SEA Games 2017: Malaysia targeting seven gold medals from athletics

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia aims to win seven gold medals in athletics in the upcoming 29th Sea Games.

National athletics chief coach Zainal Abas said, looking at the performance of athletes, he was confident that the contingent would be able to realise the targets set.

“The goal is a realistic one, based on the performances of our athletes now.

“At first we were aiming for five gold medals but with the current progress, I believe we can bag six to seven gold medals,” he told a press conference at the Program Kita Juara at the National Sports Council yesterday.

Meanwhile, national athletes would not be able to train early at the KL Sports City National Stadium to familiarise themselves with the the track for the upcoming Sea Games.

Zainal said the Malaysian Athletics Federation had sent a letter to the Malaysia Stadium Corporation but was told that the athletes could not train at the main stadium as it is now being used to prepare for the official opening ceremony this August 19.

“It is a bit disappointing to know that they could not train at the stadium. The preparation for the opening ceremony has begun and they have closed off the track.

“However, both indoor and outdoor tracks of the stadium are quite similar and our athletes have used them before. Even within this short time, they will be able to adapt.”

Zainal said, based on a study, the Mondo track used in the stadium could help athletes perform faster thus giving an edge to the national athletes.

Athletics events for the Sea Games will be held between August 22 to 26.