PUTRAJAYA • The Malaysian SEA Games contingent have set their sights on winning 111 gold medals and be the top gold-winning nation at the 29th SEA Games, which is being hosted in Kuala Lumpur from next Saturday to Aug 30.
The target was announced by Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, after Prime Minister Najib Razak handed the nation's flags to the SEA Games as well as the Asean Para Games (APG) contingent at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Thursday.
The 111-gold target is pegged to the number of golds that Malaysia won the last time it hosted the Games in 2001. The 2001 edition was also the first time Malaysia topped the medal charts since the Games began in 1959.
"It is a realistic target, one which we can achieve. It was the same number of golds we won when we hosted the Games in 2001 to become overall champions," said Khairy.
He added that gold-medal target was set after analysing the performance of athletes and discussion with each of the sports associations. However, he did not reveal in detail which sports were expected to contribute to the gold medal tally.
"I am not going to reveal it. That will put unnecessary pressure on the athletes. The other reason is that people will start analysing and criticising sports associations which do not meet their targets in the Games," he said.
It is believed that most of the gold medals are likely to come from athletics, aquatics, bowling, cycling, gymnastics, karate, lawn bowls, sailing, pencak silat, waterskiing and squash.
GOLD MEDALS ON OFFER: 38
• Joseph Schooling (50, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 4x100m, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Quah Zheng Wen (50m, 100m, 200m backstroke, 200m fly, 4x100m, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Darren Lim (50m, 100m free, 4x100m free, 4x100m medley)
• Lionel Khoo (50m, 100m, 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 4x100m medley)
• Samuel Khoo (50m, 100m, 200m breast, 4x100m medley)
• Pang Sheng Jun (200m, 400m free, 200m, 400m IM, 4x200m free)
• Danny Yeo (200m free, 4x100m free, 4x200m free)
• Jonathan Tan (4x100m free, 4x200m free)
• Glen Lim (1,500m free, 400m IM)
• Francis Fong (50m, 100m, 200m back, 4x100m medley)
• Dylan Koo (50m, 100m fly, 4x100m free)
• Benedict Boon (400m, 1,500m free, 4x200m free)
• Teong Tzen Wei (50m free)
• Ong Jung Yi (200m fly)
• Quah Jing Wen (100m free, 100m, 200m fly, 200m, 400m IM, 4x100m free, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Quah Ting Wen (50m, 100m free, 50m, 100m fly, 100m back, 4x100m, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Amanda Lim (50m free, 4x100m, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Christie May Chue (100m, 200m breast, 200m free, 4x100m, 4x200m free, 4x100m medley)
• Gan Ching Hwee (400m, 800m free, 400m IM, 4x200m free)
• Hoong En Qi (50m, 100m back, 4x100m medley)
• Samantha Louisa Yeo (50m, 100m, 200m breast, 200m IM, 4x100m medley)
• Rachel Tseng (200m, 400m, 800m free, 4x100m, 4x200m free)
• Nicholle Toh (50m, 200m fly)
• Faith Elizabeth Khoo (200m back)
• Roanne Ho (50m breast)
• Jamie Koo (50m back)
• Natasha Ong (4x100m free)
• Hannah Quek (200m back)
For these SEA Games, there are 405 gold medals up for grabs in 38 sports. In the 2001 edition, there were 391 golds contested in 32 sports.
Khairy added that for the APG, which will be held from Sept 17-23, a target of 103 gold medals has been set. There will be 16 sports in the Para Games, but with 479 events.
"We hope to finish second in the Asean Para Games with 103 golds. Thailand will be the favourites to become overall champion," he said.
In the last APG in Singapore in 2015, Malaysia finished third with 52 golds, 58 silvers and 37 bronzes in 15 sports. Thailand were the overall champion with 95 golds, 76 silvers and 79 bronzes, followed by Indonesia with 81 golds, 74 silvers and 63 bronzes.
ASIA NEWS NETWORK/THE STAR
SEE ALSO Jing Wen ready to rise to the top