MORE than 4,000 athletes from 20 institutions of higher learning have confirmed participation in the Malaysian Universities Games which begins on Monday at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang.
The Games, which runs until June 30, will feature 19 sports with the participation of a sizeable number of national and back-up athletes.
UPM was tasked by the Malaysian Universities Sports Council (Masum) to host this year's edition of the Games and as host, the university expects to come out tops in at least eight sports.
"We do not have a medal target but instead we aim to emerge champions in eight sports. We will be at full force as we are fielding all of our national athletes and with home ground advantage, we aim to do well," said organising committee chairman Prof Dr Fauzi Ramlan during a media briefing at UPM yesterday.
A total of 189 gold medals are at stake with athletics (40), swimming (38), archery (30), silat (22) and karate (19) comprising the bulk of the events.
Most of the sports will be held at UPM with the exception of swimming and squash in Bukit Jalil, women's hockey (Seremban Hockey Stadium), netball (USIM courts in Nilai), badminton (Serdang Raya hall), lawn bowls (Bukit Kiara), sepak takraw (Bangi) and bowling (Metro Point, Kajang).
Football and men's hockey are not being contested as the two sports have a regular league for universities.
"To date, we have received the confirmation of 4,477 athletes from 20 institutions of higher learning who will compete in 19 sports over two phases (June 20-25 and 26-30).
"This Games is also being used to prepare athletes for the World University Games in Shenzhen, China in August where it is the responsibility of Masum to prepare a contingent," said Dr Fauzi. -- DEVINDER SINGH
Read more: Host UPM targets eight gold http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/47devmasum/Article/#ixzz1PWRim6n2