KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 – Malaysia’s target of 111 gold medals at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 (KL2017) is based on a number of factors such as the current level of performance of athletes in the sports Malaysia will be participating in, says Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. The figure is the same as the number of gold medals Malaysia obtained during the 2001 edition in Kuala Lumpur, the year Malaysia emerged as the overall champions for the first time.
“I am not concerned if the current SEA Games target and the 2001 SEA Games achievement are the same. What’s more important is that the target is realistic. I have to set the target based on the competing sports, the present batch of athletes and their performance. I think I would be a stupid minister if I had made a target based on our performance 16 years ago. So we are basing it on what’s happening today,” he told reporters after opening the Tunku Imran Stateroom at Kinrara Oval in Puchong near here, today.
Khairy earlier visited the cricket stadium with Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar and Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) president Mahinda Vallipuram. On Kinrara Oval, Khairy said the government had allocated RM1.3 million to refurbish the stadium, which has a 1,750 seating capacity for KL2017. Khairy said cricket was selected for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games because MCA and the national cricket team had shown tremendous improvements over the past few years.
“It is only fair for us to give them the stage at KL2017 for the public to see how far our cricket team has come…I am sure that having cricket at KL2017 will increase the profile of Malaysian cricket especially when we bring back some gold medals,” he said. KL2017 will be held from Aug 19 to 30 with 404 events across 38 sports. — Bernama