Tuesday, December 23, 2014

AUG and WUG to be in calendar

THE Education Ministry is planning to have the Asean University Games (AUG) and the World University Games (WUG) added to the annual national sports calendar recognised by the National Sports Council (NSC).

This will help to improve Malaysia's performances in both the competitions.
Prof Datuk Dr Abdullah Mohamad Said, who headed the national contingent at the recent Palembang AUG, said the move would help improve planning and preparation for both competitions for all the parties involved.

Malaysia’s athletes finished third overall in Palembang with a 40 gold, 43 silver and 49 bronze haul, substantially lower than the 60 gold, 47 silver and 72 bronze in Laos in 2012 that gave Malaysia their first ever win abroad in the biennial competition.

“We understand that there is a number of parties that have vested interest when it comes to athletes," said Abdullah.
“First comes the National Sports Associations, then the NSC followed by the athletes themselves. Only then comes the universities.

“The availability of athletes for the AUG and WUG, and subsequently the performance of the contingent, depends on all these factors.

“We have decided that the best way is to have both the AUG and WUG added to the annual national sports calendar in addition to improving our working relationship with all the stakeholders.

“Preparing the athletes can also be done over a longer period than what we are able to do currently.”
Aquatics remained the biggest contributor in Palembang, supplying 14 gold, 13 silver and eight bronze but was some way off the 25 gold, 11 silver and seven bronze they won in Laos.

Athletics (seven gold), archery (four), badminton (three) and wushu (two) lived up to, or exceeded expectations. karate were the third biggest contributor with six gold but were two short of the eight gold target the ministry had set for them.

Among the less high profile sports, Jawairiah Noordin proved she is able to match her regional peers when she won Malaysia's first ever gold in women's tennis singles since the AUG started in 1981.
Fencing and table tennis also delivered surprise wins via Natasha Ezzra Abu Bakar (women's individual foil) as well as Lee Rou You and Ho Ying in the women's doubles.

The WUG will be held in Gwangju, South Korea next July while the next edition of the AUG will be hosted by Singapore in 2016.  

By Fadhli Ishak - NST

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