MALAYSIA-INDONESIA UNIVERSITY GAMES: Games meet expectations
DESPITE narrowly losing the series 3-2 this year, the Higher Education Ministry is happy with the level of performances Malaysian athletes displayed at the recently concluded Malaysia-Indonesia University Games (Sukmalindo).
Malaysian head of contingent Roestam Effendi Sijar said a number of changes made to incorporate new faces at the tournament, which was held at the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia's Gombak Campus, had returned positive results.
The ministry had intended to use the event as a warm-up for the upcoming involvement in the Asean University Games (AUG) in Laos and the Futsal World University Championships (WUC) later this year.
"As we had expected, the competition this year was quite stiff as both countries took the opportunity to test their best players," said Roestam Effendi.
"We basically fielded the core of the teams which will represent the country at the AUG and WUC but also took the opportunity to expose new players, especially in the futsal and men's volleyball events.
"Although our futsal team lost the decider, they did well against a side (Indonesia) featuring quite a number of players that played at international level for them at the 2012 AFF Futsal Championships recently.
"Newcomers in our men's volleyball team also showed great potential and put up a good fight against the Indonesians who were favourites in the event to begin with."
Malaysia won the hockey and women's volleyball while Indonesia triumphed in badminton, men's volleyball and badminton matches for a 3-2 overall victory.
Sukmalindo, an event to foster closer relationships between universities from both countries, will return to Indonesia next year and is set to be hosted in Jogjakarta, the same venue as last year.