Asian Games contingent capable of surpassing 27-medal target - Mohamad Norza
KUALA LUMPUR - The national contingent is able to achieve more than the target of 27 medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, according to Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.
He said this was based on the current momentum and performance of the national contingent which had bagged a total of 20 medals comprising three gold, four silver and 13 bronze at the quadrennial sporting event.
"I hope the athletes will keep fighting to bring honours to the country.
"We are on the right track to reach the target (27 medals). I'm sure it is more than 27," he said after launching the Netball Super League (NSL) 2023 at Pavilion KL, here today.
He hoped that Malaysians would continue praying for the success of the national contingent, especially to win more gold medals for the country at the games which will close on Oct 8.
In the meantime, Mohamad Norza hopes that more national athletes can be based abroad in the future in an effort to ensure that they are at par with world-class athletes.
He said it was based on the success of two US-based athletes, Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi and Shereen Samson Vallabouy, who won medals in their debut at the Asian Games.
"To further improve, it is necessary for athletes to go out of the country. The government needs to find appropriate funds either from the government itself or the private sector to achieve their dream of becoming world-class athletes," he said.
Shereen and Muhammad Azeem contributed bronze medals in the women's 400 meters (m) and men's 100m events respectively at the Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, regarding NSL 2023, Mohamad Norza said the league is very important in effort to encourage women's involvement in the sport.
"The collaboration between the Malaysian Netball Association (MNA) and Astro should be commended not only for driving women's involvement in high-performance sports but also to ensure gender equality is empowered in upholding netball as a high-profile sport," he said.
NSL 2023 which is scheduled from Oct 13 to Nov 5 at Juara Stadium, Bukit Kiara, will witness Johor Jewels, KL Wildcats, Selangor Angels, Perak Phoenix, Negeri Sembilan Venom, Pahang Tulips as well as two new teams, Terengganu Marvel and Putrajaya Dynamites battling for glory.
This season's competition is enhanced with the presence of 11 imported players from seven countries namely Uganda, South Africa, Singapore, United Kingdom, Thailand, Brunei and Sri Lanka. - BERNAMA