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Tuesday June 18, 2013
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia are gunning for 30 gold medals at the fifth ASEAN School Games (ASG) in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Games, which will be held from June 22-30 will feature a total of 11 sports. Malaysia will be involved in nine – athletics, badminton, basketball, artistic gymnastics, swimming, sepak takraw, pencak silat, table tennis and volleyball – but skipping golf and tennis.
Ministry of Education director general Tan Sri Abdul Ghafar Mahmud, who handed over the Malaysian flag to the 239-strong contingent of 178 athletes and 61 officials at the Dewan Olimpik, Bukit Jalil Sports School, said he hoped the team can hit the medal target.
Malaysia’s best performance in the Games was in 2010 when as hosts they emerged overall champions with 106 medals – 45 golds, 37 silvers and 24 bronzes. Last year, Malaysia finished third with 23 gold, 30 silver and 30 bronze medals.
“This year our target is to put on a good showing in Hanoi and to improve on our previous medal haul and bring home 30 gold medals.
“We’re expecting the bulk of it to come from athletics and swimming but we hope all our athletes will be inspired to put on a spirited performance to win medals for the country,” said Tan Sri Abdul Ghafar prior to handing over the Jalur Gemilang to Selangor Education Department director and Games chef de mission Mahmud Karim.
Athletics will offer the most number of medals at stake with a total of 102 medals (34-34-34) up for grabs followed by swimming with 90 medals (30-30-30) and silat with 78 medals (26-26-26).
Apart from Malaysia and hosts Vietnam, this year’s event will feature seven other ASEAN nations including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei as well as first-timers Cambodia and Laos.
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