SEPANG (Sept 6): Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has announced three agendas to prepare the national contingent for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
The first is the establishment of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Evaluation and Improvement Committee to evaluate the overall implementation of the Road to Tokyo (RTT) programme, which began on Feb 4, 2019.
He said it would be led by his ministry’s secretary-general Datuk M Noor Azman Taib, and included representatives from the National Sports Council (MSN), Olympic Council of Malaysia, Paralympic Council of Malaysia, National Sports Institute (ISN), sports bodies and other stakeholders.
The second agenda is to start the Olympic and Paralympic Special Programme based on the findings of the Podium Programme Improvement Committee.
“This programme will be a focus or graduation programme to the existing Podium Programme to allow us to look at the next three cycles Olympic and Paralympic Games, namely Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032.
"This programme will be one of our road maps in the National Sports Vision (VSN) 2030 related to Sports Excellence and Talent Development. We will share more about this later," he said during a press conference in conjunction with the return of the final batch of the national contingent from Tokyo at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.
Lastly, he said he wished to see greater involvement of sports associations in terms of talent identification at all levels.
"I have instructed the NSC director-general (Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail) to look into this matter to enable sports associations to be prepared from all aspects, to ensure that our athletes are always ready," he explained.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal praised the excellent performance of the national Paralympic contingent which recorded its best achievement since beginning participation in the 1972 edition of the Games in Heidelberg.
Still, he stressed that hard work was required in finding new talent to continue the momentum, as 72% of the 22 athletes representing the country at the Tokyo Paralympics were over 25 years old.
The Malaysian contingent managed to bring home three gold and two silver medals from Tokyo, surpassing the previous best achievement of three gold and one bronze in Rio 2016.