Bigger allocation needed for sports

HANGZHOU: The achievements of the country’s contingent at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which will draw down its curtain tonight, suggest that greater funding is needed to drive the country’s sports industry to another level.

Malaysian contingent Chef de Mission Datuk Chong Kim Fatts claimed financial factor plays a big role in the progress of sports as done by the great powers including overall champions China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Kim Fatt who is also the Vice President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and President of the Wushu Federation of Malaysia (WFM) said the matter had been raised with Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh ahead of the presentation of the Budget 2024.

“Indeed, we need more grants to promote sports in Malaysia,“ he said during a press conference to review the performance of the country’s contingent at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games here, today.

Kim Fatt was also satisfied with the performance of the national contingent who succeeded in surpassing the target of 27 medals after collecting 32 medals, comprising six gold, eight silver and 18 bronze.

He said Malaysia could have added more medals, including gold, if national track cycling champion Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang was also with the contingent.

However, he said due to the number of athletes totaling 288 not being as large as the contingent to Jakarta-Palembang 2018 of about 400 athletes, the ratio of athletes per medal improved with one medal for nine athletes.

Mohd Azizulhasni who was also the gold winner in the men’s individual sprint event in the 2018 edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia had to withdraw following an injury suffered during a training session at the National Velodrome in Nilai.

Meanwhile, National Sports Council (NSC) athletes division director Jefri Ngadirin said in this edition Malaysia had lost 12 medals even before the start of the games due to tenpin bowling and pencak silat not being contested, in addition to Mohd Azizul’s absence.

“But our contingent has proven that without bowling, pencak silat and Mohd Azizulhasni, they still managed to bring home a total of 32 medals including six gold, one gold less than the 2018 edition,“ he said.

Malaysia finished 14th overall and third best among Southeast Asian countries behind Thailand who won 12 golds, 14 silvers and 32 bronzes followed by Indonesia with 7-11-18.

Defending champions China maintained their dominance as the Asian Games superpower since the 1982 edition in New Delhi, India when they collected 201-111-71 followed by Japan (52-67-69) and South Korea third with 42-59-89. – Bernama