BY ERIC SAMUEL
PETALING JAYA: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have challenged the athletes for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games to surpass the record 111-gold haul 14 years ago.
OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said if the athletes could achieve the feat when they hosted the 2001 Games, then they should be able to better the haul in 2017.
“I think it’s a realistic target ... definitely realistic,” said Tunku Imran at the 2015 OCM-Sports Toto Outstanding Athletes of the Games awards ceremony on Thursday.
At this year’s Singapore SEA Games in June, Malaysia returned with a 62-gold haul.
“Many sports that we excelled in were not contested in Singapore. Judging from the performances of some of our youngsters, I am sure they are going to get better in 2017. I hope the national sports associations work hand in hand with their athletes to achieve the target.”
Sports Toto handed out RM50,000 to the successful athletes at the Singapore Games. Triple gold medallists – Ooi Tze Liang (diving), Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh (archery) and Muhd Rafiq Ismail (bowling) – were among the athletes who attended the ceremony in the OCM Sport Museum and Hall of Fame at Wisma OCM.
Tunku Imran said he hoped that Sports Toto would consider extending the incentive to medallists at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Asian Youth Games and Olympic Youth Games.