Stay positive and focused, Malaysian athletes told before Rio Olympics

File picture of the national badminton team in Kuala Lumpur International Airport May 6, 2015. Malaysian athletes heading to the Rio Olympics have been told to stay positive and focused. — Bernama pic
File picture of the national badminton team in Kuala Lumpur International Airport May 6, 2015. Malaysian athletes heading to the Rio Olympics have been told to stay positive and focused. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — The Malaysian contingent to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics has been advised to be positive and stay focused during the Games to achieve their personal best.

This advice was given by Podium Programme director Tim Newenham, who wants the national athletes to “expect the unexpected”, which can distract their performance.

“They must be prepared for every eventuality... Do not think that things will go supremely smoothly. Be prepared for anything and stay on track,” he told reporters after the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) board meeting at Wisma OCM here, today.

The sports science expert from Britain further said that besides the high level athletes, the debutants and wildcard athletes would also able to create surprises to make the podium at the Games.

“The goal for everyone would be achieving their personal best. I predict that if they can do their personal best and strange things happen, that could be good for the Malaysian team,” he said.

Meanwhile, OCM president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar confirmed that the Malaysian contingent will send a total of 32 athletes after sprinter, Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (100m) and swimmer Phee Jing En (100m breaststroke) were given wildcard tickets.

“All the athletes will meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on July 27 and the next day the official handover ceremony of Jalur Gemilang by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, would be held at Istana Negara,” he said.

Last night, four golfers, namely Danny Chia and Gavin Kyle Green from the men’s category and Kelly Tan and Michelle Koh (women’s category) earned their berths to Rio after being ranked among the top 60 players shortlisted on merit, by the International Golf Federation.

Earlier, 26 athletes had qualified on merit for the Games, namely Khairul Anuar Mohamad, Haziq Kamaruddin and Muhammad Ikram Joni (archery); Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa (cycling); Ooi Tze Liang, Cheong Jun Hoong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Pandelela Rinong, Ng Yan Yee (diving); Khairulnizam Mohd Affendy, Nur Shazrin Latiff (sailing).

The others are Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying, Tee Jing Yi, Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei (badminton);

Johnathan Wong Guanjie (shooting); Welson Sim (swimming); Nauraj Singh (athletics); Mohd Hafifi Mansor (weightlifting) and Heidi Gan in the 10km women’s swimming marathon.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics is scheduled to be held from August 5-21. — Bernama

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