Back-up athlete 21-year-old weightlifter Zulhelmi Mohd Pisol won silver in the 56kg category.
GLASGOW: Athletes from the National Sports Council’s (NSC) back-up programme have done reasonably well at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
A total of six back-up athletes took part, with the 21-year-old Zulhelmi Mohd Pisol being the most successful one in weightlifting.
He bagged a silver medal in the 56kg category.
NSC director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong was happy to see some consistent results from the back-up athletes at the Games.
“At the last Games (in New Delhi in 2010), one of our back-up programme athletes, Zurina Khalid, won a silver medal. This year, we have Zulhelmi winning a medal,” he said.
“There were some other weightlifters who did reasonably well in their first Games.”
Zolkples was also delighted with the transition of some athletes from the back-up to the elite programme.
In shooting, Eddy Chew, Johnathan Wong, Benjamin Khor, Joseph Lee, Choo Wen Yan and Alia Sazana Azahari did well, with some of them making it to the finals. In cycling, Jupha Sompnet finished sixth in the women’s scratch race.
In squash, Ivan Yuen did well to reach the quarter-finals while divers Loh Zhiayi and Nur Dhabitah Sabri fared well.
In fact, the the 15-year-old Dhabitah won a bronze medal with Pandelela Rinong in the 10m platform synchro.
“Some of these back-up programme athletes were promoted to the elite programme two years ago and, here at the Games, they have shown maturity beyond their age and all of them scored their personal bests,” said Zolkples.
“Some of them need continuous exposure … something we are committed to giving them.
“They will be sent out for competitions. They will be our focus as we look forward to our Road to Rio programme,” added Zolkples, who is also hoping that the back-up athletes will deliver at least a medal at the Asian Games in South Korea next month.
NSC’s main priority, however, is preparing the athletes for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.