Youth Olympics, Athletes Must Record Personal Bests - Khairy

Last update: 12/08/2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- Although the Youth and Sports Ministry has not set any medal target for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, it is hoped that the athletes will record personal bests.

Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said the championship, in Nanjing, China was a platform for exposure for national back-up athletes.

"No targets have been set this time because the level of competition is high and we don't know the achievements of the athletes from the other countries.

"However, I believe several athletes have the potential to go on the podium to receive medals this time," the minister said after the handing over of the national flag to the contingent for the Asian Games at the National Sports Institute in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday.

National back-up swimmer Lim Ching Hwang was picked to represent the national contingent as the bearer of the national flag at the Games which will be held from Aug 16-28.

Malaysia will be taking part in 10 of the 28 sports contested, namely, aquatics (swimming and diving), badminton, gymnastics (artistic and rythmic) golf, archery, shooting, athletics, sailing, taekwondo and equestrian.

"Twenty back-up athletes were picked to represent the country at the Asian Games. They were selected based on their achievements at qualifying championships they took part prior to this.

"They are among the athletes who have hopes of exhibiting excellent performances for the national contingent. I hope they will show their actual strength," he said.

Khairy believed back-up athletes must be given exposure at a young age in line with the aspiration to turn out future national champions.

At the same time, he urged the athletes not to feel inferior and not on par with athletes from other countries when at the championship.

For the record, Malaysia sent 13 athletes in six types of sports at the last edition in Singapore four years ago and reaped two silver medals via national diving queen, Pandalela Rinong.