Bringing home three medals including one gold was a target placed on the national contingent at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the medal target was more focused on athletes competing in badminton, track cycling and aquatics.
He considered the target realistic after taking into account several factors including the big challenges that athletes have to face, especially when they cannot train normally and fail to gain exposure through participation in competitive tournaments to increase competitiveness.
He said, out of 89 exposure competitions approved for 2020, only 32 could be participated following the COVID-19 outbreak while only 27 competitions could be participated this year until the end of Olympic qualification in June and Paralympics, last July.
“This is not only faced by Malaysia, but also faced by the whole world. The hosts, Japan themselves decided not to set targets and focus more on health even though in the early stages they set 30 gold medals.
“Australia is taking the approach of abolishing medal targets. Neighboring countries (Singapore) also do not set medal targets even though they have former swimming gold medalist Joseph Schooling.”
“The Philippines is the only Southeast Asian country to set a medal which is two gold medals even though they have never won a gold medal.”
“So taking this arrangement, we need to moderate our expectations or backing up regarding medals. I am confident and know all Malaysians want gold medals.”
“Of these three (targeted) medals, of course one of them is the long -awaited gold glitter. I consider setting a target of three medals – one of which gold is as a bond between the people and also those who are fighting there,” he said.
Reezal said this at a virtual press conference after the National Sports Council Board of Managers Meeting, here, today.
Apart from that, he also announced a target of three gold medals for the national contingent at the Tokyo Paralympic Games which will take place at the end of next month.
“Realistically, we take the arrangement that the target set is to match the three gold medals achieved at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.”
“The backup is for athletics, powerlifting, badminton and even archery which are expected to produce excellent performance in Tokyo later,” he said.