Friday, November 11, 2011

SEA GAMES: SEA Games Medal Hunt Begins Friday

JAKARTA, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- The medal hunt in the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia begins Friday with five gold medals up for grabs in canoeing.

The venue for the canoeing events is Danau Cipule, West Java, about 90 kilometres from here.

Malaysia's canoeing squad made up of five men and five women will be shouldering the country's challenge but any medals from canoeing are expected to be a bonus.

All 10 canoeists are in Indonesia under Category B whereby their national association will have to foot all expenses but can get reimbursement from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) if they win at least a silver.

Only athletes under Category A are fully sponsored by OCM.

The last time Malaysia won a medal in canoeing was in 1997 when Jakarta also hosted the Games.

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong has hinted that it would be an uphill task for the national canoeing squad to deliver as Singapore and Thailand are deemed to be just too strong in this department.

The NSC is projecting Malaysia's first gold in this Games to come from the karate events on Saturday.

Jamalliah Jamaludin is expected to land the first gold in the women's kumite over 68kg category.

However, Malaysia's deputy chef-de-mission in Jakarta, T. Kumar said the canoeing squad did have a chance of contributing medals but not necessarily gold.

Kumar, who is also OCM assistant honorary-secretary, said the heads of the contingents in their meeting today extended their condolences to the family of NSC official Harun Osman, who suddenly died of a heart attack in Palembang Wednesday.

He died while welcoming Malaysia's athletes at the Sultan Mahmud Badarudin II Airport in Palembang, which is co-hosting the Games with Jakarta.

This 26th SEA Games officially opens at the Jakabaring Sports Complex in Palembang, South Sumatera.

This edition of the Games offers 542 gold medals through 22 sports that will competed in Jakarta and 21 in Palembang.


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