The Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 is just around the corner, and with 12 days of back-to-back action, here are the Malaysian athletes to watch as they vie for gold at their respective events.
Malaysia will be sending 58 athletes to compete at the highly anticipated Commonwealth Games. After a high-octane season at Australia’s Gold Coast for the 21st edition, Team Malaysia is headed to Birmingham, England for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
From July 28 to August 8 2022, some of the biggest names across 72 Commonwealth countries will be showcasing their brawn in the West Midlands city.
To date, Malaysia has won 205 medals comprising 59 gold, 65 silver, and 81 bronze, with 2010 being the biggest haul at the 2010 Games in New Delhi. This time, the Malaysian contingent will include 107 athletes — 69 men and 38 women — after the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) confirmed the latest 12 individuals’ participation at the Games. This new addition qualifies Malaysia to compete in three more sports: judo, boxing, and triathlon.
OCM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said that the seven gold target (equal to the golds won at the previous edition) is achievable through badminton, rhythmic gymnastics, lawn bowl, weightlifting, squash, and powerlifting.
These are the Malaysian athletes to watch at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Dato’ Pandelela Rinong
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Leading the pack for Malaysia’s diving squad is the queen of diving and reigning champion herself, Dato’ Pandelela Rinong. The veteran plunger has wowed the crowds of the London Olympic Games back in 2012 when she became the first Malaysian female to win an Olympic medal for the nation.
As she focuses on defending her crown, the Malaysian diving team is looking to replicate their clean sweep of gold medals at the recent SEA Games in Hanoi.
When to catch her in action: Thursday, August 4
Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik
While Lee Zii Jia may have opted out of the Commonwealth Games (for August World Championships preparation), our two badminton aces Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik are going to be contending for badminton medals. With top shuttlers from Indonesia, China, Japan, and South Korea out of the way, it’s highly likely that our duo will be getting the podium finish.
When to catch them in action: Thursday, August 4
Bonnie Bunyau Gustin
Set to bear the flag at the glorious opening ceremony alongside squash athlete Aifa Azman, Bonnie Bunyau Gustin will be competing in the para-powerlifting event. After securing the gold at the recent Tokyo Paralympics, his eyes are definitely on the prize at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
When to catch him in action: Thursday, August 4
Nur Dhabitah Sabri
Having recently won a medal at her World Championships debut, Dhabitah is easily one of the top contenders at the diving meets. Not only did she score big on the world stage, but she also did the country proud when she scored not one, but two gold medals at the Hanoi SEA Games. She will be making appearances with Wendy Ng Yan Yee for the 3m springboard synchro event, and alongside Dato’ Pandelela for the 10m platform synchro event.
When to catch her in action: Saturday, August 6
Ooi Tze Liang
28-year-old Ooi Tze Liang also stunned the spectators at Hanoi. The diver is going to be competing in two events: the 3m springboard individual and 3m springboard synchro events. Fresh off the World Championships at Budapest, this diver is hopeful for a podium finish.
When to catch him in action: Friday, August 5
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After retaining his SEA Games title this year at Hanoi, Irfan is going to be aiming for a medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. A five-times SEA Games champ, he has been travelling across Europe, competing against top throwers ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
When to catch him in action: Tuesday, August 2
(Featured image: Aaron Chia/ Instagram; Main image: Commonwealth Games Federation)
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Malaysia