Tuesday, 12 August 2014 | MYT 5:33 PM
Prove your worth, Khairy tells Youth Olympians
Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin (second row sixth from right) after handing over the Jalur Gemilang to athletes who will head for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China. - Azman Ghani / The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin urged the 20 athletes for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing to prove they are worthy of their selection.
Malaysia will compete in 10 out of the 28 sports – aquatics (diving and swimming), badminton, gymnastics, golf, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing, taekwondo and equestrian.
The squad is an improvement compared to 13 athletes who took part in six sports in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore four years ago but Khairy said it will not serve a purpose if they are contented to be just part of the Olympic experience.
“You represent the best of young Malaysian athletes and some of you are probably going to compete for the country at the Olympics in the future.
“The Youth Olympics is an exposure at the highest level and you must show you are deserving of the chance.
“We have invested early to achieve sporting success and I ask for something in return. You must try to do your best although we have not set medal expectations.
“We have seen many times how our athletes do not show up when it counts. They cannot dig deep to achieve their best performance and we don’t want that to happen with athletes who will be our future hopes,” said Khairy at the flag-handing ceremony at Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
The Youth Olympics are for athletes aged 14-18 and will take place from Aug 16-28.
Diver Pandelela Rinong bagged two silver medals for Malaysia at the inaugural Games in Singapore.
The chef-de-mission is former national women’s doubles star Wong Pei Tty and the flag bearer is swimmer Lim Ching Hwang.