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 Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) President Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria (middle) with deputy president Datuk Seri Azim Zabidi (left) and secretary general Datuk Mohd Nafizuddin Mohd Najib (right) during the 192nd OCM Executive Council Meeting at OCM Indoor Sports Complex on March 7. - BERNAMA pic
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) President Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria (middle) with deputy president Datuk Seri Azim Zabidi (left) and secretary general Datuk Mohd Nafizuddin Mohd Najib (right) during the 192nd OCM Executive Council Meeting at OCM Indoor Sports Complex on March 7. - BERNAMA pic

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) have both expressed full support for the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee decided on Wednesday to delay the Olympic and Paralympic Games by a year.

OCM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakari said: “We are glad that this decision (to postpone the Games) is taken now, rather than later.

“Our major concern is the safety and wellbeing of the athletes, and we empathise with those athletes who have qualified for Tokyo 2020,” said Norza in a statement.

“What is happening today is totally unprecedented. Our priority, as a sports community, is to support our government in its effort to eliminate the threat of Covid-19.

“We will be considering the implications (of the Olympic postponement) for our athletes over the coming days in consultation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the respective National Sports Associations.”

MPC president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin urged his athletes to continue training hard for the Paralympic Games, expected to be held in July next year.

“Postponing the Tokyo Paralympics due to the Covid-19 pandemic is the right move by IPC president Andrew Parsons, IOC and the Japan Government,” said Shahriman in a statement yesterday.

“We, at MPC, agree with the IPC that the safety of athletes and officials must be prioritised. We also believe that it is not right to continue with the biggest sporting event when the world is in crisis.

“MPC would like to remind national athletes who have already qualified or are still in the hunt for qualification to the Tokyo Paralympics that despite the difficult challenges that we face, our dreams are not over.

“MPC remain confident that the games will be held in all its glory, and we must strive to use this available time to improve our performances.”

Covid-19

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