The bulk of the Malaysian contingent arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday and chef-de-mission Tan Sri Abdul Halil Abdul Mutalib gave the thumbs up to the athletes for adapting quickly to the environment.
“It all went smoothly for us. Every one checked into the Village without any problems. The validation of the athletes accreditation went well too. They slept soundly,” said Abdul Halil in a telephone interview yesterday.
“They also showed good appetite and ate well at the well-managed cafeteria. They went about their businesses as far as their preparation for the Games was concerned.
“There were some teething problems like the long wait for their luggage to be cleared due to security procedures but our athletes took the well. I am pleased with the good spirit showed by all our athletes.”
India have been scrambling to restore their pride and dignity as far as being the good hosts.
There had been negative reports on the Games Village, which was deemed unfit for the athletes. And there had been complaints over sub-standard quality toilets, poor construction of the facilities and filthy conditions.
Abdul Halil hoped that the Malaysian athletes would soar high despite adversities in the Games.
“Sometimes, difficult conditions make one perform even stronger. And I hope our athletes will put aside whatever struggles outside and give their best in the competition arena. Hopefully, this will be our best outing in the Games,” said Abdul Halil.
“I will be meeting all the team managers next to ensure that all aspects of the athletes’ preparation is further looked into.”
Malaysia have set a 10 gold medal target in the Games but Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek has challenged the team to go beyond that.
Malaysia’s raked in the best medal haul of 10-14-12 at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games. In Melbourne four years ago, they returned with a tally of 7-12-10.