For Malaysian table tennis fans, women's doubles Ho Ying-Karen Lyne's bronze medal feat on Friday was an 'incredible' achievement. (File pix)

"WINNING", according to outgoing Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, "isn't everything in a multi-sport games... the quantity of medals (of any colour) matters more."

No doubt, everyone loves a champion.

While winning is held up as a benchmark for elite athletes, at times things can backfire for the favourites.

An athlete can have the best coaches and training facilities ahead of a competition but his performance on the day decides on whether he can win gold, silver, bronze or nothing at all.

Like Tunku Imran said: "If sports were predictable, it would be boring."

Malaysians, especially those in the sports fraternity, are hopeful that our athletes in the Commonwealth Games can achieve targets.

While it is true that achieving targets mean progress and improvement, it is not everything.

Life goes on whether you fail or win.

It is a matter of going back to the drawing board and making things better.


As the sport is traditionally dominated by paddlers from Singapore, India, Nigeria, England and Australia in the Commonwealth Games, the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) had only targeted quarter-finals in some of the events. But 16-year-old Karen Lyne and Ho Ying, despite limited funding, upset the form book to step on the podium. (File pix)

The Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast has produced great moments, performances and sportsmanship.

Many say the Commonwealth Games is losing its zest, but I have to disagree with them, as at this edition, we have witnessed great achievements by foreign and Malaysian athletes.

For Malaysian table tennis fans, women's doubles Ho Ying-Karen Lyne's bronze medal feat on Friday was an 'incredible' achievement.

It was the country's first ever individual table tennis medal at the Commonwealth Games.

I would rate this bronze more valuable than the gold medals Malaysia have won so far here.

As the sport is traditionally dominated by paddlers from Singapore, India, Nigeria, England and Australia in the Commonwealth Games, the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) had only targeted quarter-finals in some of the events. But 16-year-old Karen Lyne and Ho Ying, despite limited funding, upset the form book to step on the podium.

Even Beh Leh Wei and Ng Sock Khim, now both retired, could not achieve an individual medal in their playing days at the games.

Now, where do TTAM go from here? Table tennis is not regarded as an elite sport and it only receives limited funding.

Will the National Sports Institute include Ho Ying-Karen Lyne into their Podium Programme? I believe they deserve it.


Will the National Sports Institute include Ho Ying-Karen Lyne into their Podium Programme? (File pix)

And if we do not achieve the Commonwealth Games target, which is top 10 or six gold medals, which is very important to some, who will stand up and take responsibility?

At the end of the day, officials and coaches are not the ones in competitions, it is the athletes.

And if there are shortcomings, then the Podium Programme officials will have to relook training programmes and other aspects, and make sure the athletes are better prepared for the Indonesia Asian Games and also the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Have a great day ahead to all Malaysians. Happy Vaisakhi, Happy Tamil New Year and Happy Vishu to all Indians.

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