Sunday, October 17, 2010

Athletes Must Continue New Delhi Performance In Guangzhou - Ahmad Shabery

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Bernama) -- The determination and commitment displayed by athletes at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games to win 12 gold medals must be continued at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China next month said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Ahmad Shabery who was satisfied with the performance of the Malaysian contingent said the gold medal winning performances of athletes in a variety of sports showed that Malaysia does not just depend on one or two specific sports to win medals.

"In the past we only expect gold medals in badminton, lawn bowls and weightlifting but in New Delhi, Malaysia collected gold medals in cycling, gymnastics, shooting and squash," he told Bernama here Thursday.

The Malaysian contingent produced their best ever performance in the Commonwealth Games history since competing in the 1958 edition of the Games in Cardiff, England, with 12 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze medals.

The final gold medal for the country came through the men's doubles when Koo Kien Kiat/Tan Boon Heong, the world number one pair, beat England's Nathan Roberston/Anthony Clark 21-19, 21-14.

Malaysia's previous best haul was 10 gold medals when hosting the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games while the previous best collection outside the country was in the 2002 Manchester Games with 7 gold.

Ahmad Shabery was however, unhappy with the performance of a number of sports, especially lawn bowls which failed to win even a gold medal in New Delhi.

He added that Malaysian athletes were capable of continuing their superb performance at the Asian Games from Nov 12-27, and winning nine gold medals.

Sports like badminton was using the Commonwealth Games to tune up for the Asian Games since competition would be tough with the presence of world powerhouses China, Indonesia and South Korea.

"However, I am optimistic that the Malaysian contingent can win nine gold medals. Our best performance thus far was the eight gold medals won at the 2006 Doha Asian Games in Qatar," he said.

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