HANGZHOU: Based on the maths, the Malaysian contingent are giving themselves a plus after the Hangzhou Asian Games comes to a close today.
Malaysian Chef de Mission Datuk Chong Kim Fatt felt that the country's haul of six gold, eight silver and 18 bronze is an improvement on the 2018 edition, taking into consideration the number of participants and the medal to athlete ratio.
Kim Fatt pointed out that this year's Malaysian contingent of 288 athletes, who competed in 22 out of 40 sports, were much smaller than the 2018 contingent of 417 athletes who won seven gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze from 28 sports.
This time, Malaysia finished 14th overall, same as in the 2018 edition, out of 45 countries.
A total of 44 Malaysian athletes made their Asiad debuts in Hangzhou and contributed 21 medals.
Kim Fatt said: "Prior to the start of the Asian Games, the Malaysian contingent announced a target of 27 medals, regardless of colour.
"Having consulted various stakeholders including the National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute (NSI), we reckoned that this approach would reduce the pressure on the athletes to perform better.
"Having won six gold, eight silver and 18 bronze for a total of 32 medals, we have surpassed our target.
"Not only that, we can also see an improvement from the previous edition, 13 sports contributed to our final haul.
"At the 2018 Games, our medals came from 12 sports, while at the 2014 edition in Incheon, medals came from 10 sports."
Kim Fatt, who is also president of the Malaysia Wushu Federation, explained that the other yardstick used in this conclusion was the medal to athlete ratio.
Based on the total number of athletes, and the overall medal haul, this year's ratio is nine athletes to one medal.
Of the last five Asian Games, this year's ratio is the second highest after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games (11.58).
"The secretariat has taken note that this year's results at the Games are a reflection of the sporting landscape today.
"We believe that with more support, in terms of funds, material and moral support, especially from government agencies like the NSC and NSI, the Malaysian contingent will be able to perform well and stand among Asia's best.
"I want to specially congratulate athletes from sailing, squash, equestrian, karate, and athletics for really shining at this year's Games," added Kim Fatt.
Malaysian won six gold through the women's squash team (S. Sivasangari, Aifa Azman, Aira Azman and Rachel Arnold), Sivasangari (women's squash singles), Ng Eain Yow (men's squash singles), karateka Afif Afifuddin Malik (men's kumite under 84kg), sailor Nur Shazrin Latif (women's single handed dinghy ILCA 6) and equestrian rider Qabil Ambak Fathil.
Malaysia's best result at the Asiad was 13 years ago in Guangzhou with a haul of nine gold, 18 silver and 14 bronze.