SERI KEMBANGAN, Aug 12 — High-performance athletes at the Asian Games have a heavy responsibility on their shoulder as they are the barometer of the Podium Programme of the National Sports Institute (ISN) which started in 2015.
When asked to comment whether the seven gold medal target for the event was reasonable as the Podium Programme had received a huge amount of allocation, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the target was decided by the Podium Programme, the Olympic Council of Malaysia and the Chef-de-Mission to the Asia Games.
He also gave a positive response and described the Podium Programme as very significant in producing more high-performance athletes in the future.
“But there are some things in the programme that need to be looked back on, especially in reducing expenditure and attracting more sponsorship.
“The target of seven gold medals is the minimum target. As I said before, minimum seven to 11 gold medals. There are many more that need to be fixed in the programme,” he said when met by the press during the Maju Expressway (MEX) Ride 2018 at the Seri Kembangan rest and service area here today.
He said that in general, it is a good programme but there needs to be more sponsors to reduce costs.
“This is a very important programme, we will have a comprehensive discussion on it after the Asian Games,” he said.
The podium is a special preparation programme for local elite athletes under the ISN to help them achieve great success at international sports events such as in the Commonwealth, Asia and Olympic Games. — Bernama