I have to congratulate the Malaysian contingent for a rousing performance in the recently concluded 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou. I was initially skeptical on the team's prospects of meeting the target but I was wrong.
Nevertheless, in hindsight, the nine gold medal target was too conservative, considering the fact it was also the medal target for Doha 2006. The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for 2010 was too low in the first place.
It was reported RM144 million was spent to prepare the contingent for both New Delhi and Guangzhou assignments since 2007. Surely we cannot expect the returns on investment to be similar as to what it was in Doha.
My honest assessment?
NSC should have aimed higher...but the pressure would have been greater! Anyway since our participation in the 1958 edition in Tokyo, we have garnered 51 gold medals from 11 disciplines.
Surely the national hockey team deserved the credit. The likes of Ho Koh Chye, R Yogeswaran, Ow Soon Kooi, Poon Fook Loke, M. Mahendran, Nor Saiful Zaini, Sarjit Singh, Mohamad Abdul Hadi, Mirnawan Nawawi may have tasted Olympic action but they never went beyond the semifinals of the Asiad but Madzli Ikmar, Amin Rahim, Azlan Misron and the younger set of players did. My only complain is that, having vowed to shave their heads for entering the final, the majority of the players should have waited until the final. As I mentioned on Astro Arena's nightly analysis Arena@Guangzhou, the players entered the pitch with mixed emotions - of celebrating entering the final and having to deal with the pressure of delivering an automatic ticket to the London Olympics. Still kudos to them. S. Kumar's splendid goalkeeping co-incided with the birth of his son. Read Haresh Deol's letter to Kumar Jr here
The women's bowling team? Sepak takraw? Athletics?
Azizulhasni Awang, for making amends for his defeat in the Commonwealth Games by adopting a kamikaze approach and for being the only gold medallist from an Olympic discipline.
Two years from today, our focus will shift towards the Olympics.
Now, tell me, who would be able to deliver the medals in London? If we are lucky, Azizul could be a bright prospect. Who else? Lee Chong Wei? Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong?