Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Star : East Malaysia may not host any SEA Games event in 2017


PETALING JAYA: Sabah and Sarawak may not host any events in the 2017 SEA Games.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said that this was because it would be costly to hold some events in those two states.

“We have to look at the cost to host the Games in 2017. Ideally, the Klang Valley is the best place to be the host as sporting venues are easily accessible,” said Tunku Imran.

“If we were to have it in Sabah or Sarawak, there may be more travelling costs incurred for the visiting nations.

“But we are looking to see if KL has enough venues. Nothing is confirmed yet until the SEA Games Federation meeting in February next year.”

He said this after attending a SportExcel function at the Royal Selangor Club here. At the function, Tunku Imran, who is also the chairman of SportExcel, handed out grants worth RM59,500 to 45 junior athletes from 10 different sports.

Some of the junior athletes who received grants from SportExcel during a ceremony in Selangor on Wednesday. - ART CHEN/ The STAR

The sports are golf, bowling, cricket, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash, swimming, taekwondo and tennis.

Tunku Imran also spoke about karate’s possible inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The sport has been shortlisted by the Tokyo Olympic Committee together with baseball/softball, surfing, skateboard and sport climbing.

He urged the Malaysian Karate Federation (Makaf) to make good use of the opportunities to promote themselves.

“Of course it’s not a done deal yet for karate as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) still have to make their decision next August,” said Tunku Imran.

“But any sport that gets into the Olympics would receive tremendous interest ... just like taekwondo when it first got into the Olympics in 1988.

“It’s now up to Makaf to produce a programme for medal winners in 2020. They’ve always done well at the World Championships but winning a gold medal at the Olympics will be a lot tougher.

“It would have been great also if bowling and squash had made the list (for the Tokyo Olympics). As a former president of the World Squash Federation (1989-2002) and who first started the bid campaign, I am devastated but I’m sure the sport will get there one day.”

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