Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Razali: Action to be taken over Games medal fiasco

ACTION will be taken to address the fiasco where the national 4x400m quartet were not able to receive their gold medals on the winners’ podium at the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia, said Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim.

“I believe that some form of action will be taken to ensure that such an incident will not happen again,” he told the Dewan when replying to points raised on his ministry during the debate on the Supply Bill.
However, he said it would not be appropriate to take any action at the moment as the Games was still not over yet.

Earlier, Razali said his ministry was saddened that the relay runners did not get the chance to receive their medals.

He also regretted that nothing was done to assist the athletes concerned. He clarified that the 4x400m event was held on Nov 14 at 8pm while the prize giving ceremony was only held at 7pm the following day.
“Their event was held in Palembang and the only flight back to Kuala Lumpur was from Jakarta. Their flight ticket had been booked in advance,” he said, adding that there was no clear indication from the organiser why the prize-giving was delayed for a day.

Relay sprinters S. Kannathasan, P. Yuvaaraj, Schzuan Ahmad Rosely and Muhammad Yunus Lasaleh arrived in Palembang on Saturday night and won their event on Monday. However, they flew back home on Tuesday without receiving their gold medals.

Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) said the fiasco was due to poor management by the ministry’s officials.

“Why couldn’t their flight be rescheduled to allow them to be on the podium to receive their medals?” he asked, adding that the officials responsible should be punished.
Razali also clarified that reports claiming that the cost of sending athletes and officials to the game was RM2.2mil was not true.

“The actual cost was RM1.4mil,” he said adding that the Malaysian contingent was made up of 608 athletes and 453 officials.

He said others who had accompanied the contingent were either sports officials from the various state sports councils, family members and supporters who paid for their own passage.


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