Sunday, October 5, 2014

Published on 2014 Incheon Asian Games official blog on May 16, 2014: http://blog.incheon2014ag.com/malaysia-asiangames/

Malaysia is a small country that is surrounded by Thailand and Singapore in the west, Indonesia and Brunei in the east. It is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay Archipelago. Although Malaysia is steered towards the ASEAN especially with the neighboring countries, its bilateral relations with other countries across the continents are no less important too. Being one of the most significant thoroughfares in international trade, it carries about 40% of the world’s trade from the Strait of Malacca, which lies between Sumatra and Malaysia. This area plays a significant role in the global commerce scene. Some of the long established trading partners include the Republic of Korea, Japan, the European Union, the USA, and Australia.
This article is written by an official member of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games bloggers, IAG Crew. Some contents might be different from official position of the Organizing Committee. 
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Image from MOLE
Sports play a crucial role in uniting and fostering better relationships among the countries around the world. It can also act as a catalyst for state development and to create new economic opportunities. Nothing cultivates a sense of shared national identity better than the country that hosts such a large international sporting event. Despite Malaysia’s declaration of independence in 1957, its first participation in the Asian Games can be traced back to 1954 in Manila. Malaysia contested under the name of “The Federation of Malaya”, and this title existed from 1948 to 1963. It was reconstituted as “Malaysia” with the addition of Singapore, North Borneo (currently known as Sabah), and Sarawak. However Malaysia did not manage to get a hold of any medals during their first attempt.
It was one of the most glorious achievements Malaysia ever achieved in 2006, at the Doha Asian Games at Qatar, where they achieved great success. Malaysia managed to acquire 42 medals (8 gold, 17 silver, and 17 bronze) and ranked 11th among 45 participating countries.
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Malaysian Squash Squad in 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games (Image from The News)
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Malaysian Hockey Team in 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games (Image from Sulekha)
Malaysia also actively takes part in several other Asian sporting events such as the Asian Winter Games, and the Asian Youth Games in recent times. Although the country experiences summer year round and training for winter sports seems almost impossible, the country made its debut for the ice hockey category in the 2007 Changchun Asian Winter Games in China. Malaysia hosted the 2013 Asian Youth Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, an event first established in 2009 in Tokyo, Japan for young athletes with physical disabilities to partake in.
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Image from Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013 official website
In 2011, the Malaysian government has designated the year as the “Year of Sports Industry” and the Minister of Youth and Sports has stressed its importance and significance. The government began to explore the viability of hosting major global sporting events. In recent years, the country has hosted several international gatherings including the Malaysia Super Series, the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold, the Malaysia Open Tennis Games, along with many others.
The 2014 Incheon Games is rapidly approaching and as the time gets closer and closer, a shocking event has come about – Vietnam withdrew from hosting the Asian Games in 2019 in the city of Hanoi. The Olympic Council of Malaysia’s Secretary General Datuk Sieh Kok Chi then expressed that Malaysia will consider replacing Vietnam as the hosts for the 2019 Asian Games if possible. Only time will tell if this bid gets approved along with another bidding to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup as well! Malaysia is a country that continues to focus on growth in the sports sector and it will be exciting to see their performance during the 2014 Asian Games!
The official 2014 Incheon Asian Games Writer ‘IAG-Crew’ ㅣThoong Kit Yee

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