Monday, 22 June 2009

All clear for Youth Games

Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim
Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim

IT'S all systems go as far as Malaysia's participation in the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Singapore on June 28-July 7 is concerned.

The national contingent were left in limbo when the Education Ministry barred the participation of Malaysian students in all Asean and international sporting events indefinitely over the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak.

But Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim gave the all-clear after a telephone conference with National Sports Council (NSC) acting director-general Ab Jalil Abdullah yesterday.

"The deputy minister, after a discussion with the NSC acting director-general, has consented to Malaysia's participation in the Asian Youth Games in Singapore," said NSC elite athletes preparation director Jefri Ngadirin.

"He said only a government directive can prevent the national contingent's participation in the Games."
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong announced the ban on Thursday, which among others involves participation in the Asean inter-schools sports meet on July 20-29 in Thailand, and which also put Malaysia's participation in the AYG in doubt.

The confusion resulted in the cancellation of the flag handing over ceremony in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia is sending 109 athletes to compete in nine sports although the football team have returned following their elimination in the first round group stage.

Malaysia stunned North Korea 1-0 but lost 2-1 to Thailand as they lost out on the number of goals scored after all three teams finished level on three points and goal difference when North Korea edged Thailand 3-2.

Medals are expected from the bowlers and shooters although no specific target has been set for the inaugural multi-sports event.

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