Malaysian athletes of mixed overseas descent with good performance records can be considered to represent the national contingent in the medal hunt at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Chairman of the Paris Gold 2024 program monitoring committee, Mohamad Norza Zakaria, said it was one of the topics discussed at a meeting yesterday.
“The committee is open to the possibility of identifying overseas-based athletes who have family ties and Malaysian backgrounds with a current level of performance that matches those at the world level,” he said in a statement. communicated.
For example, mixed footballers like Brendan Gan, Matthew Davies, Darren Lok and Corbin Ong have long played for Harimau Malaya while Gambia-born Mohamadou Sumareh, Brazil-born Guilherme de Paula and Kosovo-born Liridon Krasniqi, have also played for the national team as naturalized players.
Meanwhile, the committee also decided to tighten the criteria for selecting athletes for the world’s biggest sports arena, focusing specifically on the types of sports, events and athletes capable of fulfilling Malaysia’s dream of winning. an Olympic gold medal at Paris 2024.
“One of the selection criteria for the Paris Gold Program 2024 that we discussed is that they must have won a medal at Tokyo 2020 and be ranked in the top 10 in the world.
“Their achievements in winning medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asiad will also be the basis for our selection, along with a recent convincing performance,” he said.
Norza said the best support services such as coaching, training programs and exposure to world-class competition as well as science, technology and sports medicine assistance would be provided to athletes. selected for the program in their quest for the country’s first Olympic gold medal. .
The National Sports Council (NSC) has also been tasked with exploring the possibility of using technical expertise that can mobilize the best training programs and support services, including in terms of performance lifestyle, to ensure that athletes can perform to the best of their abilities. and demonstrate a high fighting spirit.
“The committee will also pay attention to the development and effectiveness of several research projects, in particular those carried out by the National Institute of Sport (INS) which aim to improve the performance of athletes within the framework of the Paris Gold 2024 program. “, he added.
He said the NSC would hold a Paris Gold 2024 program planning workshop on October 24 for associations, coaches and athlete representatives, with feedback to be presented at the second monitoring committee meeting in November.
Other committee members are NSC chief executive Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, NSI CEO Ahmad Faedzal Md Ramli and national badminton legend Lee Chong Wei, with several other members expected to be named later.