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Monday September 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 16, 2013 MYT 11:54:43 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to develop a full range of technical expertise and have full Government backing before it can make a serious bid to host the Olympic Games, said Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary Edwin Chong.
He added Malaysia could consider itself ready to stage the Olympics, at the least, 15 years from now.
“Athletics, aquatics and football are the biggest sports at the Olympics. We have not hosted world championships in these sports before, so how are we going to be ready for the Olympics?” he asked.
“Moreover, we have not even gone through hosting an Asian Games,” he said.
Chong said aside from the infrastructure, the country must have the technical competency for the International Olympic Committee to consider Malaysia, adding that the experience of hosting a successful Commonwealth Games in 1998 was not enough.
“The Commonwealth Games consists of only 16 sports. If the Government really wants to try for the Olympics (with at least 28 sports), they must provide unconditional backing to let the respective sports associations make a bid for the world championships first.
“In Japan, the support from the public was about 40% when they first heard of the Olympic bid. The government did everything and, eventually, more than 70% were behind them when they made the final shortlist,” he said.
Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said if Brazil is struggling with delays in getting the venues ready within the deadline after Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Games, there is no reason why Kuala Lumpur cannot be considered in future.
“We can get the sports infrastructure and accommodation ready in 15 years or so,” he said.
“We don’t have any natural disasters and we can host the Olympics within the normal timeline of July to August,” Naim said, adding that Malaysia’s climate is suitable at that time as most of the sports are held indoors.
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