Monday, May 25, 2015

SEA Games: Gold medals not a true measure of success, says Khairy

PUTRAJAYA: There’s no overall gold-medal target for Malaysia at the Singapore SEA Games from June 5-16.

With half of the 670-strong contingent below 21 years of age, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin considers it mission accomplished if Malaysia can achieve a 56% medal haul.
Malaysia are competing in 335 events in 35 sports and should rake in 187 medals based on Khairy’s estimation. 

A total of 1,326 medals – 402 golds, 402 silvers and 522 bronzes – are on offer.
“We treat the SEA Games next month as a ‘development’ Games. The Games this time is about exposure as we are the next hosts in 2017.

“When it comes to target, we have to look from a holistic approach.
“The obsession to win gold medals must stop,’ said Khairy .
“More than 50% of our athletes are from the back-up programmes and putting gold-medal targets will not give a true picture of their potential.

“In some cases, it’s an achievement for the young athletes to win a silver or a bronze. So targeting a total medal haul will be a better measure of our performance,” he said after the flag-handing ceremony at the IOI Palm Garden Hotel.

He added that some sports can still come out with their own assessments.
“Sports like diving, squash and badminton may be targeting a lot of medals. It’s their right,” said Khairy.

“Although there’s no overall gold-medal target, the athletes must not take it easy.
“National pride is at stake as we’re competing against our traditional regional rivals. 
“We’re still going there to win. Give your 100% and show you’re better than them.

“The athlete who wins a gold will be the frontrunner to earn a place in the Podium Programme under the National Sports Institute. On top of that, the winner will get a RM20,000 incentive from the Government,” said Khairy.

by Lim Teik Huat & Tan Ming Wai - The Star

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