KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 ― The Malaysian Para athletes contingent met the target despite not emerging as the overall champion or winning the 103-gold targetted by the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) in the 9th Asean Para Games (APG) which came to a close today.
National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi said the achievement of 90 gold, 85 silver and 83 bronze medals was better than the 2015 edition in Singapore in which Malaysia took the third overall placing with a haul of 52 gold, 58 silver and 37 bronze.
Malaysia had to be satisfied with the second overall standing behind Indonesia who emerged as the overall champion with 126 gold, 75 silver and 50 bronze while defending champion Thailand finished third with 68 gold, 73 silver and 95 bronze medals.
"There are four factors which caused our failure to accumulate 103 gold medals. The main was reason was lack of monitoring of the opponents’ performance due to the lack of regional competitions which made it difficult to gauge the strength of Indonesia and Thailand,” he said at a media conference on the performance of the national para contingent at APG 2017 here today.
Ahmad Shapawi also explained that three other factors were determination of sports and events which did not favour Malaysia as hosts such as chess which has 24 events, boccia (seven events) and table tennis.
Apart from that, injuries and health problems involving several elite athletes such as powerlifter Mohd Shahmil Mohd Saad and the failure of athletes with gold medal prospects in several events such as five aside football and archery due to home ground pressure.
At the same time, Ahmad Shapawi stressed that the NSC with the cooperation of MPC would continue with development programme and training in several sports which failed to achieve the target such as five aside football, powerlifting and table tennis.
“However, we need allocations in the form of training facilities at state level,” he said.
In this regard, Ahmad Shapawi complemented the performance of 111 young athletes who made their debut at the APG and contributed 30 of the 90 gold medals and said this was due to the success of the continuous development programmes at state level since 2015 with the cooperation of the Association for Disabled Sports and Recreation (Pesron) .
Among them were two para cyclists, Muhammad Afiq Afify, 21, and Muhammad Adi Raimie Amizazahan, 17, who delivered 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze apart from Eddy Bernard, 16, and S. Thavanesvaran, 18, who contributed three gold medals in athletics. ― Bernama