Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 24th Sea Games at the King’s Anniversary Stadium in Korat, Thailand, yesterday.
BY the day’s end today, the Malaysian contingent will know if they are on the right track to achieving the 64 gold medal target.
Malaysia will be parading Mohd Latiff Nyat, Muhammad Noor Imran Hadi and Mohd Zabidi Ghazali in the 100m but none have a time anywhere near the Sea Games record of 10.26s held by Reanchai Seeharwong of Thailand.
Latiff has the best time at 10.45s. The century gold is again expected to be won by the Thais.
The women sprinters are no better. None are capable of matching Vietnam’s Vu Thi Huong, who took the gold medal in Manila two years. She still looked menacing during training yesterday.
In swimming, seven gold medals are at stake including the women’s 100m freestyle, 200m backstroke (men and women) and 400m medley (men).
Cycling has also promised a big medal haul and two events are being held today — the men’s and women’s cross-country.
Men’s gymnastics also take to the floor today as the team defend their gold medal despite the absence of top gymnast Ng Shu Wai and his brother Shu Mun.
So, by the end of the day, Malaysia will have a good indication if whether or not the contingent are on the right track or face more disappointment following the loss of gold medal hopefuls Wong Mew Choo, Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (badminton), Noraseela Khalid and Robani Hassan (athletics) to injuries and the failure of shooting to win the targeted four gold medals.
The shooters only won two and as it stands, Malaysia has already lost six of the 64 targeted.