KBS to focus on sharpening Asiad medallists, says Sports Minister

HANGZHOU: The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), through the National Sports Council (MSN), will focus on further strengthening the performances of medallists at the Hangzhou Asian Games, following Malaysia's success in surpassing their 27-medal target.

Minister Hannah Yeoh, who congratulated the national contingent, said the ministry would conduct a comprehensive study on the achievement of all athletes competing in the Asian Games to see how they can be assisted to further improve their performances.

"This will include support like financial resources to ensure more consistent performances. We do not want them to just win once and then fail. We want them to continue to improve and excel, for example from bronze to silver, silver to gold, while defending the gold.

"The performances at these Asian Games will be studied jointly with the Nippon Sports Science University in Japan, with whom we have signed a memorandum of understanding. As at the Cambodia SEA Games last May, I will first meet with the athletes to hear what problems need to be overcome," she told reporters last night.

Earlier, Hannah met the national squash team, who excelled with a haul of three golds, one silver and one bronze.

Hannah said athletes who showed potential to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics would be evaluated for possible inclusion in the Road To Gold (RTG) programme, while overseas training would be considered for sports not in the Olympics programme.

The Malaysian contingent have collected five golds, six silvers and 17 bronzes for a total of 28 medals so far.

Meanwhile, Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Chong Kim Fatt is confident that the national contingent have the potential to win more medals before the competition concludes on Sunday.

"I am delighted and congratulate everyone for achieving their goals and dreams. This is a joint effort by all stakeholders such as athletes, sports federations, MSN, the National Sports Institute and the Malaysian Olympic Council.

"The spirit of the athletes is still burning. We will fight until the last day to win more medals for our country," he said.

Malaysia will continue their challenge in equestrian, badminton, jiu-jutsu, sepak takraw, rhythmic gymnastics and karate today. --Bernama

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