Thursday, April 09, 2015

SEA Games Will Act As First Benchmark For Podium Programme - Khairy


KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) -- The performance of the national athletes at the Singapore SEA Games from June 6-16 will be the first benchmark to be included in the Podium Programme, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Podium Progamme announced on Feb 12 is a special programme to prepare national athletes for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and is a continuation of the 'Road to Rio'(Road to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics) initiative.

"The SEA Games is the best platform for the national athletes particularly the back up athletes to show their best performance at the regional level. The basic criteria is that they must be the best in the region in their respective sports.

"Those who will be included in the Podium Programme is not limited to the SEA Games only because we are placing the SEA Games as a 'Development Games'," he told reporters after launching a Web portal and booklet on the 2015 SEA Games at Dewan Perdana, National Sports Institute (NSI) here today.

The Web portal can only be accessed by the Malaysian contingent secretariat, team managers, coaches and athletes only while the booklet contains information on sports science and sports medical treatment handled by the NSI during the duration of the SEA Games.

However, Khairy stressed that success at the biennial games was final yardstick for an athlete to be included in the Podium programme.

"We have to compare the results achieved at the SEA Games with the performance at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games," he said.

He said if the time or distance recorded was not up to at least third placing at the Asian Games or Commonwealth Games, the athlete concerned could forget about being included in the Podium Programme.

"This will act as an incentive for the athletes, to be the best in the SEA Games, to break national records and be able to be at least third best in Asia," he added.

Earlier, in his speech, Khairy also warned national athletes who will be competing in the SEA Games to stay away from consuming banned substances as Malaysia had zero tolerance on doping.

-- BERNAMA

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