Sea Games: Hannah asks sports associations to submit post-mortem

19 May 2023 05:26pm
Hannah -  Bernama Pix
Hannah - Bernama Pix
KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- All national sports associations involved in the 2023 South East Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia have been asked to submit post-mortems in the wake of Malaysia’s worst-ever showing in the biennial Games.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said the reports need to be sent along with their short-term and long-term plans that will determine the type of support they will receive from the National Sports Council (NSC).

Sports that produced medals will be given support in terms of athlete management, coaching, training centres and exposure, along with local and foreign competitions, and support services from the National Sports Institute, she added.

"After receiving the reports, we will sit down together with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to plan a paper that will be brought to the Cabinet to consider the allocation. We will also discuss restructuring involving the development of new talent in the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry.

"The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) cannot do things alone without the involvement of schools as 15-year-old athletes are now capable of winning gold medals,” she said at the media conference of the 2023 SEA Games Malaysian contingent’s performance here today.

Malaysia could only manage a seventh-place finish with34 gold, 45 silver and 97 bronze , its worst in the history of the Games since 1959, and failed to achieve the set target of 40-37-64.

Vietnam retained the title of overall champion with 136-105-118 while hosts Cambodia recorded their best showing with a fourth-place finish of 81-74-127.

Hannah also said that before the Games even began, Malaysia had lost 18 gold, 16 silver and 30 bronze as the sports and events that were contested in Vietnam were not included, or reduced in the Cambodia Games.

"The hosts also held sports that were not popular in Malaysia like kun bokator, kun khmer, arnis, vovinam, ouk chaktrang and xianqi chess, that offered a total of 93 gold medals. So from the start, we only had a chance to win 59 per cent of the gold medals as we participated in 340 events out of a total of 579,” she explained.
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She also urged the national sports associations to conduct institutional reforms so that sports in the country could progress, including Malaysia Swimming (MS), to focus on new talent development as it was among the sports that offered a lot of gold medals, a total of 39 in Cambodia.

Hannah also praised the junior athletes and those who made their debut at the Games for their good performances, especially Umar Osman who won the gold in the men’s 400 metres with a new national record.

She shared some statistics, saying that even though 62 per cent (423) out of 674 athletes made their debuts at the Games, 211 of them had podium finishes, and contributed 12 gold, 20 silver and 46 bronze medals.

"Out of the 427 (63 per cent) Under 23 athletes, 222 managed podium finishes with a haul of 18 gold, 21 silver and 66 bronze medals.

"This is our strategy for the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand and 2027 in Malaysia, we are confident that our juniors can shine,” she said, adding that the political instability and low budgets had also affected the athletes’ performances negatively, as KBS was among the ministries receiving the lowest budgets.

She said that sports development funds from Sports Toto had also dropped to around a third of what they were 10 years ago.

"(This is what happens) when we view sports only as recreation, and focus on other ministries. But this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given us a 10 per cent increase, so we can do more grassroots programmes,” she added. - BERNAMA