Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian paralympic athletics squad targets 40 gold medals out of 133 events to be contested in the 9th Asean Para Games which will take place here from Sept 17 to 23.
Team manager, Mohd Zarrawi Ravi Abdullah said the athletics camp, comprising 72 athletes, was prepared to rise to the challenge of the 103 gold medals target fixed for the national contingent.
He said the squad wanted to surpass the 27 gold medals won in Singapore two years ago.
“This time we are fielding 24 young athletes who are representing the nation for the first time.
They are at the best level as they have been preparing since two years ago.
“I hope the combination of experienced and new athletes can contribute towards the stipulated medal collection,” he said at the “We Are Para Champions’ media conference here, Tuesday.
Chief coach, R. Jaganathan said winning the gold medal was often stressed upon the athletics squad but he believed the pressure would boost the spirit of the paralympic athletes to achieve the target.
“Many events are combined at this edition resulting in us having to forego many gold medals but we have found athletes to accommodate the medal collection.
“Indeed, much of the challenge will come from Thailand… I am not sure about other countries because they rarely send representatives to overseas championships,” he said.
He said the Thai squad had exhibited a better improvement in performance compared to teams from other nations.
Jaganathan said he stressed more on the gold medal compared to improving records for the senior athletes but wanted the young athletes to create new records. – AFP