WITH the rise of nations who were previously not a force to be reckoned with, namely Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, the Malaysian Silat Federation (Pesaka) will not take anything for granted in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games on Sept 8-17.
Already assured of a tough challenge against the likes of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore to achieve the eight-gold medal target, the last thing Pesaka need is an upset from these countries, who in the past, were considered minnows.
After a pre-competition tournament at Pasir Gudang, Johor, venue for the KL Games, on June 5-11, there will be another tournament which will see all exponents, senior and junior, compete against one another.
The best will make the final squad.
"From the pre-competition tournament, we will be able to gauge the performance of all the exponents in the squad against the other South-East Asian countries. Besides exposing the players at the venue, it will help us select our final squad for the KL Games," said Pesaka secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omardin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"After the competition, we will have the first team, for the men and women, compete against the backup team. No preference will be shown to any exponent, only their performances will be taken into account."
The back-up team consists mainly of exponents who were selected last December, based on their performances in the World Silat championships in Jakarta last November, where Malaysia won two gold medals.
Malaysia, along with Thailand, are competing in 19 out of the 21 silat events contested in the Sea Games.
The Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand will be competing in all events.
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