Myanmar SEA Games is a good example. Our athletes won many gold medals in karate but the sport has been dropped. Lawn bowls and track racing cycling, sports which won us gold medals, are also dropped,” he said.

He said although no gold medal target was set, the Winning Athletes Incentive Scheme (SHAKAM) will be given to athletes who won gold medals.

Gold medals will also be used to gauge the athletes performance with the view to absorb them into the Podium Programme which offers a better training package in terms of allowance, coaches and sports science specialists.

–BERNAMA

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