Nicol, Chong Wei and Mirnawan roped in for Road to Gold project

Nicol, Chong Wei and Mirnawan roped in for Road to Gold project
Nicol, Chong Wei and Mirnawan roped in for Road to Gold project

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sports Ministry today announced a new high performance preparation programme for elite athletes, Road to Gold (RTG), which will cover two Olympic cycles and feature a much more inclusive committee compared to its predecessors.

Unlike previous programmes such as Road to Rio and Road to Tokyo which only covered one Olympic cycle, RTG is intended to provide cream-of-the-crop athletes the support they need to challenge for gold at both the Paris Olympics next year as well as Los Angeles 2028.

The RTG committee will be co-chaired by Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria.

Also in the committee are FA of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Amin and squash legend Datuk Nicol David who have also been named as Paris Olympics Chef-de-Mission (CDM) and deputy CDM respectively.

Badminton and hockey greats Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi, National Sports Council director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, National Sports Institute chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal Mohd Ramli, Sports Ministry secretary-general Dr K. Nagulendran and Malaysian Hockey Confederation vice president Datuk Ahmad Najmi Abdul Razak are also included.

Malaysia Football League chief executive officer Stuart Ramalingam has been named as RTG project coordinator while Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) CEO Michelle Chai is assistant project coordinator.


The committee will be working as volunteers and will not be remunerated.

RTG also hopes to work together with the private sector in making the project a success, which is why Stuart and Michelle have been roped in.

Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said RTG will build on the foundation laid by the current Podium Programme.

“This project will involve short term and long term planning. We have also included athletes who have done the nation proud in the committee,” said Yeoh during the RTG press conference in Bukit Jalil today.

“This (can be considered) a top-up committee because the Podium Programme is ongoing and the athletes continue to train with support from NSC.

“But now (the idea is) to evaluate, through (committee) meetings, where we can top-up (support) for the athletes to complement what they already have.”

Norza welcomed the decision to include OCM in the committee and believes the structure of the committee will provide better stability in the long run.


“I would like to congratulate the Sports Ministry for forming this RTG committee as in the past we had worked in silo. This is a bold and pro-active move,” said Norza.

“I have repeatedly said in the past that changes in policy and government leadership affects medium and long-term planning in sports.

“We can now rest assured that the OCM president (of the day) and the Sports Minister will be there to ensure the continuity of the programme (as co-chair).”

Stuart, when asked, said that the number of athletes that will be selected and the funding required for the project has yet to be determined.

Norza said while it is still early days, they do have a rough idea of the calibre of athletes that should be included.

“We will be shortlisting athletes with medal potential. This will obviously include existing medallists such as Azizulhasni Awang (track cycling) and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (badminton pair),” added Norza.

“We will also be looking at athletes who are ranked top-10 in the world. It is important for the project coordinator to identify (which) athletes from the Podium Programme should be included in RTG.

“We want these athletes to get the best so they can perform to their full potential, that is our responsibility as administrators. The goal is to reduce process losses and increase marginal gains.”


Support that will be provided to the athletes includes overseas training and competition exposure, access to top coaches and support staff as well as sports science and medical support.

RTG, however, will not include paralympic athletes. They will continue to be under the Podium Programme.

KW: Sports, Road to Gold, Hannah Yeoh, Norza Zakaria, Nicol David, Lee Chong Wei


Mampukah Muhyiddin Bangkit Seperti Najib

Nicol, Chong Wei and Mirnawan roped in for Road to Gold project



Mampukah Muhyiddin Bangkit Seperti Najib


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