KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) will not easily recognise any category B athlete listed by sport associations to join the national contingent to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea if the athlete's performance can tarnish the image of the country.
Asian Games chef-de-mission (CDM) Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stressed that the selection of athletes, including in category B, undergo a stringent selection process to ensure there are no 'passengers' in the contingent.
"Even if they agree to pay or willing to pay, we will not necessarily give the green light and endorsement if their presence there would smear the national image.
"We don't want them to go there and get thrashed. Like boxing, if they are knocked down in the first round, it's not exposure anymore," he told reporters after chairing the Asian Games selection committee meeting here on Monday.
At the post-mortem meeting last week, OCM agreed not to list athletes in several sport events and changed the status of several sports to category B from category A, following their dismal performances at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, recently.
Following the OCM decision, several sports associations had submitted appeals to increase the number of athletes and retain their status in category A before the final date for appeal (Aug 21).
According to Danyal, among the associations which had submitted appeals included rugby and hockey which were previously in category A but downgraded to category B, plus archery and shooting.
Meanwhile, Danyal said 288 athletes and 133 officials would join the national contingent to the Asian Games this time.
He said, all athletes and officials including team managers would join the final centralised training camp from Sept 8-12 at the IOI Palm Garden Resort in Serdang and the handing over of the Jalur Gemilang would be held on Sept 11.
"This time, it is compulsory for all team managers to attend. We want to create a spirit of love for the nation. We want, upon our arrival in Incheon, to have one spirit of being Malaysians.
"The team or athletes abroad will mostly head direct to Incheon, and the first group will depart from Malaysia on Sept 12," he said.
As for the medal target, Danyal said all sport associations and athletes were given a form to fill up their target before being submitted to the selection committee to be analysed, following which an announcement on the medal target would be made.