PETALING JAYA: It will be an uphill task for Malaysia to be placed in the medal standings at the World University Games which begins in Napoli today.
Badminton and wushu accounted for three silver and four bronze medals that enabled Malaysia to be ranked 46th out of 67 participating countries in the previous edition in Taipei two years ago.
Mixed doubles pair Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub-Goh Yea Ching contributed one silver while two more came from wushu exponents Calvin Lee and Tan Cheong Min in the respective men’s and women’s nanquan discipline.
However, the two sports are not contested in the Italian city while our divers, who have contributed medals in the past, are giving the meet a miss as they are preparing for the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, later this month.
The Gwangju meet is an Olympic qualifying event.
The Malaysian contingent have lowered their expectations and will be happy if they return home with one medal, regardless of the colour.
Malaysia are participating in seven out of the 18 sports – archery, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, shooting, table tennis and fencing.
Among the top national athletes competing are artistic gymnasts Farah Ann Hadi, Tan Ing Yueh and Rachel Yeoh while swimmers Tern Jian Han and Chan Jie will be looking to lower their personal bests before they head to Gwangju.
SEA Games gold medallist Farah Ann is the flag-bearer for the 35-strong Malaysian contingent.