KUALA LUMPUR: The Wushu Federation of Malaysia (WFM) are more than glad to accept Brunei's late request for participation in the national championships, which will be held at The Pavilion in Genting Highlands from July 2-5.
The entry of Brunei makes them the second team after Labuan to make their debut in the championships.
The WFM president, Datuk Kee Yong Wee, said in a press conference yesterday: With exponents from Labuan and Brunei in the fray we will have more than 300 participants from a total of 14 teams.
I only received the request from Brunei to participate in the championships today and I had no hesitation in accepting them.
Brunei only formed their national association a few months ago and this is good for wushu in the region. We expect keener competitions for medals.
Yesterday, the WFM received a RM50, 000 sponsorship from Guinness Malaysia for the championships.
Yong Wee added that the 17 exponents under the 2006 programme geared towards the Asian Games in Qatar would also compete in the championships but they were not eligible to win medals.
We want to unearth talent in the national championships and give the others the chance get among the medals, he said.
Yong Wee also said that their long-term objective was for Malaysia to win an Olympic medal in wushu.
We are confident that wushu will make its Olympic debut in 2008. China will be the hosts then and efforts are being made to get wushu included in the programme, he said.
Over the years, we have scored significant successes in the Asean and Asian level. It is time for us to aim higher and the ultimate prize in sports is to win in the Olympics. We want to deliver a gold for Malaysia.
He added that young exponents with potential would be roped in to join their training programme.
The championships offer 50 gold medalss and, for the first time, there will be a category for non-Chinese.
We have about 20 non-Chinese exponents and there will be special prizes for them in the various events. We want to encourage more non-Chinese to take up wushu.