THE sheer number of sports and medals on offer at the Philippines Sea Games on Nov 30-Dec 11 should see the national contingent exceeding the 68 gold won at the 2007 Korat edition, which remains the nation’s biggest haul outside Kuala Lumpur.
Former Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi has done the math in regard to Malaysia's chances and believes the numbers look positive.
The sports administrator, however, stressed that it will be close.
“At the Korat edition, there were 43 sports and 475 events. Malaysia were able to win 68 gold medals then,” said Kok Chi, when asked to comment on the contingent's chances of surpassing 68 gold.
“For this year, there are 56 sports and 531 events while the unofficial target set by National Sports Council (NSC) is 76 gold medals.
“The ratio of 76 (targeted medals) out of 531 is 14.31, which is the same as that of Korat (14.31).
“It will be tough but not impossible.”
NSC, who have yet to officially announce their target for the Sea Games this year, however, are expecting national athletes to return with 76 gold.
The Philippines will be hosting 56 sports which is a new record for the Sea Games.
However, only 76 events out of the 145 gold that Malaysia won at the last edition have been included this time.
The official target will only be announced by Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the contingent’s flag-handing ceremony on Nov 21.
In KL, Malaysia were crowned overall champions with a haul of 145 gold, 91 silver and 86 bronze.
A total of 779 Malaysian athletes will be competing in 52 of the 56 sports at the Sea Games this year.
In 2017, Malaysia were represented by 844 athletes in 38 sports.