The performance of the National contingent at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia, last May, cannot be used as a gauge to measure the capabilities of the Malaysian contingent’s target for next month’s 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Adam Adli Abd Halim said the context of comparison used for both games is not the same.

“We must understand that athletes representing the country in the Asian Games are senior elite athletes while those who competed in the SEA Games are junior athletes, therefore the context of measuring the medal target is different.

“Athletes selected for the Asian Games have been undergoing training and preparations for the past two years and we hope they can return with good results,” he told Bernama here today after opening the 2023 Malaysian Masters Badminton Association (MMBA) Championships.

Adam Adli said the target for the 2022 Asian Games will be announced after the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), National Sports Council (OCM) and National Sports Associations attend a workshop on Tuesday, to determine the medal target.

The 2022 Asian Games hosted by Hangzhou is being held from Sept 23 to Oct 8 this year, since the games were postponed due to COVID-19.

In the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games held from May 5 to 17, 2023, Malaysia finished seventh in the medal tally after managing just 34 gold, 45 silver and 97 bronze which turned out to be the country’s worst-ever performance in the SEA Games edition since the inception of the games in 1959.

The medal haul also failed to meet the 40-gold medal target set by the OCM and NSC.

Meanwhile, in the 2018 Asian Games hosted by Indonesia, Malaysia managed to win seven gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze and finished 14th in the list of 45 countries that participated in the games.

However, a number of sports that contributed medals in 2018, have been dropped from the games in Hangzhou, namely tenpin bowling which contributed two gold and two silver medals and pencak silat which contributed four silver and four bronze medals.

Speaking of the 2023 MMBA, Adam Adli said the championships is open to shuttlers aged 35 and above and would serve as a platform for senior shuttlers to continue being active in the sport after retiring from representing the country or states.

“It will also serve as a platform to unite the people through sports, especially badminton,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency