Mission chief says more funding is needed to strengthen sports in Malaysia
In yesterday’s men’s kumite 84kg and under final, karate enthusiast Arif Afifuddin Abu Malik (second from left) defeated Kazakhstan’s Daniyal Yuldashev 10-4 to win the gold medal. (Bernama photo)

Hangzhou: As the 2022 Asian Games comes to an end tonight, Malaysia’s delegation chief called for increased funding to foster the country’s progress in sports.

Malaysian executive chef Chong Kim Fatt said financial factors play a major role in the advancement of sports, as seen in the performance of Asian sporting powers including overall winners China, Japan, South Korea and India. He said he was fulfilling his role.

Mr Chong, who is vice president of the Malaysian Olympic Council, said the issue had been raised with Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh ahead of the 2024 federal budget, which will be tabled in parliament on Friday.

“Certainly, we need more subsidies to promote sports in Malaysia,” he said at a press conference summarizing Malaysia’s performance at the Hangzhou Games.

The national teams won a total of 32 medals: 6 gold, 8 silver, and 18 bronze, exceeding their goal of 27 medals.

Chong said they could have won more medals, including gold, if Malaysian track cycling champion Azizulhasni Awang had also been part of the delegation.

Azizulhasni, who won gold at the 2018 Indonesia Games, was injured during practice at the National Velodrome in Nilai and was forced to withdraw.

National Sports Council Director of Athletics Jefri Ngadirin said Malaysia lost 12 medals even before the Hangzhou Games began, as ten-pin bowling and pencak silat events were also not competed.

“However, our delegation proved that even without bowling, pencak silat and Azizulhasni, we were able to bring home a total of 32 medals, including 6 gold medals. 1 gold medal more than in the 2018 Games. There aren’t many,” he said.

Malaysia ranked 14th overall, third best among Southeast Asian countries after Thailand, which won 12 gold, 14 silver, and 32 bronze, and Indonesia with 7 wins, 11 losses, and 18 losses.

Defending champion China maintained its dominance as an Asian Games power with 201 wins, 111 wins, and 71 losses, followed by Japan (52 wins, 67 losses, and 69 draws), and third place South Korea with 42 wins, 59 losses, and 89 losses.

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