Malaysia aim for first gold in Tokyo

KUALA LUMPUR: The hunt for the country’s first Olympic gold medal will continue in Tokyo during the world’s largest sporting event scheduled for July 23 to August 8.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican today announced that the Malaysian contingent to the Tokyo Olympics has set a goal of winning three medals, including the elusive gold.

Reezal Merican has realistically said that badminton, track cycling and diving represent the country’s main hope for success in Tokyo to bring home the long-awaited Olympic gold medal.

The goal was set after taking into consideration the views of many parties and symbolized the bond between Malaysians and national athletes who compete to bring glory to the country.

“They (the athletes) don’t need the extra pressure, but they don’t want to deny (their abilities), some of them are really determined and have expressed their desire to be successful and fulfill their dream of winning a medal.” .

“When we take everything into consideration, I also cannot deny the determination of the athletes who want to be the ones who make Malaysians happy by winning the country’s first-ever gold medal,” he said at the meeting. ‘a virtual press conference today.

Reezal Merican previously chaired the National Sports Council’s online board meeting.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, no specific goal was set for the national contingent, although Malaysia managed to bring home four silver medals and only one bronze.

For these Olympics, 30 athletes will represent Malaysia in 27 events covering 10 sports.

Reezal Merican also announced a goal of three gold medals for the Malaysian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, matching their medal harvest at the 2016 Games.

“We are counting on para-athletics, weightlifting, badminton and archery to build momentum and excel in Tokyo,” he said, confirming that 22 national para-athletes have come together. qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic Games from August 24 to September 5.

Meanwhile, Reezal Merican said the decision to place a target for the national contingent at the Olympics was a way to repay the sacrifices they had made so far.

He said some athletes had met him personally and asked for the KPI to be placed for the Olympics.

“Because of their hard work, I must also honor him. The medal goal is our way of showing our confidence as Malaysians, the government’s confidence in them (the athletes), ”he added.

Reezal Merican also said the country’s spending to prepare athletes for the Olympics and Paralympics was at a rather low level, compared to other countries, although he did not reveal any other details or statistics. – BERNAMA

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