KUALA LUMPUR: Quality over quantity, please.
This is what the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary general Datuk Low Beng Choo wants from the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) in naming the squad for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.
The MAF have submitted a total of 18 athletes for the Games but Beng Choo wants the number to be cut down drastically.
“MAF have listed athletes who won gold medals at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year but they should know that the standard of athletics in the Commonwealth Games is very high,” said Beng Choo.
“World-class athletes from Jamaica, England, Canada and Australia will feature in the Games and our athletes will not be able to challenge them.
“Our athletes may not be able to progress beyond the heats.
“Some of the SEA Games winners are good enough to compete in the Asian Games but not in the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
She added that they had to be stringent in selection because the number of individual athletes from each country had been limited to 98 athletes.
“They’re following the Olympic standards and only the best athletes should feature in the Games,” said Beng Choo.
“The priority should be given to medal prospect sports such as badminton, cycling and diving where we have chances to win medals. We’ll send more individual athletes for sports that can deliver medals.”
A total of 58 gold medals are at stake in athletics but none of the Malaysian track and field athletes have a chance of winning.
Malaysia last won a medal in athletics through G. Saravanan at the 1998 KL Games in the 50km walk event.
A total of 275 gold medals will be offered in 18 sports in Gold Coast. Seventy countries are expected to feature in the Games.