Datuk Seri Zolkples EmbongSEPANG, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- In a bid to avoid history repeating itself, the National Sports Council (NSC) wants more power to determine the list of athletes for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea next month.
NSC director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said a discussion will be held with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) soon to ensure the quality and competitiveness of all athletes taking part in the Asian Games.
He said the OCM selection committee has been asked to thoroughly evaluate athletes and teams listed for big sporting events so that there would be no 'passengers' in the national contingent.
"I am always firm but I'm hoping that my voice is accepted after this. I've held talks with Tan Sri Tunku Imran (Tuanku Jaafar), Datuk Low Beng Choo (OCM Vice-President) and Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (OCM Secretary-General) on this matter and they seem to accept the reasons given.
"So, I hope something can be done before going to Incheon. What's important is we don't need passengers in the contingent," he told reporters at the KL International Airport (KLIA), here, upon his arrival from Glasgow, Scotland.
Admitting that the seven-medal target at the 2014 Commonwealth Games was not achieved, he said not only athletes but also several sports should not have been considered for high level competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
"The decision will be made by the OCM and I am also in the selection committee. I will ensure that we (NSC) give views based on an athlete's actual performance.
"We will definitely take into account the performance in Glasgow for those who will compete in the Asian Games," he said.
However, Zolkples remains satisfied with the performance and achievement of athletes in Glasgow, especially those men's 3m springboard diver Ooi Tze Liang and women's doubles pair Vivian Kah Mun Hoo/Khe Wei Woon who won gold medals.
Besides that, he was also happy with the performance of diver Pandelela Rinong and gymnast Wong Poh San, who won silver, but had made efforts worthy of gold medals.
"In terms of target, we failed but at the same time we won seven silver medals and some them were as good as gold medals. Unfortunately, subjective sports like this can favour any athlete and we know that it is not a reason," he said.
Meanwhile, Zolkples hoped athletes who competed in the Commonwealth Games would maintain their performance or do better in Incheon.
He also hoped sports that were not part of the Commonwealth Games such as tenpin bowling, karate and wushu would contribute medals in the Asian Games.