KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need to be secretive about the medal target for the Malaysian contingent bound for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia next month.
This was the opinion voiced out by former National Sports Council (NSC) director-general, Datuk Mazlan Ahmad who feels that the medal target should be made public knowledge for the benefit of the Rakyat.
"Opinions and views that state national athletes will be burdened by the medal target is something that needs to be changed. Almost all the athletes train fulltime for years so such an excuse is irrelevant and outdated,” Mazlan explained.
He said as much when asked to comment on the national contingent’s chef-de-mission, Huang Ying How who said that the medal target for the national contingent bound for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will not be announced this time because it will bring added pressure on the athletes.
In fact the Malaysian Olympic Council (OCM) have also given the same view.
"Athletes do realise why they have been selected to represent the country, given exposure to compete and gain valuable experience, and provided with all the necessities and facilities to hone their skills and develop their talents, it is so that they can deliver medals, specifically gold for Malaysia.
"In my opinion, the medal target should be announced, such as Badminton, who have set a target of three gold medals. It is unwise for it to be kept a secret,” he said.
Mazlan also feels that the target of a top 10 finish can be easily achieved.
"From early on we should have set a target of a seventh place finish overall as it reflects what our athletes are capable of. It is also realistic as after 1998, we have achieved better finishes as a contingent even when competing overseas. It should be a benchmark.
"It is seen as more challenging because a top 10 finish is relatively easy to achieve,” said Mazlan, who also feels that national athletes can win at least 12 gold medals in Gold Coast.