Hannah forms RTG project team to help end Malaysia’s quest for Olympic gold

Hannah Yeoh
12/03/2023 06:39 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 (Bernama) -- The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) today announced the formation of the Road To Gold (RTG) project team aimed at coordinating the country’s efforts in its quest to bag Malaysia’s first Olympic Games gold medal.

The RTG committee is chaired by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria while Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin is the chef de mission (CDM) for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The other committee members are KBS secretary-general Dr Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu; National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail; National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Faedzal Mohd Ramli; Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president Datuk Ahmad Najmi Abdul Razak; squash legend Datuk Nicol Ann David, who is also the deputy CDM for the 2024 Paris Olympics; badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei; and hockey legend Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi.

In addition, Malaysian Football League (MFL) CEO Stuart Ramalingam is the project coordinator and he will be assisted by Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) CEO Michelle Chai.

Hannah said that taking into account the structure and implementation method of the previous Olympic project and the Paris Olympics just a year away, the RTG committee will prepare a long-term framework covering Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

“Thus the Paris Gold Committee is now known as the Road To Gold Committee. This committee will work with the existing Podium Programme, which focuses on elite athletes’ preparation programmes,” she told a press conference at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, today.

Meanwhile, Norza said 2020 Tokyo Olympic silver medallists Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (track cycling) and men’s badminton doubles bronze medallists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are almost certain to be in the project.

However, the process of identifying candidates is still in the ‘premature’ stage, he said.

“It’s because we haven’t gone through the qualifying process for the Olympic Games and the athletes will be identified by the group that is in the Podium Programme for us to see what is required for them to achieve success,” he said.

Hannah said the focus of the preparation programme for elite athletes will include daily training, overseas training including more exposure to domestic and international competitions, provision of coaching services, support staff, sports science and medical services as well as self-improvement programmes.

On Stuart’s appointment, Hannah said his background as former FAM secretary-general from 2018 to 2021 made him a suitable candidate because the role requires expertise in establishing cooperation with all stakeholders strategically.

“Stuart and Michelle bring with them extensive experience, having worked with international sports bodies and agencies. The immediate task of this committee is to identify the additional requirements needed to succeed in the mission of winning gold at the Olympics,” she said.

Hannah said all the appointments are on a voluntary basis as part of the collective nation-building effort.

As for the Paralympics, Hannah said the gold medal programme for the para athletes will continue under the Podium Programme at the NSC level.