Olympic sports are top priority, says Podium head


SEPANG: The National Sports Institute (NSI) will make sure Olympic sports remain a priority even though they fared poorly at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Podium Programme head Dr P. Vella Pandian said their failures should be addressed to make sure they deliver Malaysia's first Olympic gold.

"Even though the Olympic sports did not shine in Jakarta, for example badminton, we can't give up because badminton has always delivered at the highest level like at the 2016 Rio Olympics (won three silver medals).

"On our part, we will not wash our hands on badminton but give them more care and we will hold a discussion with the relevant bodies to chart the next course of action," he said.

Vella also said other Olympic sports will also receive similar care.

"Diving was hit by injuries, but we still managed to win medals in Jakarta. The same applies to cycling and archery as well as sailing which has a more realistic chance of winning at the Olympics."

Only two Olympic sports, sailing and cycling, delivered gold medals in Jakarta. However, the sailing gold came from a non-Olympic class event.

The other five gold medals were not part of the Olympic family. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd