Tokyo Olympics: Zii Jia among 242 athletes, officials who completed both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, says minister

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican speaks to the media after receiving his Covid-19 vaccination at the DBKL Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur, May 4, 2021. — Bernama pic
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican speaks to the media after receiving his Covid-19 vaccination at the DBKL Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur, May 4, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — A total of 242 out of the 264 athletes and officials involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics today completed both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine jabs at the DBKL Sports Complex in Desa Tasik here.

Among the athletes who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today were All England badminton champion Lee Zii Jia, gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, recurve archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad, mixed doubles shuttler Goh Liu Ying and para athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli.

However, the remainder of the athletes and officials, who received their first dose of the vaccine jabs on April 12, such as the national divers who are competing in the ongoing FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo, will get their second shot of the vaccine upon their return home.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said all athletes competing in the Olympics (July 23-August 8), and Paralympics (August 24-September 5) and who have received their second vaccine jab would certainly be more confident about competing overseas.

He said that none of the athletes going to Tokyo 2020 would be left out from being vaccinated, so too the officials who will be accompanying them under Japan’s definition of “Essential and Operational Role”.

Meanwhile, he said track cyclists Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who are training in Melbourne, will be vaccinated as soon as they return home in June if they haven’t been inoculated in Australia by then.

“If they receive the first vaccination on June 1, the second dose will be given on June 21. That means all athletes will have been vaccinated before July,” he said when met by reporters at today’s Youth and Sports’ National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

He hoped that the national contingent would make sufficient preparation and ensure they are all mentally and physically strong so that they can do their best in Tokyo.

“What’s important for me is their ‘peaking performance management’. I don’t want them to peak too soon and then fail miserably in Tokyo.

“Anyway, all Malaysians are craving for the country’s first Olympic gold medal and this, for me, is the golden decade,” he said. — Bernama

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