According to National Sports Council (MSN) Director-General Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, a total of 68 national athletes, including 35 para-athletes, are expected to qualify for Tokyo 2020, which will begin in July this year.
At the moment, 12 competitors and 14 para-athletes have registered for the world’s largest sporting event.
“We now have many more in the qualification process, including the Badminton Malaysia Open and the 2021 World Cup Diving this May.
“So our expectation for the Olympics is about 33 athletes because many qualifying tournaments have been cancelled, while for the Paralympics, it may involve as many as 35 athletes, subject to the qualification period in June,” he said when met after the flagging off ceremony for the Road to Tokyo 2020 Support Tour.
Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, chairman of the Johor Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee, officiated the ceremony at the Dato Jaafar Muhamad Building.
Meanwhile, Onn Hafiz announced that Johor athletes who qualified for the Games would get an RM5,000 prize from the state government. Onn Hafiz said, it is an honour for Johor as the state that inaugurates the Road to Tokyo 2020 Support Tour programme.
As of date, three Johor-born athletes have qualified for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, namely Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (bicycle), Nuraisyah Jamil (sailing) and Chew Wei Lun (boccia).