PHNOM PENH, June 9 — The Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) claimed that the spirit of teamwork, dedication and commitment was the key to the Malaysian para athletes contingent’s success of winning 50 gold medals at the 2023 Asean Para Games (APG) in Cambodia.
MPC President Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said the ‘outstanding’ achievement of the para athletes proved to the sports fans in the country that para athletes are able to hold their own to hoist the country’s flag at international competitions.
However, MPC are aware that athletes cannot rest on their laurels but instead work harder to maintain or rather improve on their performances since there is a bigger challenge awaiting the contingent soon as the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China will start in October.
“Personally, I would like to see our athletes bring honours to the country that everyone can be proud of. These (para) athletes can lift the gloom surrounding Malaysian sports and revive the country’s lost glory in sports.
“At the same time we have shown (results) that the cooperation between the MPC, National Sports Council and National Sports Associations in drafting programmes to face the competition, has produced results,” he said here today.
Megat D Shahriman also hoped the Ministry of Youth and Sports can provide a bigger allocation to carry out development programmes for para athletes.
He proposed that a special team be set up for each sport under the council to provide additional focus on athletes involved in their respective sport.
“What I have learned from the Indonesian contingent is that they have a special team for every sport. Therefore, there will be additional focus on the preparation of athletes, especially sports that are targeted to win medals.
“But at the same time, we are not going to ignore other sports. Through the achievement of the respective sports and individuals and through our observation, we will be able to determine sports or individuals who are able to deliver medals for the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, 2023 Malaysian APG contingent’s Chef-de-Mission (CDM) Noor Syahieda Mat Shah said the selection of young and experienced athletes for the Cambodian mission was a good decision.
The 144-member Malaysian contingent that competed in 13 of the 14 sports contested, managed to win 50 gold, 38 silver and 34 bronze medals to finish fourth in the list of 11 participating countries. — Bernama