Shabery Cheek shoulders blame for lacklustre London show
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — The Youth and Sports Ministry will conduct a post-mortem on the performance of national athletes who competed in the London Olympics to ensure better preparations can be done to face the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, said minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said besides studying financial allocations for programmes to prepare Malaysian Olympians, the ministry also needed to look at ways to raise the bar of national athletes in competing at the world level.
“We do not want in four more years (at Rio de Janeiro), we are faced with the same situation of being disappointed in not being able to win Malaysia’s first gold medal in an Olympics,” he said.
He told this to reporters after attending a breaking of the fast event of the ministry, here yesterday, which was attended by some 1,000 guests.
Ahmad Shabery said for the ministry’s “Road to London 2012” programme, the government had allocated almost RM20 million in its efforts to secure the all elusive Olympic gold medal.
Commenting on the failure of the national badminton and cycling contingents, which were deemed as the best bets to secure gold medals at the (London) Games, Ahmad Shabery said a study needed to be done urgently to find out why they failed.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei came close to securing the country’s first Olympic gold medal but lost to Lin Dan of China by a whisker in the final of the men’s singles of the badminton competition on Monday while Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, dubbed Pocket Roketman, came in sixth place in the men’s individual keirin final on Tuesday.
Ahmad Shabery said the failure of the national athletes to secure an Olympic gold medal for the country was the responsibility of all stakeholders including himself, the national sports associations, the National Sports Council and the National Sports Institute.
“When the results are not forthcoming, I also am responsible. It’s whether an apology on my part suffices or changes must be made in the sports structure,” he said.
On Datuk Naim Mohamed’s intention to step down as deputy president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation following the cycling contingent’s failure to win any medals at the London Games, Ahmad Shabery said it was his right whether to continue in the post or not.
Malaysia’ remaining hopes of a medal in London now lie squarely on the shoulders of divers Pandelela Rinong and Traisy Vivien Tukiet who will be competing in the of the women’s individual 10m platform heats at the Aquatics Centre in London today.
Besides the duo, Heidi Gan will be in action in the women’s 10km swim marathon today. — Bernama