Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Games’ success huge lift for sports PRIDE OF SARAWAK

PRIDE OF SARAWAK: Malaysian diving star Pandelela Rinong proudly displaying her gold medal for the 10 metre platform event at the recent Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
KUALA LUMPUR: Success at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games provided the highlight of the Malaysian sporting calendar for 2010.
The success was the fruits of the Jaya 98 Programme initiated in view of the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Asia-Comm programme for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
In New Delhi, India, the Malaysian contingent surpassed the 10 gold medal target and came home with 12 gold medals, the highest in the history of the country’s participation in the Games.
The previous best was the 10-gold feat achieved when Malaysia hosted the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
In the New Delhi games held from Oct 3-14, badminton (4), shooting (2), weightlifting (2), track cycling (1), squash (1), diving (1) and gymnastics (1), contributed the gold medals. Barely a month after coming home from New Delhi with the 12-gold feat, the Malaysian contingent was called into action at the Guangzhou Asian Games hosted by China from Nov 12-29. Though the Malaysian contingent failed to emulate the New Delhi feat, they still managed to meet the ninegold target set for the Games, one more than the 8-gold won in Doha four years ago.
In Guangzhou, the gold medals came through squash (3), karate (2), tenpin bowling (2), cycling (1) and wushu (1).
The achievement in Guangzhou was also the best collection of medals in the history of the Asian Games.
National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong when commenting on Malaysia’s achievement in both the Games said the success was due to programmes carried out.
Zolkples said the success of SUKMA Games to unearth talented young athletes, had also contributed largely towards maintaining a large pool of athletes who become back up athletes and later replace those who retire.
In the 2009 Melaka SUKMA which was held from June 10-19, Zolkples said from the 434 gold medals offered, 279 were won by back up athletes, proving that there would not be a shortage of athletes in the country.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports had also initiated a programme in 2005 to identify raw talent among children who are under-14. The programme attracted 92,000 children who tested their ability in various sports.
“We are in the right track as far as development of athletes is concerned and I am confident we can groom them to compete at international level,” said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. — Bernama

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