TARGET IS JUST A GUIDE
Khairy says athletes should do their best and not be burdened by expectations
DEVINDER SINGH email@example.com
AFTER setting a target of 111 gold medals for the national contingent to emerge overall Sea Games champions on Aug 19-30, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wants to do away with such benchmarks in the future.
Khairy said targeting a certain number of gold medals serves little purpose other than to fulfil the demands of the media, and by extension the public.
“What is important is that we emerge overall champions and I announced the target based on this goal,” said Khairy during a visit to the Kinrara Oval, venue for the Sea Games cricket competitions, yesterday.
“We could achieve more than the target or even less than that. It could go either way. The target is not so much for the athletes, they know what to do.
“Like I have told the athletes, don’t think too much about the colour of the medal, just go out there and do your best, respect your opponent and the gold medal will come.
“This is more for you (media), who have been asking me this for the last one month. We don’t want to announce the target but this is a practice which is so obsolete.
“In high-performance countries, they don’t announce such targets. They may announce a target for total medals but ours is third-world thinking.”
The target announced by Khairy, if achieved, would equal the country’s best-ever haul set in 2001, also in Kuala Lumpur.
But Khairy said the figure of 111 gold medals is a coincidence and has no relation to the 2001 haul.
“We can’t make such comparisons because the sports being contested now and the situation now is different to 2001,” said Khairy.
“The athletes now are also different. The target we set now is not based on what we achieved in 2001. This target is based on the performances of our athletes now.
“I think I’d be a stupid minister if we set a target based on what happened 16 years ago. In any case, the target set in 2001 was 80-something but we won 111 gold.”