THE future of two national divers, Datuk Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri, with the Road to Gold (RTG) programme hangs in the balance and is only likely to be known at the programme’s committee meeting later this month.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said that she did not have a specific answer regarding the issue, and hoped that all parties could wait for the decision to be made later.
“I know many want to ask about diving, but they have to wait until the RTG meeting. For sure disappointed (with the performance of the diving squad) but I want to hear an explanation from the sports association, coaches and also their technical director.
“The National Sports Council (NSC) is arranging a meeting with them,” she said when met at the CIMB Group Holdings Berhad sponsorship signing ceremony for the national golfer, Ervin Chang, here today.
Pandelela and Nur Dhabitah are the latest athletes in the RTG programme to fail to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, after a disappointing performance at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha, Qatar last week.
At the same time, she said that it is not easy to make any decision, especially in the sports portfolio, since it involves the performance of an athlete.
“My speech earlier referred to the youth and sports portfolio. Youths need to be supported so that a second chance exists for them. However, in sports, it is based on performance, we know that in the journey of an athlete, there will be ups and downs.
“There are athletes who fall and need to get up again. It’s not just the minister’s decision, I need to get expert help,” she said.
Hannah said that her ministry would discuss the criteria for athletes to be selected to participate in the RTG programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics at the committee meeting.