KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty Malaysian athletes will compete in the London Olympics following the addition of two wildcard entries for track and field.
High jumper Lee Hup Wei and hurdler Norsheela Khalid complete the list of participants for Malaysia, who will have representatives in nine sports – badminton, swimming, diving, cycling, fencing, archery, shooting, sailing and athletics.
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said that “although we have a smaller number in the contingent, there are more medal hopes compared to the previous Games”.
“So, I would say that we have a better quality of athletes going for the Games, with more than one sport having a medal chance. Badminton has provided the medals in the past ... this time I believe archery, diving and cycling are in the mix for a medal as well. This a good sign that we are starting to focus on medal events rather than looking at just participation in the events,” he said.
The OCM president said this after receiving sponsorships for the contingent to the Games. Among those who have come on aboard as sponsors are Sparkman Shop, Sports Toto, Coca-Cola, Dutch Lady, Maxis, Carlsberg, Mesuma, Milo, Bata, Telekom and Astro Arena.
Some of them will also be providing incentives to the athletes.
Sports Toto will award RM20,000 to the best Malaysian athlete at the Games while Coca- Cola will host the Olympian night where the best male and female performers at the Games will receive RM10,000 each.
Carlsberg will provide insurance coverage for the medallist, with a gold medal winner getting a RM150,000 coverage, RM100,000 (silver) and RM50,000 (bronze).
OCM secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi explained that there are also incentives lined up by other parties.
Meanwhile, the flag handing ceremony to the contingent will be held tomorrow with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in attendance.
The teams will start leaving for London in batches from Thursday, with the badminton team heading for Bath for a 12-day training camp before checking in at Wembley on July 24.
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