YOUTH and Sports Minister YB Brig Gen Khairy Jamaluddin is pleased with the upgrading of facilities at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) to meet the demands of the 9th ASEAN Para Games Kuala Lumpur 2017.

MITEC will once again be the focus of attention, barely three weeks after the conclusion of the 29th SEA Games, in preparation for the ASEAN Para Games which will be held from Sept 17-23.

“Facilities at all seven venues in MITEC have been upgraded. I’m pleased with this development as the Games are just three days away,” said Brig Gen Khairy after an inspection tour of the venues.

“Access to the stage within the respective venues is user-friendly for all Para athletes. Even additional toilets and changing rooms have been improvised to meet the requirement of wheel chair-bound athletes,” he added.

Events held at MITEC are para powerlifting (Hall 3), chess (Hall 4), boccia (Hall 6), para table tennis (Hall 7), goalball (Hall 8), wheelchair basketball (Hall 9 and 10) and sitting volleyball (Hall 11).

The Main Press Centre is also located on the ground floor of MITEC, catering to the needs of more than 850journalists (both print and electronic media).

YB Brig Gen Khairy also concurred that Thailand and Indonesia are Malaysia’s closest rivals in the overall medal tally chase.

Both nations have set a higher target than Malaysia’s projected 103-gold medal haul. The Thai contingent, comprising of 291 athletes and 143 officials, are projecting more than Malaysia’s expectation while the Indonesians are confident of winning 107 gold medals.

“It’s going to be far more intense than the just concluded 29th SEA Games. For the ASEAN Para Games, our target is more realistic, taking into account the performance of our athletes in previous competitions.

“However, based on our projection of 103 gold medals, we may be able to finish second place. But with the momentum and spirit gained from the SEA Games, and we as the hosts, can surpass the target of 103 gold medals,” said YB Brig Gen Khairy.

At the 2015 ASEAN Para Games in Singapore, the Malaysian contingent finished third overall following a haul of 52 gold, 58 silvers and 37 bronze medals. Thailand emerged overall champions (95-76-79) and Indonesia second (81-74-63).

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