PUTRAJAYA- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today inspired national athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio next month to bring home the first gold medal for the country.
Najib, in his meeting with the national contingent at Perdana Putra here, today said the people of Malaysia always supported and prayed that the 32 national athletes representing the country in various events at the Olympic Games would do their best.
“But we realise the Olympic Games is not easy as it is the most prestigious and most awaited by all nations. As such, it will be a stiff contest.
“This has always been our national dream to earn an Olympic gold medal. I’m sure that you have set your mind so that you will do your level best. I do not want to put pressure on you. It is not right because you have been training very hard.
“I’m here to tell you the nation is behind you. We pray for you to succeed. We hope you to win the first gold medal or any medal for the matter,” he said.
Also present were Youth and Sport Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and the Malaysian contingent’s Chef de Mission Tan Sri (Ir) Dr Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid.
A total of 11 athletes from the 32 qualified to the Olympic Games were present in the meeting including national badminton ace, Datuk Lee Chong Wei and national badminton player, Goh Liu Ying.
The first group of national athletes had left for Rio de Janeiro on July 21 while the last group would depart on Aug 2.
Najib said the national athletes made their preparations by undergoing intensive training and taking part in various competitions locally and abroad.
“The only thing is now whether you can achieve peak performance (in Rio de Janeiro). This means you must get everything to synchronise. Physical, emotional, mental and confidence aspects will reach the highest level when the time comes,” he said.
At the Olympic Games in London, Najib said Malaysia via national badminton player, Chong Wei won the silver medal and the bronze medal via national diver Pandelela Rinong.
“We hope this year Chong Wei will get a gold medal for the country. We know you can do it as you have beaten your rivals in previous matches. We hope and pray for you.
“We also hope all the other athletes as well will also make us proud. Whether to win or not, we wish you all the best,” he said.
Najib said the gold medal winner would be rewarded RM1 million and a monthly pension of RM5,000 from the government.
A winner of the silver medal would receive a RM3,000 monthly pension and a winner of a bronze medal would get RM2,000 a month, he said.
“With the reward, we hope that you will be able to do your level best. Good luck,” he said. – BERNAMA