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72 athletes from Mindef, armed forces to represent Malaysia at Sea Games

KUALA LUMPUR : Seventy two athletes from the Ministry of Defence and armed forces will be representing Malaysia at the 29th Sea Games.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the 72 athletes will be representing Malaysia in 14 sports and events at the Games, which begin on Aug 19.
"It is a huge recognition for our military and armed forces personnel to compete and represent the nation in such a prestigious event."
He said he was honoured that representatives from Mindef and the armed forces are among those entrusted with bearing the country's name by competing alongside participants from other Southeast Asian countries.
"I am confident they will do the best in representing the country. I am especially buoyed after meeting the 72 young, determined athletes; I know they will give it their very best," Hishammuddin told reporters after a brief meet-and-greet session with the athletes at the National Sports Complex, here today.
At the session, Hishammuddin presented each athlete with a special memento to inspire and motivate them.
Also present was Navy chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.
Hishammuddin said the participation of the athletes is proof that the representatives are multi-talented, transcending defence skills.
"Their selection shows they not only possess skills related to the defence and security field, but much more, to the extent that they have been selected to represent Malaysia at the games.
"Whether they win or lose is a separate story but they are here to represent Malaysia in the Sea Games, which is the region's most prestigious sporting event," he said adding that Malaysia aims to win 111 gold medals this year.
Hishammuddin said the Games is also a good opportunity to set aside differences and forge closer ties.
He added that participation in sports event such as this is another way to build bridges with Malaysia's neighbours.
Among the sports they would be competing in include cycling, hockey, cricket, shooting, table tennis, boxing, petanque, muay thai, silat, football and archery.
Hishammuddin said the participation of such athletes can also be deemed as a softer approach in strengthening military diplomacy with others in the region.
Apart from competing in the Sea Games, 184 armed forces personnel have also been selected to facilitate the Games as referees and judges.

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