Bernama – August: Athletics expected to dominate Malaysia’s gold medal haul

By Nurul Izzati Mansoor

SURABAYA, June 24 (Bernama) — Athletics is a potential gold mine for Malaysia at the 2024 ASEAN University Games (AUG) to be held in Surabaya and Malang, with the national team expected to win up to 15 of the 35 gold medals it is aiming for, according to Higher Education Minister Dr Pekan Ramli.

“We expect athletics to achieve great things as, according to our analysis, at least 10 gold medals are in hand. We also have Shereen (Samson Valabui) and Mohamed Azeem (Mohamed Fahmi).”

“We know the host country is quite strong in sports like silat, karate and taekwondo, but we are confident that martial arts can also contribute to a gold medal. Swimming can also be another source of gold medals,” said Pekan, assistant secretary for strategic planning at the ministry’s sports division.

Higher Education Minister Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said last Tuesday that the Malaysian delegation was targeting to bring home 35 gold medals at the biennial tournament.

Pekan told reporters today that after analysing the performances of the athletes competing in the tournament, the target of 35 gold medals is realistic.

“In the run-up to the AUG in Indonesia, the managers really analysed the performances of the players they know in Southeast Asia. They are guaranteed a target of 35 gold medals.”

“We take into account the sports in which we cannot surpass the host country, that’s why the target is 35 gold medals. But in my opinion we can exceed that target,” he said.

The target of 35 gold medals is the same as the last tournament held in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand two years ago, where Malaysia performed well, winning 49 gold, 61 silver and 42 bronze medals.

Malaysia will be represented by 382 athletes and officials competing in 18 of the 20 sports. 400m sprinter Umar Osman will hoist the Jalur Gemilang flag at tomorrow’s opening ceremony.

— Bernama

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