Dreaming of first Olympic gold

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia hits a return against Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia during their men's singles semi-final match at the Indonesia Open badminton tournament on June 4.
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia hits a return against Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia during their men's singles semi-final match at the Indonesia Open badminton tournament on June 4.PHOTO: AFP

MALAYSIA'S 2015 FUNDING FOR SPORTS: RM103 MILLION (S$34 MILLION )

KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia's dream is to win its first Olympic gold as he wished his nation's Rio-bound contingent the best of luck.

At a reception in Putrajaya on Wednesday, where he met national athletes, he said that the 32-strong team had been primed for success, having undergone " intensive training, both locally and abroad, to prepare for the Games".

The country has three silvers and three bronzes - five from badminton and one from diving.

For Rio, the Olympic Council of Malaysia sees diving, cycling and badminton as medal prospects. Leading the team will be world No. 1 men's shuttler Lee Chong Wei. But the flag-bearer could face nemesis Lin Dan in the semi-finals.

The cash incentive for a gold medal is RM1,000,000 (S$333,000), RM300,000 for silver and RM100,000 for bronze.

  • Team Malaysia

  • Other than bronze medallist diver Pandelela Rinong, Malaysia's other medal hopefuls are Lee Chong Wei, a two-time Olympic men's singles runner-up, and keirin cyclist Azizulhasni Awang, who is ranked fourth in the world.

    THE CONTINGENT

    32 athletes in 10 sports (archery, athletics, badminton, cycling, diving, golf, swimming, sailing, shooting and weightlifting).

For team events of fewer than five people, the award amount is the same for gold and silver. But bronze medallists would receive an amount higher than RM100,000.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 31, 2016, with the headline 'Dreaming of first Olympic gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe