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Squash and bowling among the sports 'in danger'

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 13/9/2018 Helmi Talkah

KUALA LUMPUR: Sports, which are not in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, are in danger of being dropped from the elite Podium Programme.

Sports Ministry Chief secretary Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said this could be one of the recommendations at the ongoing two-day Podium Programme post mortem involving the stakeholders.

He said the focus of the programme is to realise Malaysia's first Olympic gold medal quest in Tokyo.

There are 148 athletes under the Podium Programme, and some of the non-Olympic sports expected to be axed are squash, sepak takraw, bowling and silat.

"I believe this post mortem (after the Asian Games) will re-evaluate Podium's goals and focus on Olympic sports," said Lokman after officiating the Podium post mortem in Kuala Lumpur today.

Going by the Asian Games medal haul, only one Olympic sport managed to win gold when cyclist Azizulhasni Awang delivered in the track sprints event.

The other six gold medals were won by Malaysian athletes in squash (two gold), bowling (two gold), sepak takraw and sailing.

When asked what will happen to athletes not included in the Podium Programme, Lokman said: "We will discuss that at a later stage as we do have other programmes for them, like Kita Juara.

a man talking into a microphone: Sports Ministry Chief secretary Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said this could be one of the recommendations at the ongoing two-day Podium Programme post mortem involving the stakeholders. © Provided by Media Prima Sports Ministry Chief secretary Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said this could be one of the recommendations at the ongoing two-day Podium Programme post mortem involving the stakeholders.

"The Podium will now have a specific target of winning gold in 2020 Tokyo."

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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