With the 32nd SEA Games coming to a close, Malaysia had its worst-ever achievement in the Sea Games’ history by placing seventh and missing the 40-gold goal for the Cambodian edition in 2023. Nasir Ali, the chef de mission for Malaysia, apologized to fans on Wednesday for the delegation’s inability to achieve their goal of 40 gold medals at the SEA Games in Cambodia. Malaysia only managed to bring home 34 golds, 45 silvers and 98 bronzes.
With 136 gold, 105 silver, and 118 bronze medals, Vietnam won the overall competition. Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Singapore were the next-place finishers. In terms of rankings, it was Malaysia’s poorest finish in the 64-year history of the Games. They placed sixth in the most recent competition in Hanoi in 2022. More regrettably, Malaysia, who sent 676 athletes to Phnom Penh, came in last place, after Singapore, the Philippines, and the host nation of Cambodia. In contrast, the Singaporean contingent, with fewer athletes than Malaysia, outperformed our athletes by taking home 51 gold medals.
After careful thought and three meetings with the national sports organizations, Nasir told the press that they decided to go for 40 gold medals. Based on a variety of considerations, the aim was deemed realistic. “The target was seen as realistic based on a number of factors. We discussed the target with each association. After this, we need to go back to the associations and ask for explanation”, according to Nasir. “Many say this is our worst performance, that is their opinion,” he continued.
In Malaysian media accounts, Nasir also stated that he did not believe the insufficient time for preparation was the cause of the failure, although he acknowledged that several sports had experienced problems prior to the Games without specifying which ones.
Hannah Yeoh, the Minister for Youth and Sports in Malaysia, and Norza Zakaria, the head of the Malaysian Olympic Council, are anticipated to discuss the performance of the team.
Nonetheless, we would like to extend our best wishes to all the Malaysian athletes who gave their all striving for the country.
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