The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) have thrown down a challenge for their athletes to return with eight gold medals from this year’s Vietnam Sea Games.
In the Philippines edition in 2019, Malaysia won five gold, nine silver and seven bronze, with Haiqal Hanafi taking the men’s 100m crown.
MAF president Datuk S.M. Muthu said the national athletes have the potential to hit between five and eight gold in Hanoi.
They are expecting gold from the men and women’s high jump, triple jump, long jump, discus throw, hammer throw and the men’s 100m.
He said the federation have drafted several plans to prepare their athletes despite the Covid-19 restrictions.
The MAF will use the Malaysian Grand Prix in April and the Malaysian Open in June as a platform to gauge their athletes before finalising a squad for the Sea Games.
“We have 122 names on our provisional list for the Sea Games. We will trim it down after gauging their performances at the Malaysian GP and the Malaysian Open,” said Muthu after the Sea Games selection committee meeting at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“I believe our athletes have the quality to go far. However, they have not been competing for a long time due to the pandemic.
“We hope the two domestic competitions will help our athletes regain their confidence and form.”
Muthu added: “We have plans to send our athletes overseas for training, but it all depends on the Covid-19 situation.
“In May, our middle-distance athletes will likely participate in a 1,500m competition in Japan.”