Sailors Khairunnisa Afendy (left) and Norashikin Sayed won the silver in the women's 420 event at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. - BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) are optimistic their sailors can bring home two gold medals from the Incheon Asian Games in September.
MYA started preparations for the sailors on Jan 1 in the bid to strike gold again after missing out on the previous edition in Guangzhou four years ago.
In Guangzhou, Malaysia managed two silvers from Ahmad Latif Khan (boys’ Optimist) and Khairunnisa Afendy-Norashikin Sayed (women’s 420) while Ku Anas Ku Zamil-Mohd Hafizzudin Mazelan took a bronze in the men’s 420.
Malaysia last won a sailing gold through Rufina Tan in the girls’ Optimist at the 2006 Doha Games while the first was way back in Hiroshima in 1994 when Ryan Tan won the Optimist Open event.
MYA manager Mohd Affendy Abdullah said Malaysia are capable of challenging for honours in the boys’ and girls’ Optimist, men’s 420 as well as match racing if all plans are implemented according to schedule starting from early in the year.
“The association is confident of fighting for at least two gold medals.
“This is based on the current international ranking and judging from the challengers that we will be facing at the Asian Games.
“But it all depends on whether our preparations, which include international exposure and training, are executed accordingly or not.
“Match racing will be contested at the Asian Games for the first time and we have a good chance as Jeremy Koo is now one of the top-ranked skippers in Asia.
“But what needs to be done first is to provide the funds for his team so that they are able to compete at more international races,” he said.
At the Myanmar SEA Games last month, sailing contributed two golds, three silvers and three bronzes. The gold medals came from Khairulnizam Affendy in Laser Standard and Mohd Faisal Norizan-Ahmad Shukri Aziz in men’s 420.