Sea Games: Successful Outing
A WHOPPING 68 gold medals brought Malaysia’s Korat Sea Games campaign to a successful end on Saturday.
The haul is the nation’s second best ever after the 111 gold medals won in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and one which bettered the targets of the National Sports Council (64) and Olympic Council of Malaysia (66).
This was achieved despite a slow start, which was reduced to a mere trickle at one stage, but the gold rush that followed surprised many.
Such was the anxiety of Malaysia not meeting the target that NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong was a nervous wreck and that explained his tears when Moh Keen Ho snatched the snooker singles gold, Malaysia’s 64th of the Games.
That was achieved a day before the Games and once done, it was a foregone conclusion that a new best outside of Malaysia would be set.
For those who delivered, take a bow for they came through at a time when Malaysia was expecting a disaster as we languished even behind Singapore in the medal tally.
Karate, aquatics (swimming and diving) and gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic) contributed a total of 28 gold, several of which were not targeted.
Karate was expected to deliver only four but won eight and aquatics (swimming and diving) 10 but grabbed 14.
Gymnastics contributed six gold but it is obvious that the sport has lost some ground and needs to work harder from now.
Other sports that met their targets were athletics (seven which the NSC had targeted but the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union set 10 as its personal target), bowling (four), polo (one), hockey (two), squash (two), taekwondo (two), triathlon (one) and wushu (two).
Sports that failed to meet their targets were lawn bowls (four, targeted six), archery (two, four), badminton (nil, two), cycling (four, eight), shooting (two, four) and silat (nil, two).
Sports that returned empty handed are water polo, baseball, canoe and kayak, football, rugby, softball and bodybuilding.
But even as the athletes, associations, NSC and OCM celebrate, Malaysia’s achievement must be taken in the right context.
While it is great for the development of sport that the target was met and Malaysia finished second overall in the medal standings, a proper review must be conducted to see how much the athletes have improved.
Well done Malaysia, but there is still much more to achieve.