KUALA LUMPUR: It is high time taekwondo rises to the fore as a medal prospect at the international level, possibly even at the Olympics, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
As one of the 19 core sports in the country, much is expected of taekwondo.
Speaking at the launch of the TM-NSC-Milo National Inter Club Championships 2013, Khairy said the task has been made easier with the introduction of the new scoring system – the PSS (Protector and Scoring System), and that Malaysia should take full advantage of it.
“We have high hopes for taekwondo. And now with the introduction of the new PSS system, scoring during international meets has been made that much more competitive, fair and transparent. I believe Malaysia stand a better chance of performing well at the international level and competitions won’t be monopolised by one particular country. I think we should take full advantage of this,” said Khairy at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.
Taekwondo has been in the doldrums in recent years.
Malaysia’s biggest export from the sport has been two-time Olympian and three-time SEA Games gold medallist Elaine Teo. However, her career came to a premature end at the age of 30 when she suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in early 2012 and there has been no credible successor since then.
At the last SEA Games in Indonesia in 2011, Malaysia returned home without a gold medal for the first time in a long time.
But Khairy has not given up hope. He does not discount the possibility of taekwondo winning an Olympic gold medal in the future.
“I know they’ve hit a couple of snags in the past few years but it’s all good now and I hope we can concentrate on getting back on track with the development aspect. It has to be a co-ordinated effort and we need to try and bring in clubs that are currently not with TM (Taekwondo Malaysia). That will indeed take time, but once we’re able to get that done, we can put in more investment,” he added.
“This is true not just for taekwondo, but for all sports. I don’t want the same thing to happen to badminton after (Lee) Chong Wei and the same to happen to squash after Nicol (David). The sports associations must seriously look into their development programmes ... I cannot stress that enough.”