PUTRAJAYA, April 11 — The medal target for the national contingent competing at the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, next month will be announced on April 30.

National Sports Council (MSN) athletes division director Jefri Ngadirin said the medal target will be announced at the flag handover ceremony of the national contingent to the SEA Games officiated by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh in Bukit Jalil.

“We (MSN) will hold a target setting workshop on Thursday (April 13) with all representatives of sports associations, head coaches and the Olympic Council of Malaysia officials to assess the athletes’ latest performance before setting the final target for the contingent.

“An athlete meeting will be held on April 28...we will hold a motivation session, team building and a safe sport briefing attended by the minister in addition to an information session including the latest developments and what is expected to happen in Cambodia,” he told reporters at the 2023 SEA Games Torch Run event in here, today.

He also admitted that it is quite difficult to set targets for the biennial sports championship since there are 18 traditional sports which are not the strength of the country’s contingent and even some sports contested in the 2021 edition in Vietnam were not listed again by the host this time.

“However, I am confident that the line-up of athletes from other sports that are usually organised at the SEA Games and continue to compete in Cambodia, will show their best performance to deliver medals for the country,” he said.

At the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, which was held in May last year after being delayed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia finished sixth overall with 39 gold, 45 silver and 90 bronze medals.

In the meantime, Jefri said the secretariat from MSN will be the first representative of the Malaysian contingent to leave for Cambodia on April 24 to inspect the final preparations of the hosts.

Regarding the welfare of the athletes, he said the MSN has a standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb the infection of the Covid-19 among the national contingent in addition to providing food packs for athletes who have food restrictions while they are there.

The 2023 SEA Games will officially open on May 5 and end on May 17. — Bernama