Setting six-gold target for Birmingham 2022 not easy way out - OCM

Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria
05/08/2022 11:38 PM

From Amiril Muttaqien Meketar

BIRMINGHAM, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria has denied taking the easy way out by setting just a six-gold target at the ongoing Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here.

He said the target was a realistic approach taken by the OCM based on the performance of the national athletes prior to competing in the quadrennial Games here.

"We (OCM) did not play it safe. Firstly, we have to have a realistic estimate so as not to put unnecessary pressure on our athletes.

"If we were to plan or measure something according to our capability, let it be something that is achievable and not ambitious, otherwise it will backfire on us,” he said at a meeting with the Malaysian media here today.

The national contingent were previously set a seven-gold target before it was reduced to six following the withdrawal of national badminton men's singles ace Lee Zii Jia and the accident involving national women's squash ace S. Sivasangari.  

He said by revising the target, it gave the national athletes the opportunity to prove that they are willing to fight to the end to ensure the Jalur Gemilang is flown majestically in Birmingham.

Mohamad Norza, who is clearly pleased with the achievement of the national contingent thus far, is also optimistic that they are on the right track to meeting the six-gold target after raking in four golds before the curtains come down on the Games on Aug 8.

He also did not rule out the possibility that Malaysia could exceed the target if the shuttlers, lawn bowlers and divers can continue to showcase their 'A’ game.

Asked about the rewards awaiting the national athletes, he said it was still too early to think about it as he wants them to focus fully on the task at hand in Birmingham.