Malaysia contingent rises like a phoenix in Hangzhou

08 Oct 2023 07:38pm
Malaysian Contingent (CDM) to the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games head Datuk Chong Kim Fatt during a press conference on the overall performance of the country’s contingent at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday. BERNAMA PIX
Malaysian Contingent (CDM) to the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games head Datuk Chong Kim Fatt during a press conference on the overall performance of the country’s contingent at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday. BERNAMA PIX
HANGZHOU - After recording the country’s worst performance at the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games, hard work in silence saw the national contingent rise like a phoenix at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games to sculpt achievements that Malaysians can be proud of.

As the curtains are drawn down tonight, the Malaysian contingent comprising 288 athletes and led by Datuk Chong Kim Fatt as chef de mission managed to overcome a tough challenge to win six gold, eight silver and 18 bronze or a total of 32 medals to surpass the target of 27 medals, thus finishing the competition in 14th position.

However, in terms of medals won at the 19th edition was slightly less than the 2018 edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia (36 medals) and the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea (33) and way below the 41 medals won during the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China.

In this edition, as many as 13 types of sports namely diving, badminton, track cycling, e-sports, equestrian, artistic gymnastics, karate, archery, athletics, sailing, sepak takraw, squash and wushu contributed medals.

Only hockey, which was among the 13 sports targeted for medals, failed to live up to expectations, thus meandering a difficult path in qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics, and the loss of medals from them was replaced by artistic gymnastics.

Based on statistics, the 13 sports that contributed medals showed good progress compared to the 2018 edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia (12 sports) and 2014 in Incheon, South Korea which saw 10 sports as medal contributors.

At the same time, as many as seven types of Olympic sports have contributed 18 medals consisting of diving which contributed five, track cycling (four), athletics (three), sailing (three) while badminton, equestrian and artistic gymnastics added one medal each.

When compared to the 2018 Asian Games, only four Olympic sports have contributed medals, namely equestrian (one medal), sailing (three), diving (four) and track cycling clinched three medals.

The six sports that achieved excellent standards in this edition are squash (three gold, one silver and one bronze), karate (one gold and two silver), diving (one silver and four bronze), e-sports (one silver and one bronze ), track cycling (four bronze) and equestrian (one gold).
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Several national athletes also displayed exceptional performance including squash player S. Sivasangari who bagged two golds through the women’s team and women’s singles and equestrian rider Mohd Qabil Ambak Muhamad Fathil who won Malaysia's first gold in the sport through the individual dressage event.

Apart from that, sailor Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif won the gold medal in the ILCA 6 women’s event and qualified on merit to the 2024 Paris Olympics while the success of Muhamad Arif Affifudin Ab. Malik clinched the men’s under 84 kilogramme Kumite gold to end karate’s 13-year wait for gold.

Two athletes based in the United States, Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi and Shereen Samson Vallabouy also stole the show with their bronze medals in the men’s 100 metres and women’s 400m. Shereen also helped the women’s 4x100m quartet to strike bronze.

Gymnast Muhammad Sharul Aimy also created history by winning a bronze medal in the men’s vault to snap a 17-year drought while the track cycling women’s sprint team also made history when they won a medal in the event for the first time.

A total of 44 athletes who competed for the first time at the Asian Games excelled when they won a total of 21 medals, while a total of 19 athletes who won medals at the Cambodian SEA Games also won 10 medals here.

Two national records were created by archer Syaqiera Mashayikh in the women’s individual recurve event when she collected 336 points to erase the old record of 330 points and the women’s track cycling squad in the team sprint event after erasing the old record of 49.204 seconds with a new record of 49.025s.

Meanwhile, when compared with the performance of Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia (6-8-18) finished in the top three at the Asian Games behind Thailand which won 12 gold, 14 silver and 32 bronze and Indonesia (7-11-18).

Defending overall champions China maintained their dominance as an Asian sports power since the 1982 edition in New Delhi, India when they collected 201-111-71, followed by Japan (52-67-69) and South Korea third (42-59-89).

Even though the achievements of national athletes this time can be said to be a proud feat, sports bettors such as the National Sports Council (NSC), the National Sports Institute (NSI) and national sports associations need double their efforts to ensure that this achievement continues.

Kim Fatt said the results in Hangzhou were a reflection of the country’s sports scene today, thus hoping for more due attention to be given hereafter.

"If some sports can be strengthened with the injection of funds and material and moral support from the government, especially the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) and agencies such as NSCand NSI, the national contingent will be able to compete in high-quality competitions and be dominant in certain disciplines,” he said at a press conference with a summary of the performance of the national contingent here today.

Hopefully, the 2026 Asian Games in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan can witness more success and present good news for all Malaysians who always give their undivided support to the athletes. - BERNAMA

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