KBS unaware Chong Wei not going to Tokyo

NILAI • The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) has not received any information on the decision by Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia’s Chef de Mission (CDM) to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, not joining the country’s contingent to the world’s biggest sporting event next month.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (picture) said that he often communicated with Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria about the developments of the national contingent ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, but was not informed of the matter.

“Usually in the matter of CDM the call is by OCM and OCM normally comes to me, but at as of now the information has not yet come. I have not yet been informed about Chong Wei’s position or if there are any possible changes that will happen.

“So I leave it entirely to OCM,” he told reporters after checking on the final preparations of the national track cycling squad to the Olympic Games at the National Velodrome, Nilai here, today.

Badminton legend Chong Wei, a three-time Olympic silver medallist in men’s singles, is reportedly not going to join the national athletes to Tokyo due to health factors.

 Meanwhile, commenting on the preparations of the national track cycling squad, Reezal said two cyclists, world champions Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Shahrom, showed high determination in their efforts to put Malaysia’s name on the world stage.

He said the duo were fully prepared, and were now at the highest level of enthusiasm to give their best performances in Tokyo.

“I am confident that with the preparation and help of coach John Beasley and his assistants, the national track cycling athletes who will represent Malaysia at the Olympics, especially in the keirin and sprint events, will give us hope,” he said.

Reezal from afar (due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements) also had the opportunity to give words of encouragement to Mohd Azizulhasni and Shah Firdaus, who are in sports bubble training at the moment.

“I said fight on, Gambate, that’s what is the famous mantra of the Japanese, so this is the spirit you need to bring to Tokyo,” Reezal said.

  Meanwhile, Mohd Azizulhasni and Shah Firdaus, each won gold medals in the sprint and keirin events at the Olympic Games simulation championship at the velodrome which ended today.

The three-day event was joined by a line-up of podium athletes and backup cyclists of the national track cycling squad who are also in the sports bubble. — Bernama