PETALING JAYA: The National Sports Council (NSC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday with the Yunnan Territories Sports Council of China to make Kunming an overseas base for Malaysian athletes.
In the MOU, Yunnan Territories Sports Council will give co-operation in terms of expertise and accommodation for Malaysian athletes.
The Chinese National Training Institute and Physical Science and Professional College are among the facilities that will be made available.
They are among the centres in the country for high performance training of Chinese athletes. Beside the Chinese, athletes from South Korea, Japan and Germany also train in Kunming. The centres are used for high-altitude training. NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong and Yunnan Territories deputy sports director Shen Junbin signed the MoU in a ceremony in Kunming.
“Training in Kunming will help improve the standard of Malaysian athletes. They will get to learn from their Chinese counterparts,” said Zolkples.
“The weather conditions are also good and the athletes can train year-round. High altitude training will also be good for our athletes.”
National athletes to be based in Kunming wil be from athletics, diving, fencing, gymnastics, swimming and wushu.
The divers and gymnasts are already training in Kunming for the past three weeks.
The divers involved are Bryan Nickson Lomas, Ahmad Fakhri, Ahmad Amsyar Azman, Mohd Fakhrul, Elizabeth Jimie, Cheong Jun Hoong, Pandalela Rinong and Gracie Junita. They have been joined by Yeoh Ken Nee, Rossharisham Roslan and Leong Mun Yee after the European legs of the World Grand Prix – in Rome (June 15-17) and Rostock (June 22-24).
The gymnasts now in Kunming are Nurul Fatiha Abdul Hamid, Nabihah Ali, Tan Kai Ling, Chan Sau Wah, Nor Hasleen Fatihin, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Tracie Ang and Noor Ili Elliana Azmi.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who attended the signing ceremony, said: “I am thankful to the Yunnan Territories Sports Council for giving Malaysian athletes the chance to undergo the same training undertaken by the Chinese athletes.
“China have a high standard in sports and it has been confirmed with them being given the rights to host the Olympic Games next year.
“I am impressed with the levels of preparation of the Chinese athletes here. I hope that with this co-operation, we can improve on the level of Malaysian athletes when we exchange knowledge and expertise with our counterparts.”