KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The total number of athletes representing the country at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, will be decided in March or April.
The National Sports Associations (NSA) had sent a list of 551 athletes to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), for the world’s second largest multi-sports event.
However, OCM president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar said the final number would be lesser as it was based on the athletes’ and teams’ level and preparation to rub shoulders against the continent’s best.
“These are the potential athletes and sports to compete, but the final number will be lesser, I cannot expect more than 500. The first list is to reserve place for our athletes in the games, if not they would not be able to participate. The final confirmation with the organisers is 30 days before the competition starts.
“May be some of the NSA will pull out completely or only send few of the athletes at the end, depends on which category we will categorise them. We will confirm the list earlier to give athletes and teams chance to focus on their training,” he said after chairing the OCM’s Executive Board meeting at Wisma OCM here, today.
Tunku Imran said the sports listed in A category are funded fully by the government, while the B category sports have to use own funding to compete at the Games, which is refundable if the results are good.
“So some of the sports might not send their athletes because they can spend the money better elsewhere. Even if they are able get the funding, we might not let them participate if their level is not up to the par,” he said.
Malaysia is expected to participate in 37 of 40 sports contested including football, swimming, archery, athletics, bowling, fencing, hockey, shooting, badminton, cycling and kabaddi.
Modern pentathlon, baseball, softball, jetski, wrestling, jujutsu, kurash and sambo are among the events to miss the actions of Malaysian athletes.
Malaysia’s biggest contingent to Asian Games was during the 2010 edition at Guangzhou, China with 333 athletes, to finish 10th overall with nine gold, 18 silver and 14 bronze.
Meanwhile, Tunku Imran confirmed that Malaysia would send a total of 176 athletes to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
The extra one went t weightlifter Muhammad Erry Hidayat who got the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) approval to replace Hafifi Mansor.
Hafifi, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games men’s 69kg gold medallist miss the games due the provisional suspension for a doping offence.
Meanwhile, the OCM had appointed former archer and Olympian, Cheng Chu Sian as the chef-de-mission (CDM) for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 6-18. — Bernama