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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 7:13:00 PM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 7:14:57 PM
Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din speaking at the press conference to announce Malaysia's participation in the Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are setting very low expectations for the third Islamic Solidarity Games, which will be held in Palembang, Indonesia, from Sept 22-Oct 1.
This is surprising considering Malaysia raked in 16 medals in the inaugural meet in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2005. Five of those medals were golds – courtesy of diving, swimming and karate – and Malaysia finished seventh out of 32 countries.
The second edition, in Tehran, Iran, in 2010 was cancelled.
And this time, the 136-strong Malaysian contingent are only targeting three gold medals from swimming and wushu.
But chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said “that doesn’t mean we will be going there to make up the numbers”.
“We’re setting a three-gold target because most countries have not submitted their athletes by name and the deadline is Aug 30 ... so, we’ll definitely get a better picture of our hopes once the list is out,” he said during a press conference at the National Sports Council in Bukit Jalil Tuesday.
The multi-sport event, organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will feature 25 countries from Asia, Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and South America.
Malaysia will compete in 10 of the 13 sports on offer – athletics, archery, aquatics, badminton, karate, taekwando, tennis, beach volleyball, weightlifting and wushu.
Malaysia failed to qualify for football, indoor volleyball and basketball.
“Diving is also not being contested this time ... so, we’re expecting swimming and wushu to deliver the goods,” said Megat Zulkarnain.
“We’re setting the target at three, but who’s to say that we won’t do better. Everyone has a chance (to do well) and should step up and grab that opportunity.
“For some, it will be a great preparation for the SEA Games (in Myanmar in December). For the younger ones, it will be a great chance to go toe-to-toe with their peers from countries from West Asia, who are quite strong.”
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Islamic Solidarity Games, Malaysia, Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC
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