KUALA LUMPUR: Pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu will be the flag bearer of the Malaysian contingent for the Korat SEA Games.
The 25-year-old Kedahan said after receiving the Jalur Gemilang from the chef-de-mission, Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad, at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) yesterday: “This is the first time in my nine years of national duty that I have been selected to be the flag bearer.
“This is a great honour for me. I promise to give my best in the Games not only to retain the gold but also to break my own Games record.”
Roslinda will be making her fourth appearance in the biennial Games. In her debut in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, she won the silver and took bronze in Hanoi two years later. At the last Games in Manila, she won the first gold medal for Malaysia in athletics with a record-breaking 4.20m effort.
She holds the national record of 4.40m which she did in Barcelona last year. This year, she won the gold medal in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Jordan in July with a mark of 4.20m, making her the number one ranked women's pole vaulter in South-East Asia.
Roslinda has also met the qualifying mark for the Beijing Olympics, posting a 4.30m in the Kazakhstan Open in June.
Malaysia have a contingent of 723 athletes and 307 officials for the Korat Games. The Games officially open on Dec 6 and Malaysia will feature in 41 of 43 sports in the programme.
Teams from three sports are already in Thailand. The shooters are now competing in Bangkok while the sailing and football teams are in Pattaya and Korat respectively.
At the 2005 Manila Games, Malaysia bagged 61 gold medals and this time, the National Sports Council (NSC) have set a target 64 gold medals.
But Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said wants an even better haul.
“A lot of money has been spent on preparing the athletes for the Games. They must challenge their opponents without fear and must be able to turn the tables on them to win gold medals,” said Azalina after handing over the flag to the chef-de-mission.
Meanwhile, Milo have managed to collect 2.3 million signatures from Malaysians in support for the contingent for the Games.
Nestle products sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong presented the signatures to Azalina after the flag-handing ceremony.