Thursday, September 27, 2007

More exposure for athletes at Korat

Junior cyclist Syamil Baharum poses with his incentive mock cheque. Pic: HASAN ISMAIL.
Junior cyclist Syamil Baharum poses with his incentive mock cheque. Pic: HASAN ISMAIL.

INSPIRED by the recent show of strength by athletes under development programmes, Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said wants a look at the possibility of a larger pool of such athletes being blooded at the Sea Games.

That, she said, would not be at the expense of meeting the earlier target of beating the previous haul of 61 gold medals, on top of a possible largest ever contingent for this year's Sea Games in Korat, with 659 athletes currently on the list.

The fact that young archer Wan Mohd Khalmizam Wan Abdul Aziz had last week made the cut for next year's Olympics well before he was expected to, said Azalina, proved the development athletes can already deliver.

“The challenge I threw to (National Sports Council director general) Datuk Zolkples Embong was to beat the previous haul. And he is a good manager, so he has to manage this and deliver,” said Azalina.

The Sports Minister was speaking after hosting a ‘buka puasa’ function at the Juara Stadium last night where she also launched the Youth Financial Management booklet.
At the function, junior cyclist Syamil Baharum and the victorious junior badminton team received their incentives for conquering their Asian Championships recently.

Badminton's senior doubles pair Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah also received RM5,000 incentive for their bronze medal in the World Championships, while the Women's World Bowling (Amateur) Championship winning team took home RM90,000.

The national hockey team received a RM36,000 incentive for their bronze medal feat in the Asia Cup last month.

On the Sea Games, Azalina said, the trend for the future could be to look at the biennial event as a platform solely to blood athletes under the development programmes.


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