KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein raised concern over poor performances in taekwondo and pencak silat.
"The recently concluded SEA Games in Vietnam revealed weaknesses in a number of sports, especially taekwondo and pencak silat. I personally would like to know what happened to our athletes in taekwondo and pencak silat, not only in Vietnam but other competitions as well," he said.
"Vietnam has shown tremendous improvement. Our sports associations and athletes must learn a lesson or two from them," he said after handing out incentives to gold medal winners.
He also urged national sports associations to monitor the progress and preparations of other nations. He cited Indonesia's "Indonesia Bangkit 2005-2006" programme aimed at restoring their lost pride in the Games as a good example. The Philippines are also another contingent which showed improvement.
During the Games, 218 athletes involved in the Gemilang 2006 Project took part. From that total, 50 were from schools including those pursuing further studies at Universities and 44 from the Bukit Jalil Sports School.
He said the post-mortem conducted by the National Sports Council revealed two main factors for Malaysia's poor performances.
One was the absence of some veteran athletes from swimming, artistic gymnastics and athletics while the other reason being most of the current athletes had already passed their peak.
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