KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Bernama) -- The athletics squad is sending the most number of back up athletes out of the 43 second echelon athletes who will be competing in the SEA Games in Laos next month.
The National Sports Council's Back Up Athletes branch director Jefri Ngadirin of the said out of the 14 back up athletes the squad was sending, two were in category A and the rest in Category B.
"Overall the national contingent to the Laos SEA Games will feature 43 back up athletes, 18 under Category A and 25 under Category B," he told Bernama here Tuesday.
Malaysia's contingent to the Laos Games is 370-strong which is one of the smallest in the history of the biennial Games.
Category A athletes are fully sponsored by the Olympic Council of Malaysia while athletes in Category B have to pay their own way but will get full refunds if they at leat win a silver.
The karate squad is sending seven athletes all under Category A, weightlifting (two athletes under Category B), badminton (2-A), cycling (3-B), judo (2-B), table tennis (2-B), shooting (3-A), silat (1-A), boxing (2-B), wushu (4-A), taekwondo (1-B).
Of the 43 back up athletes, 37 are national juniors, three state-level athletes and three from the district level.
The branch is also sending seven back up coaches to Laos, four in athletics, and one each in judo, shooting and taekwondo.
At the last SEA Games in Korat, Thailand, at total of 42 back up athletes participated, 19 of them contributing medals.
Of the 19 medals, four were gold and were won by bowlers Zatil Iman Abd Ghani (three ) and Mohd Syafiq Ridhuan (one) while Mohd Farkhan Mohd Harun bagged a silver in boxing. The rest were bronze medal winners.