Malaysian para athletes’ success inspires able-bodied counterparts

The Malaysian contingent’s outstanding performance at the 2023 Asean Para Games (APG) has been highlighted as a source of inspiration for able-bodied athletes, particularly in swimming and track and field. Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh emphasised that the post-mortem report on the 2023 APG by the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) will not only focus on areas of improvement but also seek to uncover the ‘secret’ behind their success, which can be shared with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to further empower able-bodied athletes.

Malaysian para athletes secured 50 gold, 38 silver, and 34 bronze medals at the 2023 APG, placing the country fourth among the 11 participating nations. The data revealed that 26 gold medals were won in swimming and 14 in athletics, suggesting that these sports are key to achieving success at the Games.

“The recipe for success is for us to get many (gold) medals in track and field and swimming,” Yeoh said at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 1. She also explained that the post-mortem report will explore how to improve or share the recipe for success with the OCM for the benefit of able-bodied athletes.

Yeoh and Prime Minister’s wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were among those celebrating the para athletes’ triumphant return from the 2023 APG with a heroes’ welcome. Going forward, Yeoh confirmed that her ministry will continue to support the MPC secretariat, while the National Sports Council (NSC) will examine the annual allocation that can be provided to help para athletes achieve even more.

The 2023 APG in Cambodia concluded with Malaysia finishing fourth in the medal table, behind champions Indonesia, Thailand (second), and Vietnam (third). The MPC had previously set a target of 33 gold, 51 silver, and 58 bronze medals, compared to the 36 gold, 20 silver, and 14 bronze medals won in the previous edition in Solo, Indonesia.

In other news, Yeoh dismissed Malaysian Canoe Association (Masca) president Datuk Michael Wong’s claim that there was government interference in deciding sports selected for the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games this September.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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