National Sports Council (NSC) acting director-general Abdul Jalil Abdullah hopes national athletes would be able to achieve their respective targets when competing in the Mini Olympics.The Mini Olympics, organised for the first time as preparations for the 2012 London Olympics, is open to athletes who are ranked among the top in the eight sports to be contested."
It is not a state or national meeting but open to all athletes who are eligible to compete. There is also no age limit," he told reporters here Monday.The Mini Olympics was initiated following a resolution adopted after the National Sports Convention last year and aimed at providing a platform for junior and senior athletes to compete on a level playing field, based on their rankings.
Eight sports, namely aquatics (swimming & diving), athletics, gymnastics, (rhythmic & artistic), cycling (track & road), archery, badminton, shooting and weightlifting would be hosted from July 29 to Aug 9. Abdul Jalil said the NSC would spend RM1.1 million to organise the Mini Olympics that is expected to feature 1,595 athletes and officials with athletics listing 360 participants, the biggest in the event.
He said archery and badminton would be the first two sports to open their doors for competition on July 29."The respective national sports associations had made their selection based on their selection criteria and the number of athletes competing also depends on the associations," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim confirmed that the athletics contingent will remain as 360 because there were more than 40 events in the athletics programme as compared with other sports."Unlike other sports, athletics features more than 40 events in the men's and women's categories and even if eight participants are fielded in each event, the number will reach 320, excluding coaches and officials," he said.