Performance of the Malaysian Contingent is Past Commonwealth Games

The British Empire Games was inaugurated in 1930m in Hamilton, Canada. After the 1938 Games, no Games were held until 1950, due to the Second World War. Malaya first participated in the British Empire Games in Auckland, New Zealand is 1950, with 4 weightlifters, who in total won 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals.  Malaya did not participate in the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver, but participated in the 1958 Games held in Cardiff, which had changed its name to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The Malayan Contingent won 2 silver medals in Weightlifting.  At the next Games held in Perth in 1962, it was the Malaysian Contingent that participated and won 1 bronze medal, again in Weightlifting.  This was the last Games where Malaysia won medals in Weightlifting.

From the 1970 to the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Malaysia dominance shifted from Weightlifting to Badminton.  Except for the 1986 Commonwealth Games, which Malaysia did not participate, the Malaysian Contingent could only win medals from Badminton, although one bronze medal was won at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

The 1998 Commonwealth Games organised by Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, changed the whole medal winning pattern of the Malaysia Contingent.  From the 1998 Commonwealth Games onwards, the Malaysian Contingent began winning medals from around 8 to 10 sports, a really amazing improvement. The improvement in the number of sports is one of the lasting legacies of the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Badminton retained its hegemony in the Commonwealth Games until today. Other sports that have improved are Diving, Track Cycling, Gymnastics, Lawn Bowls, Shooting, Squash, and Table Tennis. From 1994, Weightlifting has returned to its hey-days of the 50s, winning medals in every Commonwealth Games since then.

With the Gold Coast XXI Commonwealth Games being held from 4th to 15th April 2018, the challenge is how to sustain and improve on the standards of the 8 to 10 sports at the Gold Coast 2018 and future Commonwealth Games. The Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia has established the Podium Programme, whose objectives are to improve on the performance of the 2014 Asian and Commonwealth Games and to win Malaysia’s first gold medal at Tokyo 2020.  The quiet and sudden departure of the Chief of the Podium Programme, hopefully is not a bad omen for 2018.

The main role and responsibility of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) is to work with the National Sports Association (NSAs) to select, prepare and send the Malaysian athletes and officials to multi-sports Games such as the Commonwealth Games. As such, OCM should do so in a fair and transparent manner, in the selection of the athletes, in order to motivate and facilitate them to achieve improved performance. Sports that have produced good results consistently over the years should be supported fully.  Newer sports that have a potential to achieve good results in the future should be supported as well. Whenever possible, promising, talented young athletes should be provided the opportunities to prove themselves.  This has been the policy since 1998, and the results have proven it to be correct. From a single sport medal winning pattern to a ten-sport medal winning pattern within the short period of about 10 years is indeed quite an achievement, which all Malaysians should be proud of.

The table below shows the medals (gold, silver, bronze) won by the various sports in the Commonwealth Games, since 1950.

1990 Commonwealth Games (Auckland) – 2 gold and 2 silver medals from Badminton

1986 Commonwealth Games (Edinburgh) – Did not participate.

1982 Commonwealth Games (Brisbane) – 1 gold and 1 bronze medals from Badminton

1978 Commonwealth Games (Edmonton) – 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals from Badminton

1974 British Commonwealth Games (Christchurch) – 1 gold and 3 bronze medals from Badminton

1970 British Commonwealth Games (Edinburgh) – 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals from Badminton

1966 British Empire & Commonwealth Games (Kingston) – 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal from Badminton

1962 British Empire & Commonwealth Games (Perth) – 1 bronze medal from Weightlifting

1958 British Empire & Commonwealth Games (Cardiff) – 2 silver medals from Weightlifting

1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games (Vancouver) – Did not participate.

1950 British Empire Games (Auckland) – 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals from Weightlifting

1938 British Empire Games (Sydney) – Did not participate

1934 British Empire Games (London) – Did not participate

1930 British Empire Games (Hamilton) – Did not participate

(Sieh Kok Chi)