The Malaysian contingent has met the best target of seven gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang which comes to a close at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta tonight.
National contingent chief de mission (CDM), Abdul Azim Zabidi said the success exceeded the 2014 collection in Incheon, South Korea when Malaysia bagged only five gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals.
“We can divide the success of our contingent into three parts namely excellent, satisfactory and fail,” he told a media conference on the achievements of Malaysian athletes at the 2018 Asiad today.
The sports which attained excellent standard, said Azim were tenpin bowling (two gold and two silver), track cycling (one gold, one silver and one bronze), squash (two gold, one silver and two bronze), sailing (one gold, one silver and two bronze) and sepak takraw (one gold and one silver).
The sports which met satisfactory standard were diving (one silver and three bronze), men’s hockey (one silver), equestrian (one silver), taekwondo (one bronze), archery (one bronze), men’s football (qualified for second round), women’s 3x3 basketball (entered quarter-finals), rugby seven-aside (fifth place), paragliding (fifth best team) and women’s hockey (fifth place).
The sports which failed this time were pencak silat, karate, wushu, shooting, swimming, artistic swimming, athletics, fencing, golf, judo, sambo, boxing, bridge, artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, handball, jet ski, kabaddi, table tennis, badminton, canoeing/kayaking, skateboarding, rowing, climbing sport, triathlon and beach volleyball.
Azim also praised two athletes in the B category (expenses sponsored by sport association) who won a silver and a bronze namely national equestrian athlete, Mohd Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil and national silat exponent, Mohamad Hazim Amzad, and announced six national records were rewritten in the championship namely track cycling (one record), archery (two records) as well as swimming which set three new records.
“Two of our sailors have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and they are Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy (Laser Standard) and Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif (Laser Radial),” said Azim who was also happy that no Malaysian athletes were found involved in using banned substances this time.
At the same time, Azim stressed that several sports associations especially subjective sports such as wushu, pencak silat, karate apart from badminton should re-evaluate the effectiveness of their training programmes which failed to give a positive impact to deliver medals to the country.
“The involvement of category B sports should be reviewed and we may need to tighten our selection criteria. The aspect of sports science involving fitness and mental preparation should be improved,” said Azim and added that a post-mortem would be conducted on several sports which failed to meet their medal target this time.
Similar views were also expressed by National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Ahmad Shapawi who said MSN would work with national sports associations to study the effectiveness of training programmes for athletes this time.
“We will full responsibility with the sports associations on the performance of the national athletes in 2018 Asiad.
“MSN will provide a complete report which will be handed to the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and MSN board of directors,” he said.