KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Malaysian athletes heading to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in July are more equipped and prepared compared to previous editions of the world’s largest sporting event, says Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

She said this was because the government stood firmly behind the country’s athletes by striving to provide all their needs through the Road To Gold (RTG) project.

“For us (government) Malaysia has invested a lot into our athletes, and I’m quite certain they also want to see success, they also want the medals, we just hope everything will proceed safely all the way to Paris, for me the most important thing is no injuries, so we wish them success.

“The government stands closely behind our athletes to make sure everything they need we have provided under the RTG project. I’m quite certain they are definitely very equipped and prepared this round compared to the last few Olympics,” she said at a press conference after a tea ceremony with three national track cyclists heading to Paris, at the residence of former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam in Bukit Tunku here, today.

At the same time, Hannah praised the country’s track cycling ecosystem which had successfully attracted the interest of the private sector to invest and jointly develop the sport.

“Ideally every sport should have this ecosystem, not just government (funding) but the private sector as well...CIMB, YSD (Yayasan Sime Darby) for years they have been doing this, and that’s why cycling can see this kind of results.

“If you are just depending on the government alone, our resources are always wide spread, (there are) so many other sports that we have to look after,” she said.

Earlier, three national track cyclists heading to the Paris Olympics were feted in a tea ceremony with Tun Musa, who is also the former chairman of YSD.

The three cyclists are 2017 world keirin champion Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, and Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri.

Also present at the informal ceremony was YSD chairman Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar who is also the former president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), national track cycling squad head coach John Beasley, and representatives from sponsors including CIMB and YSD. — Bernama