KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is on track to emerge as overall winners in the 29th Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) as the national contingent has collected almost 50 per cent of the targeted 111 gold medals, says Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
In a press conference after the medal presentation ceremony for the men’s triple jump, Khairy said KL2017 had witnessed spectacular performances especially from the next generation of athletes.
“We are currently on track to obtain 111 gold medals. The spirit of the contingent is amazing and the support from the fans is spectacular. However, the games are not all about gold medals. It is about the potential and future of sports,” he said adding that attention should also be given to emerging young athletes.
Khairy also congratulated men’s triple jump gold medalist, Muhammad Hakimi Ismail, swimmer, Welson Wee Shen Sim for the men’s 200m freestyle gold and Saidatul Husniah Husniah who secured the silver in the women’s 200m race.
“It is sweet victory for Hakimi as he had just recovered from an injury. As for Saidatul, I believe she has bigger potential in the future. Congratulations,” he said.
Hakimi set a new Sea Games record and national record with 16.77m beating his own record at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games of 16.76m while Welson had splashed to a new SEA Games record in the men’s 200m freestyle in 1:47.79s.
Citing Singapore star swimmer, Joseph Schooling as an example, Khairy said that the swimmer only emerged on the international arena not long ago and managed to win the gold medal in the Rio Olympics, beating swimming legend, Michael Phelps.
“Welson has a bigger potential in future. He has a long way to go. So does our young athletes like Khairul Hafiz Jantan who is only 19,” he said.
Khairul Hafiz , dubbed as Speedy Jantan failed to win any medals in the 200m race after finishing fourth in the race behind his teammate, G. Aravin Thevar. – Bernama