Wednesday, 22 April 2009

M'sia To Send Biggest Contingent To Guangzhou Asian Games

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is targeting a bigger gold medal haul by sending the biggest contingent to the 16th Asian Games which will be held in Guangzhou, China from Nov 12 to 27 next year.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said as Guangzhou is quite near from this country, the cost of sending a bigger contingent would not burden Malaysia.

"We will send the biggest contingent to Guangzhou in both A and B categories and it will only be justified if we can get more gold medals," he told reporters here, Tuesday.

The A category is for athletes who qualified on merit, with the cost of sending them borne by the OCM, while the B category is for athletes who failed to beat the qualifying mark and have to bear their own cost but OCM will reimburse them if they win at least the silver.

Malaysia's biggest contingent to the Games was in 2006 in Doha, Qatar comprising 231 athletes who brought back eight gold medals, the best gold medal haul since Malaysia's inception in the Games, starting with the Manila Games in 1954.

Sieh earlier attended a media briefing held by the representative of Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (Gagoc), led by the deputy head of service department, Hua Xinfang, on the progress of the 16th Asian Games.

Sieh said Malaysia expected to take part in 25 sports, in both Olympic and non-Olympic sports during the games.

The 16th Asian Games offers 42 events, including 28 Olympic events.

He said Malaysia might have a better chance of getting the gold from three Olympic sports namely archery, badminton and cycling, and from non-Olympic sports such as squash, tenpin bowling and wushu.

Meanwhile, Hua Xinfang said the current economic turmoil had not slowed down the progress of the Asian Games as most of the allocation for the games were borne by the sponsors.

"I cannot give the actual costs of hosting the Games as most of the cost will be absorbed by our sponsors. So far 23 companies have signed up as sponsors," she said.


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