Malaysian athletes resume Tokyo prep

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's government has given the green light to its athletes preparing for the postponed 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to resume their activities, a senior official said on Tuesday night.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is in charge of enforcing restrictive measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease, revealed approval was granted to 265 individuals, including 57 athletes, to resume training.

Training sessions will be conducted at three training camps and those who are involved will not be allowed to leave the camps. They will also have to undergo regular Covid-19 tests.

"The first phase of the centralised training camp will be from June 1 to 30, and Covid-19 screening will be conducted during registration," Mr Ismail said.

The Tokyo Olympics had been scheduled for July, but have since been delayed till next year due to the pandemic.

The Games is slated to take place from July 23 to Aug 8, 2021.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia said the lifting of restrictions for its athletes was made as the international calendar for the Games had resumed.

It added that the country's athletes would have sufficient time and opportunity to prepare for next year.

"The health and well-being of our athletes and officials remain our priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process," a statement read.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysian athletes resume Tokyo prep'. Print Edition | Subscribe