Set realistic, not 'syok sendiri' Sea Games targets, CDM tells sports associations
PETALING JAYA - Malaysia's chef-de-mission to the 2023 Cambodia Sea Games Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali has reminded sports associations to set realistic medal targets.
He said the target submitted to him should be achievable based on athletes’ current performance, not a forecast to make people feel good, or ‘syok sendiri’ in Malaysian parlance.
Mohd Nasir said a special meeting will be held with all sports associations involved in the Sea Games in mid-April to determine the medal target for the Malaysian contingent to the games to be held in Phnom Penh from May 5-17.
"The meeting will be attended by representatives of sports associations, the National Sports Council and the National Sports Institute. We are determined to ensure that our achievement will be better than in Hanoi. At that time we had just come out of the MCO (Movement Control Order) and the situation was less than ideal.
"We cannot stay in a comfort zone; we have to push. Sometimes we are capable but lack enthusiasm, so we have to exert pressure (for a better outcome),” he said after visiting the obstacle race squad training centre here today.
He said the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) is expected to reassess its target of 10 golds that was announced earlier after sensational national sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi was unable to participate in the games.
"We know that Azeem is unable to return from the United States, while in recent competitions, the other athletes could not muster a better time, but we are still focusing on this,” he said.
At the 2021 Hanoi Sea Games in May last year, Malaysia only finished sixth overall with 39 gold, 45 silver and 90 bronze medals.
Meanwhile, he said the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) will continue testing, especially for high-risk sports, ahead of the Games.
On the obstacle race squad, he is hopeful that the team, who will be represented by four male and four female athletes, can bring home at least one gold from Cambodia. Malaysia won three silvers and one bronze in the sport at the 2019 edition in the Philippines.
"This sport was not contested in Hanoi but previously we lost the gold by only half a second. So the chance for gold is quite high even though the Philippines are expected to again give us tough competition,” he said. - BERNAMA