KUALA LUMPUR: The Youth and Sports Ministry has identified 2,000 disabled athletes who have the potential of doing well in the ninth Far East and South Pacific (Fespic) paralympic meet to be held here in 2006.
Its minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said these athletes would be roped in via state sports and recreation councils and trained for the meet.
We realise that we have world-class disabled athletes and given the right motivation and training they can be moulded to the highest level, he said after handing over incentives to disabled athletes who excelled in the eighth Fespic 2002 meet in Busan, South Korea, here on Thursday.
The ministry distributed RM2.06mil to 64 disabled athletes as incentive payments in line with the rewards given to their counterparts in the normal category.
Hishammuddin said the incentive was a token of appreciation for the team for collecting two gold, 28 silver and 37 bronze medals, giving Malaysia 14th placing among 43 participating countries in the meet.
The athletes were given RM80,000 for gold, and RM40,000 for silver and RM20,000 for bronze.
He said this was the first time the Government had given out the same incentives as that for normal athletes.
Athlete Donny Jerading led the list of athletes with RM180,000 followed by swimmer David Wangyu Kulek with RM175,000 and athletes Loh Peng Sin with RM100,000.
Jerading won gold in 200m, two silver medals in long jump and triple jump, and bronze for 400m. Wangyu collected gold in 100m butterfly, two silver medals in 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley and bronzes in 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 4x100m freestyle.
Loh Peng Sin won two silvers in 100m and 200m and one bronze in long jump.
The 67 medals were won in athletics, swimming, boccia, badminton, powerlifting, tennis on wheelchairs, football and archery.
A total of 246 disabled athletes took part in the meet.
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