Malaysia slated to send 677 athletes to 2023 Cambodia Sea Games

14 Mar 2023 09:00am
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria - BERNAMA
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria - BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia is slated to send 677 athletes - 403 men and 274 women - along with 237 officials to the 32nd South East Asian (SEA) Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from May 5 to 17.

From the total, 390 athletes are under Category A (costs fully borne) and 287 under Category B (costs borne by association and refunded for medal winners). The sport with the largest contingent is athletics, with 65 athletes (34 Category A and 31 Category B), participating.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the increased participation was to provide the opportunity to more young athletes and juniors for exposure in the run-up to the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand and the 2027 edition in Malaysia.

"We hope the approval given and selection are not wasted as the SEA Games serves as an introduction to international competitions, and a stepping stone to the Asian Games and Olympics. Make the most of this opportunity.

"The majority of athletes will compete in team events, including football (40 athletes), hockey (60 athletes), badminton (20 athletes) and floorball (40 athletes),” he said at a media conference after announcing the Cambodia SEA Games contingent here today.

The Malaysian contingent to this year’s Games will be the third largest abroad in terms of athletes. Only the contingents of the 2007 Korat SEA Games (with 820 athletes) and the 2019 Philippines SEA Games (with 772 athletes) were larger.

The largest Malaysian contingent in SEA Games history was during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, with 845 athletes and 294 officials, while the country sent 584 athletes and 272 officials to the last edition in Hanoi, Veitnam.

Mohamad Norza also laid out a challenge to Malaysian Chef de mission Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali to better his previous achievement during the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, which is one of the country’s best achievements in the Games abroad.

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The national contingent had returned home from Singapore with 62 gold, 58 silver and 66 bronze to place fourth overall, but could only manage sixth overall in Hanoi last year, with 39 gold, 45 silver and 90 bronze.

He added that this year’s Games would be a true indicator of Malaysian athletes’ post-COVID-19 pandemic standards, as most international championships were delayed or cancelled from 2020 till early last year.

Mohd Nasir meanwhile said he planned to ensure there were improvements in terms of medal tally and overall position this year.

"We have also lost several medals when sports with medal prospects, including bodybuilding, diving, muay thai and gymnastics, are not contested or reduced in terms of events this time,” he added - BERNAMA

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