Friday, July 19, 2013

Concerted Effort Needed To Prepare Malaysia To Next Universiade

KAZAN (Russia), July 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysia failed yet again to end the gold medal drought as the 27th World University Games (Universiade) came to a close on Wednesday night.

It was also a pale shadow of their achievement at the Universiade 2011 in Shenzen, China where Malaysia reaped one silver medal and two bronzes.

Malaysia's pride was salvaged by badminton which garnered three bronzes through Iskandar Zulkarnain (individual singles), Loh Wei Sheng-Jagdish Singh (men's doubles) and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women's doubles).

The question is why badminton has to come to the rescue to deliver the elusive gold whenever Malaysia take part in international Games.

With the dismal performance, the Education Ministry has to focus on sports that could win gold medals at the next Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea in 2015, apart from badminton.

With lessons learned from the 27th Universiade, Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Dr Kassim Mohd Mansor said a roadmap to the next Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea would have to be more focused and realistic in setting the goal medal target.

"Universiade is no longer a platform for exposure as the level is high. A systematic programme should be formulated jointly by the Education Ministry, the Youth and Sports Ministry and national sports associations.

"A comprehensive plan is needed to enable us to make our mark in Gwangju in two years' time. We have to emulate South Korea and Japan by focusing more on high performance sports.

"This has enabled Japan and South Korea to produce a pool of high-calibre athletes," he said.

On the other hand, Malaysian Contingent sports coordinator Tony Azman Hassan said sports associations should realise that Universiade could prepare junior athletes to a higher level.

"A lot of things can be done, especially in shooting. Even though, the shooters did not get any medal, they have big potential," he said.

Tony Azman regretted the attitude of some sports associations for failing to understand that Universiade standards were high and could be the best platform for athletes to gain experience.

"The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have seen Universiade standards and allow junior national players to take part at the Games," he said, adding that BAM players performance at the Universiade was commendable.


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