Wednesday, 13 August 2014 | MYT 10:49 PM
OCM wield the axe trimming excess baggage for Asiad
The Malaysian contingent during the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has dropped six sports for the Asian Games in Incheon. - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: In a drastic move, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have dropped six sports for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Road cycling, tennis, golf, canoeing, fencing and triathlon have been axed for the Games next month (Sept 19-Oct 4).
The OCM selection committee, chaired by their president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar met on Wednesday to finalise the list and will submit it to the Games organisers today.
Tunku Imran announced that from the initial selection of 391 athletes, they have now been reduced to just 263, consisting of 166 males and 97 females.
The number of officials have also been trimmed by 26% from 139 to 102. Malaysia will now be taking part in 24 out of the 36 sports contested.
“Besides the major reduction, it has also been agreed that several team sports will be going under Category B, which means the OCM will only reimburse their expenses should they meet the target set for them,” said Tunku Imran.
“They are hockey, football, cricket, rugby, kabaddi and beach volleyball. We have set a quarter-final target for men’s football and cricket, and as for both men and women’s hockey, women’s cricket, kabaddi, rugby and beach volleyball, we expect them to reach at the least semis.
“We have also decided to downgrade the women’s badminton to Category B, with expenses for five of the 10 female shuttlers to be borne by the Badminton Association Malaysia.
“All the affected NSAs (National Sports Associations) have yet to learn of their fate as of today but when they do, we expect them to accept it.
“The outcome of the meeting with the Youth and Sports Minister a day before (Tuesday) who demanded that there shall not be anyone labelled as ‘sports tourists’ for the Asian Games, had certainly played a big part in our final decision-making today.
“And for those athletes who are going, I hope they are aware of the high expectations. They will really have to deliver, especially those under Category B. Otherwise their NSAs will have to fork out quite a massive bill on them.”
Medal hopefuls such as diving, track cycling, bowling, karate, squash, sailing and wushu were not affected by yesterday’s decision.
Road cycling was perhaps the biggest loser. But they have only themselves to blame, having failed to impress at the Myanmar SEA Games and at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Other sports affected included shooting which had their squad trimmed down to merely eight shooters. Boxing will only be represented by two competitors while gymnastics will have one each for artistic and rhythmic disciplines.