NSAs need to be more hands on
IN her relief over achieved targets in the Sea Games, Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said expressed concern over the contrasting roles national sports associations (NSAs) played in securing medals, particularly in subjective sports.
Those roles, she said, was partially significant in the outcome of the total haul of gold medals, more so in subjective sports marred by biased judging.
“We were watching the NSAs closely and I must say that some did make a difference, while others just sat back and accepted whatever came,” said Azalina yesterday.
The Malaysian Sea Games contingent achieved its best ever haul outside of the country with 68 gold, 52 silver and 96 bronze medals, to finish second overall behind hosts Thailand.
“In the beginning, when we were behind Singapore, it was tense and we put pressure on the NSAs to deliver. We were confident that the target would be achieved, but at the same time it was all due to hard work during the Games,” said Azalina.
The minister went on to tick off certain NSAs for not playing their part in limiting biased judging and similar incidents during the Games.
“In some subjective sports we knew that our athletes were far better than their opponents, but due to biased judging we lost anyway,” said Azalina.
“This is where the NSAs who shared the Government’s vision worked hard, got their international federation’s involved, countered and ensured that the biasness was limited.”
Of the subjective sports, karate eventually topped the ranks with a contribution of seven gold medals, diving delivered seven, equestrian and rhythmic gymnastics four each, artistic gymnastics and wushu two each.
Pencak silat, traditionally a sport in which Malaysia is strong, failed to deliver a single gold medal.
“The NSAs must understand that a team effort is also required to make sure athletes can deliver, and it is their responsibility since the Government is funding most of these sports,” said Azalina.
“Subjective sports are also an area in which we have to look at closely, as we missed out in some sports. We need to look at how we can play a role in maintaining an acceptable level of judging.”