KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Malaysia’s chef-de-mission (CDM) to the Hanoi SEA Games Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad has described the target of 36 gold, 35 silver and 75 bronze medals set for the national contingent at the biennial Games as achievable.
He said the target announced by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was not a problem for the national contingent which was made up of a combination of young and senior athletes.
According to him, the gold target was expected based on evaluations made at medal target setting workshops whereby the sports associations concerned exercised care in finalising their targets.
“Maybe it was because it was still in the trial phase or influenced by a long period without competitions (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), but I believe all the associations or teams want gold medals but they are also careful about it.
“So basically we looked at what were the findings, we took the best with what we have at the moment and maybe during the time of the competition it (the number of medals) will change from day to day,” he said when met at the Jalur Gemilang (National Flag) Handover Ceremony for the Malaysian contingent to the Hanoi Games at the National Sports Council, Bukit Jalil here yesterday.
Meanwhile, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Malaysia’s flag bearer in Vietnam, believes the target was reached after taking into account all aspects of the strengths and shortcomings of the national contingent in this edition.
“I think the target is not something that was made at will, there must have been calculations made and they believe in us (athletes) to achieve the target.
“But I also do not want to put pressure on my own contingent friends, I just hope they can give their best, think of everything as a training session and just enjoy the Games,” said the national diving athlete.
The Hanoi SEA Games is scheduled to take place from May 12 to May 23.
At the 2019 SEA Games in Manila, the national contingent collected 56 gold, 57 silver and 72 bronze, far off the target of 70 gold, 51 silver and 105 bronze and was ranked fifth overall compared to the fourth place target given.
Hosts Philippines were champions followed by Vietnam (second), Thailand (third) and Indonesia fourth.