Covid-19: Olympics-bound athletes to receive second dose of vaccine well before event, says NSC


ISKANDAR PUTERI: All athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics are expected to complete their second dose of Covid-19 vaccination before the event, says National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

He said all the athletes have taken their first dose and would receive their second dose on May 4.

“They will receive their vaccines before going to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 scheduled to take place in July.

“We have also conducted a weekly swab test on the athletes and advised those who are close contacts (of Covid-19 patients) to go for a screening test, ” he told reporters after the 100 Days to Tokyo Countdown/Road to Tokyo 2020 tour programme at Bangunan Dato’ Jaafar Muhammad here on Sunday (April 25).

He added that the NSC aimed to send 33 athletes to the Olympics and 35 to the Paralympic Games.

“So far, only 12 have qualified for the Olympics and 14 have qualified for the Paralympics.

“We are expecting less participation because of the ongoing pandemic that has seen some competitions being cancelled, ” he said, adding that qualifying rounds will continue until June.

Meanwhile, Johor Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the state government was planning to provide incentives to Johor athletes who qualify for the Olympics.

“They will be given an incentive of RM5,000 for qualifying, and if they manage to bring home medals, they will be awarded RM15,000 for a gold medal, RM10,000 for a silver and RM8,000 for a bronze.

“To date, three athletes from Johor have qualified, namely Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sharom (cycling), Nuraisyah Jamil (sailing) and Chew Wai Lun (boccia), ” he said.

The tour programme will start in Johor before moving to the rest of the country.

It is expected to finish at Bukit Jalil in a ceremony to hand over the Jalur Gemilang to the national contingent to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, in early July.

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