IPOH, April 24 — The target of 31 gold medals set for the Hanoi SEA Games is realistic and based on specific evaluations conducted by various parties, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
However, he said the number of gold medals could be higher depending on the determination of the national athletes.
“This target is not plucked out of the sky, it was reached after proper evaluation, including the potential of athletes from other countries who will be competing in the Games this time.
“Although I personally hope we can surpass the gold medal target, it depends entirely on the efforts and spirit of our athletes,” he told reporters after joining the ‘Singgah Sahur with Perak Media and Youth‘ programme here today.
Sports analyst Pekan Ramli was previously reported as saying that the target of 31 gold medals was seen as a safe move and should be increased based on the participation of 612 national athletes in the Hanoi Games, scheduled to take place from May 12 to May 23.
As such, Ahmad Faizal hopes that the national athletes will give their full attention to improving their performance in facing the Games and other bigger meets.
“I urge every athlete to work hard so that they can at least improve on their personal bests.
“This is because momentum is very important in providing a tonic for bigger upcoming meets such as the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
He added that the management also needed to be confident in the ability of the country’s athletes even though there were sports that will be sending new faces for the purpose of exposure at the SEA Games this time.