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Tuesday June 25, 2013

No plans to call off Games yet, says Zolkples

SERDANG: The health and well-being of athletes will be given top priority amidst the worsening haze conditions ahead of the 16th Malaysia Games (Sukma), which will begin on Thursday.

According to figures reported by the Department of Environment, as of 5pm yesterday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading for Kuala Lumpur stood at 189 (Batu Muda) and 168 (Cheras) – both of which are at unhealthy levels (101-200). In Putrajaya, the reading was 156.

However, National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said there were no plans to call off the Games yet.

“We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Zolkples after making a visit to the Games Village at Kolej Tun Perak, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), in Serdang yesterday.

He, however, did not rule out the possibility of postponing the outdoor events.

“We’ve seen some positive improvements with the haze. We’re hoping that the weather conditions will continue to improve so that we can proceed with the Games,” said Zolkples.

This year’s Sukma will have 3,618 athletes from 14 states competing in 20 sports.

Ten events will be held outdoors – water polo, synchronised swimming, beach soccer, cricket, equestrian (show jumping and dressage), rowing, rugby, softball and woodball.

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