MALAYSIA will be out to maintain their 38 gold haul in the athletics programme of the Asean Para Games at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Aug 15 to 19.
The Malaysian athletic team will comprise 81 participants – 51 men and 30 women.
According to chief coach R. Jeganathan, they will be happy to win the same number of gold medals as they did in the last Games in Korat, Thailand, last year.
“All the gold medal winners have been retained for this year’s Games. Most of them are training full time under a special programme. The National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Institute (NSI) have been giving the athletes a lot of support.
“Although the target is 38 golds, there is a strong possibility of the athletes winning more. I am basing my prediction on the intensive training programme,” Jeganathan said after a training session at the NSC Training Centre in Bukit Jalil.
The Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) had picked 25 athletes for a full-time training programme initiated on April 1. The others are training at their respective centres due to work commitments and studies.
Jeganathan, who was once the national middle and long distance coach, has been in charge of the Paralympic athletics team since 1999. In the last 10 years, he has seen Malaysians making steady progress in the international scene.
Mohd Raduan Emeari, who will be taking part in three events – 100m, 200m and long jump – was placed seventh in the Beijing Paralympics.
“He has been impressive in training and he should be able to win gold medals for Malaysia in his events. We also have several other promising athletes,” Jeganathan said.
However, the athletes have not had the advantage of competing in international meets this year. They were only active in the local circuit which has provided them opportunities to gauge their progress.
After the Asean Para Games, the Malaysian team will continue their training programme for next year’s Paralympics in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, the world championships in New Zealand and the London Olympics in 2012.
Jegathesan said a group of 15 juniors had been included in the Malaysian team.
“The juniors are our future. They should be groomed to take over from the seniors in the coming years. Our proposal was accepted by the NSC and the juniors are also training with the seasoned athletes. We are confident they will be able to mature with guidance from the coaches and senior athletes,’’ Jeganathan said.
The Asean Para Games athletics team
Abdullah Samnguimin, Erman Radin, Hafishah Ismail, Hisham Che Soh, Ahmad Rafie Ariffin, Mohd Nasrul Zakaria, Eryamto Bahtiar, Batricia Rachel, Nurul Fazirai Hussin, Mohamaad Fairus Mokhatar, Bajuri Ladis, Davis Machang, Nor Azlina Mustafa Alias, Mohd Raduan Emeari, Md Redzuan Mohd Pozi, Frangkie Jeffery, Mohammad Nizam Niam Abdullah, Ahmad Zabidi Mustaffa, E. Hemala Devi, Mohd Faizal Izhar Abdullah, Ibrahim Abdullah, Zulfakar Ramli, Nursyafawati Arshukri, Chan Bee Tin, Jap Soon Hung, Azizah Taib, Law King Kiew, Faridul Masri, Feeizah Abdullah, Azman Mohd Salleh, Mohd Fazli Fauzil, Mohd Azlan Yusof, Hafiz Wahab, Siti Noor Iasah Mohammad Ariffin, Khairul Ismadi Ismail, Mak Mei Fong, Mohd Hafiz Abu Bakar, Tee Beng Heng, Zikhrie Mohamad, Suhaily Shahbudin, Pualine Lepan, R. Jayapriya, H. Krishnakumar, Amir Firdauss Jamaluddin, Norsyazwani Abdullah, Lee Sheng Chow, Mohd Khairul Miran, Adzhori Jamil, Tan Lee Mei, Tiong Ley King, Mohd Hisham Khaironi, Mohd Yusaini Yusop, Hisham Ahmad, Zainab Ashari, Siti Salina Sulaiman, Nursuhana Ramian, Rangong Ungang, Shaari Rosli, Mohd Shafiq Zulfayri Harni, Mohd Nur Jerkinin, Abdul Shukor Ismail, Siti Nur Shuhada Wan Manan, Wan Nur Shuhada Wan Manan, Salina Main, Jeffery Anjang, D’carlus Maclin Deas.
Juniors: Mohd Nizam Roslan, Mohd Ziyad Zolkefli, Muhammad Mawaheed Roslee, Voon Ah Wun, Rashid Lair, Abner Moilie; Salafuddin Ismail, Fazarizal Hisham Hawari, Mohd Amin Abdullah, Dayang Tiara Awang Ali, Norzuliana Zakaria, Zainab Mohamad Ashari, Nur Suraya Muhamad Zamri, Siti Najihah Abdul Rahman, Nurul Fazirah Hussin.