Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (7th left) together with Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar (6th left) with Olympian holding the Olympic flag at the Olympic Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur. Pic by NSTP/OSMAN ADNAN

MALAYSIA may consider a bid for the Olympics Games in 20 years’ time if the economic and other conditions are right.

In March, Olympic Council of Malaysia president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar raised the prospect of Malaysia and Singapore co-hosting the Olympics in the future.

Though Singapore has since rejected the idea, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said staging the Olympics, the world’s biggest multi-sport event, in Malaysia could be within the realms of reality.

The International Olympic Committee is considering changes to the bidding rules in favour of the Olympics being co-hosted by two or more countries in the future, thus reducing the financial and organisational burden on a sole bidder.

“That is the possibility we can consider. Tunku has suggested that there is a chance to make a bid, if not as a sole host, then maybe as a co-host with a neighbouring country,” said Khairy at the Olympic Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“I understand that the IOC will now consider co-hosting, so we are also weighing our options but it will not happen in the near-term. If we can afford it, maybe we can consider bidding for it in 20 to 30 years and turn it into reality.”

IOC are to decide later this year the host of the 2024 Olympics between Los Angeles and Paris, with the loser likely to be awarded the 2028 edition.

That means the earliest Malaysia may consider a bid is when the process to select the host for the 2032 Olympics starts, possibly in 2025.

A bid for the Olympics will also depend significantly on the ability of Malaysian athletes to win medals.

A best-ever haul of four silver medals and one bronze at the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro indicates that the elusive gold medal may finally be won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Cyclist Azizulhasni Awang’s success in winning the keirin at the World Championships this year, the first by a Malaysian in an Olympic event, signals the gold medal drought may come to an end soon.

“Malaysia’s participation in the Olympics has been increasing in terms of the size of our contingent and the number of medals we have won,” said Khairy.

“I hope we can continue at the next edition in Tokyo and add to our medal collection while also trying to win our first gold medal.

“This can come from more than one sport. We are no longer only reliant on badminton as in the past. Now there are three or four sports with the potential to achieve the highest honour at the Olympics.”

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