|THE ORIGINS OF THE ASIAN GAMES
From 1913 to 1934, ten Far East Championships were held in Asia. However, due to outbreak of World War II, the championships had to be suspended. After the war, a number of Asian countries gained their independence and their economies and cultures developed. This resulted in an increasing desire among the people of these countries to become less isolated from each other and to strengthen regional ties. To keep abreast of the changes taking place, the Indian Prime Minister of the day, Jawaharal Nehru, proposed at a conference on relations between Asian countries that an Asian sport meet be held in 1974.
In August 1948, during the 14th Olympic Games held in London, India proposed to sports leaders of the Asian teams the idea of holding the Asian Games. An agreement was made to form the Asian Athletic Federation and plans were laid to hold the first Asian Athletic Championships in New Delhi, India, in 1949 A Preparatory Committee was appointed to draft the charter for the Asian Amateur Athletic Federation. In February 1949, the Asian Amateur Athletic Federation was formally established and the name was changed to the Asian Athletic Federation.
It was agreed that the 1st Asian Games would be held in New Delhi in 1950, but the games had to be postponed and were eventually held in 1951 Since that time, the Asian Games have been held on a regular basis every four years, in between the Olympic Games.
Subsequently, other nations shared the same pride of playing host to the Asian Games. Among them are as per listed below:
The objective of the Games is to deepen friendship and promote sports and international exchange among the people of Asia. The Asian Games follow the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) credo of & quote, ever Onward & quote. During their four-decade history, Asian Games have been advancing in all aspects. The quality of athletes, officials, sporting facilities has been developing through time. New sports events have been added to the Games. At the same time, magnificent, traditional sports played by peoples in the region have also been introduced in order to preserve and even have them spread to other parts of the world.
MALAYSIAN PREVIOUS PARTICIPATION IN ASIAN GAMES
Malaysia has been participating in the Asian Games since 1958. The 3rd Asian Games held in Tokyo, Japan in 1958 was the starting point for our involvement in the Asian Games. The subsequent participation soon follow with the 4th Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 24 August to 4 September, 1962 onwards until the coming 13th Asian Games to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 6 to 20 December, 1998.
In the last Asian Games, which is 13th Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, the Olympic Council of Malaysia had send about 210 athletes and officials to take part in 18 of the 34 sports at the XIIIth Asian Games in Bangkok on December 6 – 20, 1998. Their participation is expected to cost the OCM more than RM 800,000.
Competing against Asian powerhouses China, Japan, South Korea, the Central Asian republics and the stronger Arab countries, Malaysia has set a modest target of four gold medals, the same number that we won at the last Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994.
Expectations of a better than Hiroshima performance by the Malaysians are based on the 10 gold medals that they won at the recent Commonwealth Games. All the gold medallists are going to the Asian Games.
Professor Dr Zakaria Ahmad, head of the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation, is the Chef de Mission, and Nominshah Sabirin, president of the Malaysian Netball Association, is the deputy.
The numerical composition of the 18 teams selected for the Bangkok Games are:-
Athletics (18), Badminton (19), Billiards and Snooker (11), Tenpin Bowling (16), Boxing (7), Cycling (5), Equestrian (14), Rhythmic Gymnastics (5), Hockey (20), Karate-Do (11), Sepaktakraw (18), Shooting (10), Squash (6), Swimming (4), Taekwondo (6), Weightlifting (4), Wushu (5), and Yachting (5).
The medical and secretariat staff’s, including contingent leaders, total 18.