THE prospect of Malaysian boxers winning gold to go one level up from the 2007 Korat Sea Games looks bleak. They lack preparation in terms of top class competitions and have very limited experience against foreign opponents.
In a last ditch-effort to polish-up the team, the request for training cum sparring sessions in Thailand was fi nally granted by the National Sports Council (NSC).
The boxers have been in Thailand since Oct 29 and will return home on Nov 25. Malaysia won two silver and three bronze medals at the Korat Sea Games. Five members of the team have been retained except for one — Zamzai Azizi, who has since retired.
Muhammad Farkhan Mohd Haron and Zamzai Azizi took silver while Eddey Kalai, Paunandes Paulus and Ali Karim won the bronze medals.
Malaysian Amateur Boxing Federation (MABF) secretary Mejar (Rtd) Maulud Othman however, hopes that the Malaysian boxers can pull off a few surprises.
He gave special mention to two young boxers — Mohd Fairus Azwan Abdulah and Mohd Fuad Mohd Redzuan — who are new to the national team and will be making their debut at the Games.
“Our kitty is near empty and as such we cannot hold competitions of international standard regularly or even send our boxers for competitions overseas.
“We are solely dependent on fi - nancial assistance from the National Sports Council (NSC). The Malaysian boxers competed in the Arafura Games in Darwin this year and the triangular championship involving teams from Johor, Singapore and Riau in Johor.
“Our boxers won two gold, one silver, and three bronze medals in Darwin and emerged champions in the triangular,” said Maulud, who has been secretary since the 1998 Commonwealth Games.He added that MABF have refrained from giving any medal target to Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) but would dearly love to see a Malaysian in the fi nals in any of the weight categories. Maulud said that despite all the shortcomings to the Sea Games countdown, MABF’s immediate task is to start planning and build a strong team for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games scheduled next year. MMAIL