PUTRAJAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman wants new stars from different sports to win medals at the Olympic Games.
Three sports – badminton, diving and cycling have won medals for Malaysia in the Olympics so far but that’s not enough.
Syed Saddiq hoped other sports will step up too in their bid to end the elusive chase for a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“We cannot depend on the same athletes and sports to deliver all the time. Singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei, for example, has won silvers in three Olympics,” said Syed Saddiq.
Sports that have featured in the Olympics but failed to win medals are athletics, archery, golf, taekwondo, shooting, sailing, swimming and weightlifting.
“It’s time the others play their part and deliver too,” he said.
“We have launched the Road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics programme and have 23 months to prepare,” added Syed Saddiq, who plans to meet all sports stakeholders to find the best method of training for the athletes.
At the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Malaysia bagged four silvers and one bronze.
Badminton delivered three silvers through Chong Wei (men’s singles), Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles) and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles) while divers Cheong Jun Hoong-Pandelela Rinong bagged the women’s 10m platform synchro silver and cyclist Azizulhasni Awang won a bronze in the men’s keirin.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq added that he was surprised with national sprinter Khairul Hafiz Jantan’s decision to skip the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak from Sept 11-22 but would look into the issue. Khairul of Melaka decided to take a break and will not defend his men’s 100m and 200m gold medals.