KEDAH Weightlifting Association (KWA) vice president Zainudin Rasidi has downplayed his state's chances of topping the medal tally in the sport at this year's Malaysia Games in Pahang.
Zainudin said Kedah, who topped the weightlifting medal standings in the 2008 and 2010 editions, said KWA has set a modest target of winning 10 gold and achieving a top three finish this year.
"Although we had won 11 gold in Malacca and eight in Terengganu before that, we are only expecting to win 10 this year due to a number of factors," said Zainudin.
"It is a slightly lowered target as we have a smaller group of only 12 lifters due to unavailability and the age factor of some of our athletes.
"Although we have also been very active in development, we are expecting the competition to be very stiff as other states have also been aggressively developing their athletes and will be a lot more competitive this year."
Zainudin tipped Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and hosts Pahang to win honours and challenge for the top spot at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Convention Hall, Pekan.
"Kelantan, who finished second to us in Malacca, will be sending 21 lifters while Pahang, who will be boosted by their home crowed, will also be parading a formidable 20-man team.
"With Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu entering 17 lifters each, they will definitely have a numerical advantage."
Zainudin said his athletes, who had trained in Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur to prepare for this Games, are in peak condition and is confident they will meet their target.
"Our athletes have been in training for this Malaysia Games ever since the last edition ended. We must thank the Kedah State Sports Council for giving us the support."
The weightlifters were the biggest contributors of gold medals for their state at the last Games, helping Kedah to sixth place in the overall standings in Malacca with 39 gold, 20 silver and 31 bronze. By Fadhli Ishak