MALAYSIA GAMES: Beach soccer, muay thai and woodball to make debutBEACH soccer, muay thai and woodball will make their debuts at the alternative Malaysia Games organised by the National Sports Council (NSC) on June 28-July 7 with over 4,000 athletes set to take part in 20 sports.
The 16th edition in the series will be held at venues across the Klang Valley and will cater for sports which will not feature at the regular Games in Perlis next year.
NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said the cost of organising the 2013 Games will be kept to below RM9 million, a far cry from the RM238 million spent by Pahang for last year's edition.
"Unlike the states, we had no need to build facilities and the only venue that needed a little refurbishing was for woodball in Taman OUG.
"Nor will the opening and closing ceremonies be lavish. In fact, we will conduct the ceremonies at the NSC mini stadium," said Zolkples after launching the official Games website sukanmalaysia.nsc.gov.my/2013/ in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Eight sports -- aquatics (water polo and synchronised swimming), artistic gymnastics, fencing, judo, handball, kabbadi, silambam and table tennis -- will be held at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil while the Maba Stadium and Juara Stadium will host basketball and netball respectively.
Other venues are in Seri Kembangan (body building and muay thai), Banting (beach soccer), Shah Alam (volleyball), Puchong (futsal), Putrajaya (equestrian and rowing), Serdang (rugby sevens) and Taman OUG (woodball).
Cricket will take place at the Kinrara Oval and Selangor Turf Club while the 14 contingents will be housed at the Universiti Putra Malaysia campus in Serdang.
Although the official start of the Games is June 28, fencing begins a day earlier while the finals for basketball, beach soccer, futsal, rugby and table tennis take place on the final day.
The 13 states and Federal Territories have registered 4,605 athletes, coaches and officials for the Games and Zolkples said he expects several cases of multiple registrations.
But only Selangor and FT will compete in all 20 sports, though in softball FT have only entered the men's event.
"It is always the case when two or more contingents register the same athlete. We have disqualified athletes before for offering themselves to the highest bidder.
"But we hope to resolve the issues during the delegation registration meeting and in cases where the contingents can't agree, we will use our influence," said Zolkples.
There will be 132 gold medals at stake, an increase of three from 2011, with silambam and muay thai offering the most (nine).
Terengganu topped the medal tally at the first alternative Games in 2011 with 30 gold medals and also emerged overall champions at the last three regular Games in 2008, 2010 and 2012.