KUALA LUMPUR: National athletes will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Bukit Jalil as they are not allowed to go out from the training premises.
But they are not making a hue and cry as they know these are the sacrifices that they have to make amid the Covid-19 pandemic in order to be focused on their preparation for the upcoming multisport Games – the Tokyo Olympics and Hanoi SEA Games.
Some of the athletes, who will be home-based in Bukit Jalil, include Olympians Nur Dhabitah Sabri (diver), Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (artistic gymnast) and Khairul Anuar Mohamad (archer).
National Sports Council (NSC) Athletes Division director Jefri Ngadirin said with the Olympics and SEA Games just months away, the athletes will only be celebrating Syawal on a small scale at their respective training centres.
“Our plan is to have moderate celebrations involving athletes and coaches staying in the camp. But it all depends on the Covid-19 situation then, ” said Jefri.
The athletes have returned to quarantine-based training at the NSC facilities in Bukit Jalil and a few other places, including the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM), due to the fresh movement control order announced by the government.
Jefri said the NSC had no choice but to opt for quarantine-based training after taking into consideration the MCO and the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.
“Of course, the NSC are worried about possible disruptions to training and competitions due to Covid-19. That’s why we decided to have a quarantine-based training camp, ” he said.
“All athletes and coaches under the NSC programme have been advised to always abide by the set standard operating procedure (SOP).”
He added that all the athletes and coaches had undergone the RTK Antigen test three weeks ago and would go through another test soon.
It has been reported that 11 sepak takraw athletes and coaches tested positive for Covid-19 after attending an Iftar event organised by the Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia recently.
Earlier, 15 players had been infected at ABM since April 17, while there are cases among the bowlers too in the national bowling camp. — Bernama