KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Sports City (formerly known as the National Sports Complex) in Bukit Jalil has received a huge thumbs-up from the country’s former sporting greats.
Eighteen former national athletes were given a tour of the newly refurbished RM298mil facilities – comprising the National Stadium, the Axiata Arena (previously known as Putra Indoor Stadium), the National Hockey Stadium and the National Aquatic Centre – by project developer Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) yesterday.
And they were impressed.
Among them was former fastest man of Asia Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan, who simply ran out of superlatives to describe the main venues that will stage the KL SEA Games from Aug 19-30.
“I think the only way to describe it would be to say it’s no less than world class,” said the 1966 Bangkok Asian Games triple gold medallist, nicknamed “the Flying Doctor”.
“It’s comparable to any other Olympic stadiums in the world. Now let’s hope the stadiums will be filled during the SEA Games.
“You can have the most beautiful stadium but it’s the crowd that will spur the athletes on.”
Former top Malaysian swimmer and Asian Games silver medallist Jeffrey Ong was delighted to be given the chance to see the newly-renovated facilities.
“With world-class facilities like these, the athletes should feel proud to wear national colours,” said the lanky Penangite.
Former Asian cycling champion Rosman Alwi was also blown away by what he saw.
“The seats look so different from when I was still an athlete. Maybe they can introduce a colour scheme which Malaysians can identify with,” said Rosman, who won two gold medals in Bangkok 1985.
“The environment is fantastic and we have the best facilities, so there’s no reason we cannot have the best results.”
The other former greats who attended yesterday’s event were Datuk Rabuan Pit, Khalid Ali, Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk Santokh Singh, Ng Kah Liew, P. Kunageswari, Zuhairi Abdul Manaf, Karu Selvaratnam, Datuk R. Yogeswaran, Aminuddin Mohd Nasir, Siti Aishah Sudin, Noraseela Khalid, Datuk Poon Fook Loke, Datuk James Selvaraj and Nor Aiah Ariffin.