KUALA LUMPUR: National athletes for the KL SEA Games have been told not to be overly concerned with medal targets but instead focus on the task at hand.
“Why the hang-up over medal targets. Play your best and win the matches. The gold medal will come your way,” said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin after touring the cricket venue and meeting with the men and women’s teams yesterday.
There will be three gold medals on offer in cricket – 50-overs (men) and T20 (men and women) – and the matches will be held at the Kinrara Oval in Puchong.
“There has been too much hype by the media on the medal target for the Games. This is a third-world mentality. There has been too much hype in the media on the target for the Games and, at every opportunity, I’ve been asked this question.
“Now we have set the target at 111 and although this is the same number achieved in 2001 when we became overall champions, the assessment took into account current performances,” he explained.
Khairy was also pleased to see the Kinrara Oval getting ready for the Games, where cricket will be making its debut.
“We fought for cricket to be included based on the good performances of the national team in recent years. They deserved it and I want to see them achieve their target so that the sport will continue to develop.”
Khairy also launched the Imran “Stateroom”, which the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) have allocated at the Kinrara Oval in honour of their past president and current Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar, who is a great supporter of the game.
The Kinrara Oval also received a new stand with a 1,700 capacity.
Khairy pointed out that they had “upcycled” the seats from the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
“The seats in a way are not new. They are from the National Stadium.
“This has saved us money. The overall refurbishing of the Kinrara Oval cost us around RM1.3mil.
“I am happy with what I saw today,” he said.