Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin meeting the athletes who will be going to the Commonwealth Games this July 23 during the flag handing-over ceremony in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. - BRIAN MOH/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: In the absence of shuttler Lee Chong Wei, the target for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which begins on July 23, have been reduce to just seven golds.
The National Sports Council (NSC) had earlier set a target of 10 golds. At the last Games in New Delhi four years ago, Malaysia won 12 golds, 10 silvers and 14 bronzes and Chong Wei bagged three of the four golds.
World No. 1 ranked Chong Wei, who is down with a thigh injury, won the singles, doubles and team event in New Delhi.
Chef-de-mission Datuk Ong Poh Eng said that seven golds is a realistic target, in the absence of Chong Wei.
However, Poh Eng, who is the president of the Weightlifting Federation of Malaysia does not want to disclose which sports are expected to contribute the golds.
“I will not reveal the breakdown of golds as this will put unnecessary pressure on the athletes. We have set a target of seven golds as our athletes can expect a tough challenge at the Games,” said Poh Eng after receiving the Jalur Gemilang from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Malaysia are expected to win golds in badminton, diving, lawn bowls, shooting, squash and weightlifting.
A total of 179 athletes comprising 104 men and 75 women will compete in 14 of the 17 sports contested in Glasgow. Malaysia will feature in athletics, aquatic (swimming and diving), badminton, boxing, cycling, hockey, gymnastics, judo, lawn bowl, rugby, shooting, squash, table tennis and weightlifting.
Khairy wants the athletes to stand up and be counted at the Games.
“Our athletes are well prepared and they are the best among the 29 million population of our country to feature in Glasgow.
“They should be proud to represent Malaysia and strive to give their best like how the Germans thrashed five-time world champions Brazil (7-1) in the World Cup semi-finals match,” said Khairy.
Meanwhile, diver Pandelela Rinong, who won the 10m platform gold in New Delhi Games, should recover in time for Glasgow after suffering a knee injury during a training stint in Guanghzou a few days ago.
“Pandelela has been advised to rest so that she can recover faster for the Games,”said Khairy.