Monday, July 30, 2007

Sea Games: High expectations from Korat contingent

SPORTS Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said is confident that Malaysia will win more than the projected target of 61 gold medals at the Korat Sea Games on Dec 6-15.

"As we will probably be sending our biggest ever Sea Games contingent to Korat, I believe we should surpass the gold medal target," Azalina told reporters after launching the FitKid World Championships at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"However, we need to take into account several aspects before taking for granted that a bigger contingent will ensure a bigger haul.

"The number of athletes will be bigger this time around but some of them will be competing in Korat for exposure purposes. It will be good that if they can also win medals.

"However, we will send out best athletes as the expectations of the general public is high," she said.
Azalina also said it will be tough for the Malaysian athletes to pose serious challenges in several events in which the host country excels in.

"Some events which we are strong in have been dropped but that does not mean Malaysia will not achieve or surpass the medal target. We have other events which we are good enough to win gold medals."

Meanwhile, Azalina said the Ministry has identified several strategies to inculcate a sporting culture among school children.

"One of it is the probability of hosting a FitKid national championships next year. As not much facilities are needed for FitKid competitions, we will also introduce the sport in schools," she said.

New Straits Times 30 July 2007

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