Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Malaysia's Medal Haul In Past Five SEA Games Has Improved - OCM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's percentage of gold medals won in the last five SEA Games has seen a marked improvement, averaging 10 to 15 per cent of the medals at stake, compared with just 8 per cent before 2000.

A report released by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) said Malaysia's best haul was in the 2001 SEA Games, when Malaysia was the host and the percentage of gold medals won was 28.3 per cent or 111 of the 392 gold medals offered.

In the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games, Malaysia collected 9.7 per cent of the gold medals or 43 of the 444 offered but that increased to 13.7 per cent at the 2005 Manila SEA Games with 61 gold from 444 offered.

The Malaysian contingent, further improved on the achievement during the 2007 Korat SEA Games with 14.2 per cent or 68 of the 477 offered by host Thailand.

The recent SEA Games hosted by Laos in December, saw Malaysia achieve 10.8 per cent or 40 gold medals from the 372 total offered.

According to OCM Honorary Secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, Malaysia's performance in the SEA Games has improved over the last decade.

Since the SEAP Games was expanded to be the SEA Games, Malaysia's percentage of gold medals won has risen from an average of below 10 percent from 1977 to 1997 (7.11 percent in 1981 and 7.66 percent in 1983), to an average of above 10 per cent since then.

This is the legacy from hosting the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, he said.

"Many intensive programmes were implemented in the run up to the Commonwealth Games and that had helped improve the performances of athletes in the SEA Games," he told Bernama here on Tuesday.

Kok Chi added that the impact of the Commonwealth Games programmes was evident during the 2001 SEA Games hosted by Malaysia, since 111 gold medals were won, en route to clinching the overall champion title.

However, Kok Chi warned that Malaysia must be careful with the emergence of Singapore and Vietnam.

Singapore who started their surge since 2000 by collecting 22 (5.6 percent) of the 392 gold medals in Kuala Lumpur (2001), improved on that figure significantly in Laos by accumulating 33 gold medals (8.9 percent) from the 372 at stake, he said.

Vietnam has shown great progress since hosting the 2003 SEA Games, when they finished in first position and since then Vietnam has finished in second place once (2009) and in third place twice (2005 and 2007).

Indonesia, the power house of the SEA Games in the 1980s and 1990s, has suffered a decline in the last five SEA Games, but as the host of the 26th SEA Games in 2011, Indonesia are expected to bounce back, he said.

In terms of percentage of gold medals won, Thailand has been consistently scoring over 20% for the last five SEA Games, with the highest at 38.1% at the 2007 SEA Games, when Thailand was the host.


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