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Published: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 2:50:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 3:02:55 PM

Weightlifting gold drought set to continue

Nor Khasidah Abdul Halim won the bronze in the women’s 69kg event to add to another bronze won by Mohd Faiz Musa in the 94kg competition. These were the only two medals Malaysia won in SEA Games weightlifting.

Nor Khasidah Abdul Halim won the bronze in the women’s 69kg event to add to another bronze won by Mohd Faiz Musa in the 94kg competition. These were the only two medals Malaysia won in SEA Games weightlifting.

YANGON: THE Malaysian weightlifters cannot bridge the gap with others in the region in the near future.

This was the damning verdict delivered by the national squad’s interim weightlifting coach Stefan Stefanov at the end of the competition here on Monday.

The Malaysian weightlifters went into the SEA Games with the promise of improving the one silver and two bronze haul from Indonesia two years ago.

In the end, they only had a paltry two bronze medals to show from the nine lifters in action at the Thein Phyu Indoor Stadium in Yangon.

And one of the bronze medals was won in an event featuring just three competitors.

It was left to Mohd Faiz Musa to save the blushes for Malaysia with a bronze in the men’s 94kg.

Nor Khasidah Abdul Halim took third and last spot in the women’s 69kg, trailing by 18kg behind the second placed lifter from Myanmar.

Despite most of the events featuring just four or five competitors, the Malaysians consistently occupied bottom positions.

The weightlifting officials threw the argument that most of the lifters in Myanmar are youngsters and had improved their personal best marks. But Faiz and Nor Khasidah apart, the other eight national lifters were never in contention and finished miles behind the medal finishers.

“Catching up with the likes of Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam will take years of improvement and changes to training and dietary methods. We need to overhaul the entire training system. But it is a long-term project and we cannot expect drastic progress in time for the next one or two SEA Games,” said the Bulgarian Stefanov, who was tasked with preparing the weightlifters for the SEA Games following the departure of head coach Lin Xin Hui of China last month.

“Even if we do improve, there is no guarantee that our rivals will stand still and not move ahead as well.”

Malaysian team manager Abdullah Awang said that the main target had always been to do well in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“Let’s face it, we are not a weightlifting powerhouse in South-East Asia. I am thankful that we managed to win two bronzes and will not return empty-handed to Malaysia,” said Abdullah.

“Our goal was to let our lifters compete in the strong field in Myanmar and improve their personal marks. The SEA Games is part of the preparations for the Glasgow Games, where we can challenge for gold medals.”

Besides Faiz and Nor Khasidah, the other national weightlifters who featured in Yangon were Muhd Aznil Bidin (56kg), Constantine Clement (62kg), Mohd Hafifi Mansor (69kg), Mohd Azril Huzairi (77kg) in the men’s categories and Azizah Fadzil (53kg), Franceay Titus (58kg) and Eloinie Martin (63kg) in the women’s categories.

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, weightlifting

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