Historic achievement in Chengdu proof for NSC, NSA to send only the best to Universiade

KUALA LUMPUR: The historic achievement of the Malaysian contingent in the World University Games (Universiade) in Chengdu, China will hopefully open the eyes of the National Sports Associations (NSAs) and National Sports Council (NSC) to give the country’s best athletes the permission to take part in future editions.

National contingent management chairman Datuk Dr Pekan Ramli said their success in ending the 38-year wait for Malaysia’s first gold medal was proof of the need to send only the best athletes to the Universiade.

“The Universiade is of a very high level, it’s tough to win a medal here. I hope this (winning gold in Chengdu) opens the eyes of the NSAs and NSC to allow the best of the best, not those from the second tier, to compete in future editions of the Universiade,” he said in a statement today.

The 120-strong national contingent, who left for July 28-Aug 7 Chengdu Universiade with a three-medal target, returned home with one gold, one silver and five bronze medals.

Wushu exponent Tammy Tan Hui Ling created history by winning the long-awaited gold medal since Malaysia first competed in the 1985 edition in Kobe, Japan through the women’s Qiangshu event while divers Kimberly Bong Qian Ping and Ong Ker Ying clinched the sole silver in the women’s 3m springboard synchronised event.

Wushu then contributed three bronze medals through Mandy Cebelle Chen (women’s Tajiquan), Calvin Lee Wai Leong (men’s Nangun) and Ang Qi Yue (men’s Daoshu) while badminton delivered two more bronze medals through the mixed team and men’s doubles events.

Hosts China dominated the Universiade on home soil by emerging as the overall champions by winning 103 gold medals, followed by Japan (21 gold medals) and South Korea (17 gold medals).-Bernama