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Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said associations representing para-athletes in respective sports will decide on whether to send representatives to the Philippines or to focus on the Paralympic qualifiers. - NSTP/Rohanis Shukri.
Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said associations representing para-athletes in respective sports will decide on whether to send representatives to the Philippines or to focus on the Paralympic qualifiers. - NSTP/Rohanis Shukri.

Para-Athletes, who have a chance of winning medals at next year’s Tokyo Paralympics, may skip the Asean Para Games (APG) in the Philippines in March.

The APG was moved from Jan 18-24 to March 20-28 due to budget issues. However, the new dates for the biennial event are clashing with several Paralympic qualifying events.

Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said associations representing para-athletes in respective sports will decide on whether to send representatives to the Philippines or to focus on the Paralympic qualifiers.

“Those with chances of medals in Tokyo will focus on their qualifying campaigns. However, those with no medal chances will be sent for the APG,” said Shahriman.

With the split in priorities now, Shahriman said the medal target for the APG will likely be revised.

“Our initial contingent for APG was 369 athletes but there is a possibility that up to 30 per cent will be affected. We will finalise our contingent in March.

“We will discuss this with the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council before announcing the new medal target.”

The national contingent won a total of 90 gold, 85 silver and 83 bronze at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur APG, finishing second overall behind Indonesia.

At the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Malaysia won three gold and one bronze.

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