Brief Record of Malaysia’s Participation in Past Olympic Games since 1956

Prior to the formation of the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council in 1953 and its subsequent recognition by the IOC in 1954, some Malayans may have participated in the Olympic Games, representing their countries of origin, such as China and India. After receiving the recognition of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1954, the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council, as it was then known, sent a contingent of 33 athletes from 6 sports to participate in the Olympic Games in 1956 in Melbourne. Since then the Olympic Council of Malaysia, as it is known since 1964, has been participating in all the Olympic Games, except the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

The Olympic Contingent of the Federation of Malaya to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games comprised six athletes, two swimmers, 18 Hockey players, three Weightlifters and four shooters. There was only one female athlete in the Contingent, Ms. Annie Choong, who participated in Athletics. Amongst the Olympians were Koh Eng Tong, the 1950 British Empire Weightlifting gold medallist in the Featherweight Division and Tan Kim Bee, the silver medallist in the Light Heavyweight Division. The Hockey team finished 9th out of 12 teams. The Chef de Mission was Mr. Herman Marie de Souza (Hockey) and the Flag Bearer was Tan Eng Bee (Weightlifting).

The 1960 Rome Olympic Games Contingent, comprising nine athletes from four sports, was the smallest Malaysian Contingent to any Olympic Games to-date. The Contingent comprised three athletes, 2 swimmers, 2 shooters and 2 weightlifters. The Chef de Mission was Mr. Lim Kee Seong (Football) and the Flag Bearer was Shahrudin Mohd. Ali (Athletics).

Malaysia was formed in September 1964, with the entry of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore into the Federation of Malaya. The Malaysian Contingent to the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games included athletes from Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. The Contingent of 66 athletes is still the largest contingent, which has participated in the Olympic Games to-date. The Contingent comprised 12 athletes including one woman, 7 swimmers of which three were women, 18 Hockey players, 2 boxers, 6 weightlifters, 7 shooters, 9 cyclists, one fencer, and two each in Judo and wrestling. The Hockey team finished 9th.

M. Jegathesan, became the first Malaysian athlete to qualify for the semi-finals in his event, the 200 M. In Heat 5 of the First Round, he recorded a time of 20.9 sec., which is stands as the Malaysian record today. In the Second Round, Jegathesan recorded a time of 21.4 sec. to qualify for the semi-finals. He recorded a time of 21.2 sec. in the semi-final, and was eliminated. The Chef de Mission was Hon. Dato’ Donald Stephens and the Flag Bearer was Kuda Ditta (Athletics).

The Malaysian Contingent to the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games comprised a total of 33 athletes from four sports. There were no athletes from Singapore, as Singapore left Malaysia in 1965, to become an independent country. The breakdown by sports was 11 athletes, 18 Hockey players, two athletes each from Cycling and Weightlifting. There was no women athlete in the Contingent. The Hockey team finished 15th out of 16 teams.

M Jegathesan repeated his feat four years earlier, in Rome, by qualifying for the semi-finals of the 200 M. He clocked times of 20.9 sec. in the First Round, 21.0 sec. in the Second Round and 21.0 sec. in the semi-finals. The Chef de Mission was Hon. Khaw Kai Boh (Basketball).

The Malaysian Contingent to the 1972 Munich Olympic Games was 57 strong and is the second largest Olympic contingent to-date. For the first time in Malaysian history, Football qualified for the Olympic Games. Badminton was introduced as a demonstration sport and three players participated. Athletics sent a team of 11 athletes with two women, there were one male and one female swimmer, one shooter and four cyclists. The Hockey team finished 8th out of 12 teams. The Football Team was drawn into Group A, with the teams from West Germany, Morocco and the U.S.A. After losing to West Germany by 3 goals to nil, winning its next match against U.S.A. with a score of 3 goals to nil and finally losing to Morocco by 6 goals to nil, the team was eliminated. The Chef de Mission was Hon. Dato’ Harun Idris (Football).

The Malaysian Contingent to the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games was pretty small, 23 athletes in total. There were only three athletes, one swimmer, two shooters and one cyclists. There was no woman athlete in the Contingent. The Hockey team finished in 9th position. Athlete Ishtiaq Mubarak became only the second Malaysian athlete to qualify for the semi-finals in Athletics. In the 110 M. Hurdles, Ishtiaq recorded a time of 14.27 sec. in Heat 2 to qualify for the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, he recorded a time of 14.21 sec. and was eliminated. The Chef de Mission was H.H. Raja Azlan Shah (Hockey) and the Flag Bearer was Ishtiaq Mubarak (Athletics).

Due to unavoidable circumstances, Malaysia did not participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. However, it should be placed on record that the Football and the Hockey teams both qualified to participate in the 1980 Olympic Games.

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games saw a rather small Malaysian Contingent of only 20 athletes. The composition of the Contingent was 16 Hockey players and one athlete each from Athletics, Swimming (female), Shooting and Cycling. The Hockey team finished in 11th position out of 12 teams. The Chef de Mission was Tunku Adnan bin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin and the Flag Bearer was Sabiahmad Abd. Ahad (Shooting).

For the second time in Malaysian Olympic history, the Hockey team did not qualify for the Olympic Games. As such the Malaysian Olympic Contingent to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games was the smallest since 1960. The team comprised of two athletes (one female), two swimmers (one female), two cyclists, one shooter, and two women Table Tennis players. Badminton and Taekwondo were the two demonstration sports. Two Badminton players and four Taekwondo exponents from Malaysia participated in the above two demonstration sports. The Chef de Mission of the Contingent was HRH Prince Imran (Squash) and the Flag Bearer was Nordin Jadi (Athletics).

Badminton was officially included as a medal sport for the first time in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Expectations were very high for the Malaysian Badminton players to win the first Olympic medals for the country. This was more so, as Malaysia had four months earlier, won the Thomas Cup, the World Team Badminton Championship, after a lapse of 26 years.

The Badminton players did not disappoint their supporters and Malaysia won its first Olympic medal, a bronze medal in the Men’s Doubles event, through brothers Rasif and Jalani Sidek. With Hockey qualifying for the Olympic Games, the Contingent comprised 16 Hockey players, one athlete each from Athletics, Swimming, Shooting and Cycling and six Badminton players. Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport and two female Taekwondo exponents participated in Barcelona. The Hockey team finished in 9th position out of 12 teams. The Chef de Mission was Tan Sri Elyas Omar (Badminton) and the Flag Bearer was Rasif Sidek (Badminton).

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games saw Malaysia participating for the first time in Sailing and salom Canoeing, with one athlete each. The Contingent comprised 4 athletes, 5 swimmers (one woman), 16 Hockey players, one boxer, one shooter and 7 Badminton players (one woman player), making a total of 36 athletes. Badminton as expected won a silver medal through the Men’s Doubles pair of Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kin Hock and a bronze medal in the Men’s Singles through Rashid Sidek. The Hockey team finished in 11th position out of 12 teams. The Chef de Mission was Hon. Dato’ Dr. Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan (Badminton) and the Flag Bearer was Nor Saiful Zaini, the Captain of the Hockey Team.

Previous Olympic Games Medal Tally
Year 1956 to 1988, 2000 and 2004 Malaysian Olympic athletes did not win any medal from previous games.

XXV Olympic Games 1992 in Barcelona
– Brother Razif Sidek and Jalani Sidek won Malaysia’s first Olympic medal, when they won the bronze medal in the Men’s Badminton Doubles.

XXVI Olympic Games 1996 in Atlanta
– Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock won Malaysia’s second Olympic medal, when they won the silver medal in the Men’s Badminton Doubles event. Rashid Sidek emulated the feat of his elder brothers four years earlier when he won the bronze medal in the Men’s Badminton Singles event.

XXIX Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing
– Lee Chong Wei won Malaysia’s fourth Olympic medal, when he won the silver medal in the Men’s Badminton Singles event.

XXX Olympic Games 2012 in London
– Lee Chong Wei won Malaysia’s fifth Olympic medal, when he won the silver medal in the Men’s Badminton Singles event. Pandelela Rinong Pamg won Malaysia’s sixth Olympic medal, when she won the bronze medal in the Women’s 10m Platform diving.

XXXI Olympic Games 2016 in Rio
– Lee Chong Wei won Malaysia’s seventh Olympic medal, when he won the silver medal in the Men’s Badminton Singles event for his last appearence in Olympics.

– Pandelela Rinong and Jun Hoong won Malaysia’s eight Olympic medal, when they won the silver medal in the Women’s Synchronised 10m Platform.

– Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying delivered the ninth Olympic medal for Malaysia as they won the silver medal in the Badminton Mixed Doubles.

– Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong won Malaysia’s tenth Olympic Medal when they won the silver medal in the Men’s Badminton Doubles event.

– Azizulhasni Awang won Malaysia’s eleventh Olympic medal as he won the bronze medal for the Men’s Keirin Cycling event.