The President of the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim is equally unhappy with the gold-medal haul by Malaysia in the sport at the SEA Games.

Datuk Seri Shahidan said he had expected more from the athletes based on their current level of form. The national body had set a target of winning 10 gold medals in Cambodia.

However, the athletics squad won five gold, three silver and 12 bronzes in total this year, with two national records broken in the men’s 400m event and the men’s 4x100m relay.

“How can I be satisfied? I would be satisfied if we won 12 gold,” said Shahidan today. “If the three (silver were gold) we would have been closer to our target.”

He, however, said the performance of the younger athletes bodes well for the future.

“I am still grateful that our efforts in the short term have managed to reap positive results. The bronze medals we won prove that the decision to give younger athletes their first taste of action at the Games was correct. These (young) athletes will replace their seniors in the future,” he added.

Malaysia won five gold, three silver and eight bronze medals at the Hanoi games last year. The gold medallists are Umar Osman (men’s 400m), Shereen Samson Vallabouy (women’s 400m), Irfan Shamsuddin (men’s discus), Grace Wong (women’s hammer throw) and Andre Anura Anuar (men’s triple jump).

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