BIRMINGHAM, Aug 6 ― The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) fully supports the re-inclusion of weightlifting into the core sports programme or high performance training.

Its president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the re-inclusion of weightlifting into the core sports programme was justified as the weightlifting squad's achievement of winning two gold and one silver at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games is the starting point for the revival and glory of the sport.

He also praised the leadership of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (PABM) under its president Datuk Ayub Rahmat because weightlifting was plagued by doping issues when he took over the sport's governing body.

He said, in fact, PABM had taken a drastic decision not to send athletes to compete abroad as long as they were not clean from the issue of prohibited substances.

“After that we saw a lot of progress from weightlifting, so I fully support their hopes and aspirations to request the return of weightlifting as a core sport,” he said at a meeting with the Malaysian media, here, yesterday.

In the weightlifting competition at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham here, the squad coached by Yon Haryono won gold through Mohamad Aniq Kasdan in the 55 kilogrammes (kg) category and Muhamad Aznil Bidin (61kg) while Muhammad Erry Hidayat contributed a silver in the 73kg category.

For the record, weightlifting was among three sports dropped from the country's core sports list in addition to sepak takraw and taekwondo in 2017, following the declining performance of weightlifting and various disciplinary problems such as the failure of some of its athletes in doping tests.

For this Games, the national squad sent seven participants including two women.

The other weightlifters in the team are Mohamad Nasir Roslan (81kg), Muhammad Hafiz Shamsuddin (109kg), Elly Cascandra Engelbert (55kg) and Marceeta Marylyne Marcus (59kg). ― Bernama