The challenge to the athletes now is to raise the bar

I’m no sportswoman and I didn’t follow the recently-concluded 29th Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur except to note Malaysia’s gold tally (145)! But, I really must congratulate Team Harimau for a good showing.

With the home-ground advantage on their side, I’m sure our athletes gave their best. It was apparent Malaysia gave them all the support and encouragement they deserve and they didn’t disappoint us, except for the football match against Thailand, which we lost, but, perhaps, the Thais played better.

The Thais, it seems weren’t too happy with some aspects of the games. According to a local report, the Bangkok Post carried an article quoting officials as saying they were concerned with Malaysia’s “officiating” capabilities, giving a few examples where athletes made mistakes but were allowed to continue participating in the event and won golds.

Well, as hosts, I hope we will examine these concerns and offer the appropriate clarifications so that our guests at the games do not have doubts about our abilities.

It also hasn’t missed our notice that we seem to lead in the gold tally only on the home ground. The last time we won the Sea Games was in 2001 also when we hosted the games.

A few of our athletes have won golds at international events, which shows we can compete and win at international standards. That, now, should be the challenge to our athletes: to raise the bar so that — whether on the home ground or not — we beat other nations in the medal tally. If a few can do it, I’m sure many more can do the same.

So, I’m looking forward to the 30th Sea Games in the Philippines in 2019 to see if our athletes can measure up to international standards and give competitors a good run for the gold!

 

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