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 Fatin Syahirah Roszizi of Malaysia competes. Photo credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su
Fatin Syahirah Roszizi of Malaysia competes. Photo credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su

PUTRAJAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has called on Malaysians to stop hurling online abuse towards skateboarder Fatin Syahirah Roszizi on her performance at the 2018 Asian Games.

He said the criticism should be directed towards him, as the minister, and the association, who bear responsibility for choosing the 16-year-old to compete at the Games.

“I will continue to defend Fatin on her patriotic spirit for taking the challenge to represent the country at a young age,” he said when met during the National Day 2018 celebrations at Dataran Putrajaya here, today.

He was responding to the criticisms thrown at Fatin following a video clip of a poor showing of the national women’s skateboarding team becoming viral. The clip has drawn harsh comments from netizens after the team ended with the lowest score as soon as the competition started.

Syed Saddiq said the people should celebrate Fatin’s courage to compete against international champions and provide her with unwavering support.

He added that the critics should consider the association’s statement that the selection to represent the country for the event was open to all but the number who came for the try-out was small and Fatin was among the best.

Syed Saddiq said he had asked his officers to arrange a meeting with Fatin to express the ministry’s support to the athlete as she has potential.

Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq was also stated his disappointment with the attitude of some people who disputed the clothing used by national gymnast Izzah Amzan after a video of the teenage athlete performing at the Asian Games was uploaded on her Instagram recently.

Syed Saddiq said the group of critics only focused on what Izzah was wearing and not the sports itself.

“I'm disappointed with the dispute on the issue. Rhythmic gymnastics is not an easy sport and they have to go through various challenges before they can be called gymnasts,” he said.

Among the issues that become the talk of the netizens was that the 17-year-old athlete was inappropriately attired, with some suggesting for the athletes to don long pants while competing.

Aside from that, Syed Saddiq, in commenting on the possibility of changing the Malaysian contingent’s medal target, he stated that the target of seven gold medals remains although he is confident that the number could increase.

“The target is still the same but as some sports have yet to start their finals such as sailing, squash and hockey, we hope there will be a better gold collection before the curtains come down on the Games,” he said.—BERNAMA

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