Malaysia targets best-ever gold haul in SEA Games outside country
BANGI–For the Malaysian contingent heading to the Philippines for the 2019 SEA Games, 70 is the magic number.
The athletes will be aiming to achieve the best-ever golden finish in a SEA Games held outside the country.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman announced the official medal target after the flag-handing ceremony in Bangi yesterday.
“This is based on the workshop we conducted involving all the sports associations on Nov 5-6. Our contingent is targeted to win 70 golds, 51 silvers and 105 bronzes,” he said after handing the flag to chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin.
“If we achieve this, it will be our best finish at a SEA Games held outside Malaysia. It will put us fourth overall in the medal standings among the 11 participating nations.”
The best-ever finish outside Malaysia was at the Korat Games in Thailand (2007) when the athletes returned with 68 golds, 52 silvers and 96 bronzes.
In Korat, 43 sports were contested but in the Philippines, there will be 56, the largest in the Games’ history.
Malaysia will be sending its biggest-ever contingent of 773 athletes and 339 officials to take part in 52 events.
The major contributors for the gold medals are expected to come from aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, archery and lawn bowls.
Megat added it is a realistic target considering that a majority of new sports will be contested and that more than half of the contingent is made up of debutants.
“There are 396 athletes who will be competing for the first time and that is why we are careful not to be too ambitious.”
The contingent will be based mainly in three clusters – Manila, New Clark City and Subic.
The polo team will be the first to see action this Sunday in Luzon.