31 July 2003

Manila meet to gauge Malaysian competitiveness

THE Asia Pacific Silat championships in Manila next week will give an indication on how well the Malaysian exponents will fare in the Vietnam Sea Games in December.

Malaysian Silat Association (Pesaka) will be sending 21 exponents to the second edition of the Asia Pacific championships where the association has targeted five gold medals.

Pesaka president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said that the performance of the national exponents in the Asia Pacific competition will be important as the tournament is one of the basis to name the final squad for the Sea Games.

"The squasd members will have to perform well as the results will be given due consideration in naming the Sea Games squad," said Muhammad in Kuala lumpur yesterday.

"We have targeted five gold medals and our exponents will face stiff competition from Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.

"The tournament will give us an indication of our chances in the Sea Games and the target will be based on our performance in the Asia Pacific tournament.

"The Sea Games will be tough as Vietnam were overall champions in Kuala Lumpur (in 2001) and they will be determined to dominate again." Malaysia won five gold in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games two years ago, but could face a tough time as Vietnam will be going all out to make a clean sweep of the 18 gold medals at stake.

Malaysia will also be challenged by Indonesia and Philippines who are the only teams capable of halting Vietnam's total dominance.

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