KUALA LUMPUR: Now that the dust has settled on the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, it’s time for national athletes to focus on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar praised the national athletes for doing exceptionally well at the KL Games by winning 145 gold medals.
“But the standard at the Commonwealth Games is at a different level. The competition will be tougher.
“In some sports – like athletics, cycling, swimming and rugby – it will be of world standard,” said Tunku Imran after chairing the OCM executive board meeting yesterday.
A total of 18 sports, comprising 275 events, will be held in Gold Coast and Malaysia will begin the selection process on Oct 3.
Tunku Imran said that the qualifying standard for individuals will be the sixth-placing time or mark of the last Games in Glasgow in 2014.
“On Oct 3, we will know who have qualified for the Games.
“For team sports, the women’s basketball team have qualified for the Games for winning the SEA Games gold. Although our netball team won the SEA Games gold, they won’t feature in Gold Coast based on their world ranking.”
The Malaysian netball team are ranked 21st in the world, but only the top 12 qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
“We expect to win medals from badminton, cycling, diving, squash and weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games,” said Tunku Imran.
In the 2014 Glasgow Games, Malaysia returned with a 6-7-6 medal haul.
Tunku Imran said that the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games will arrive in Malaysia next month.
“We will announce the activities soon for the Baton Relay, scheduled from Oct 16-21,” said Tunku Imran after handing over the Jalur Gemilang to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) chef-de-mission Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Datuk Mohd Najib at OCM office yesterday.
Nazifuddin is also the OCM vice-president.
For the AIMAG, Malaysia will sent 11 athletes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, from Sept 16-27 to compete in three sports – muay, taekwondo and dancesport.
THE AIMAG ATHLETES
Dancesport: Kimberly Tan Cheer Ching, Teo Chee Seng, Low Yik Wen, Low Yen Ginn, Ooi Say Onn, Chong Kar Man, Chua Zjen Fong, Evon Chong.
Muay: Nidal Mahmoud
Taekwondo: Rozaimi Rozali, Muhammad Iskandar Zulkarnian Ahmad.