PUTRAJAYA: Following the silence by National Sports Institute (NSI) officials and chef-de-mission Huang Ying How, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today finally revealed Malaysia's target for next month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
However, Khairy chose not to be too specific about it.
He did not state a figure nor the sports or athletes likely to deliver Down Under.
Speaking after the flag handing ceremony for the national contingent in Putrajaya today, Khairy said the goal is to better the nation’s achievement in Glasgow four years ago where Malaysian athletes won a paltry six gold.
"The target from the Podium Programme is to finish among the top-10. In terms of gold medals, it has to be more than Glasgow, which is six,” said Khairy.
He made it clear that the target was for able-bodied athletes only and does not include those won by para athletes.
"Although the overall medal tally this time will include those won in para sports, our target is only for able bodied athletes,” he said,
Previously, Podium Programme director Tim Newenham and Ying How declined to reveal any medal targets, claiming they did not want to pressure the athletes.
However, this was not well accepted by the sports pundits, considering that millions have been spent on the programme, which is intended to prepare athletes for the Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games.
"Perhaps due to the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games last year, people may think we have not prepared for the Commonwealth Games,” added Khairy.
"On the contrary, the Commonwealth Games is a focus for us, even more than the Sea Games. It (Commonwealth) is among the top three competitions we focus on in addition to the Olympics and Asian Games."
A total of 178 able bodied and para athletes will be competing in Australia.