KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 – The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar have been warned the state sports councils to stop pinching the national athletes who have qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Tunku Imran said some of the states want these athletes to compete in the SUKMA hosted by Sarawak from July 22 to 31, by offering them huge incentives. He said their action would affect the performance and preparation of athletes who are bound for the Olympics which is scheduled from Aug 5 to 21.
“I keep hearing they want national athletes who have qualified for the Olympics to represent their states, that’s is wrong. The Olympics is much greater than a SUKMA gold medal,” he told reporters after signing an agreement with Adecco Malaysia (Adecco Personnel Sdn Bhd) on worldwide Athletes Career Programme (ACP) at the OCM Sports Museum and Hall of Fame, here Wednesday.
Tunku Imran also hoped that athletes who have already qualified for the Olympics emulate the spirit of national badminton ace, Datuk Lee Chong Wei who is eager to deliver the country’s first ever gold in the Olympics. To date, 12 athletes have qualified for the Olympics from five sports, namely, sailing, shooting, archery, aquatics (diving and swimming) and cycling. Meanwhile, OCM will announce the sports to be included in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games by early July. Recently, the OCM had received appeals for the inclusion of 222 events and 41 for the SEA Games.