Athletes for the #RoadToTokyo2020. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s decision to allow national athletes under the Road to Tokyo (RTT) 2020 programme to resume training next month will give them sufficient time to regain their confidence for the Olympic Games, said the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

In a statement yesterday, OCM said they are grateful for the approval granted by the National Security Council and the Ministry of Health for 265 individuals under the RTT 2020 programme to resume training in three locations, namely the Bukit Jalil Sports City, the National Badminton Academy in Bukit Kiara and the National Sailing Training Centre in Langkawi, from June 1 to 30.

“On behalf of the athletes and National Sports Associations who are preparing for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the OCM would also like to thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports for taking the initiative and continuously engaging with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the interests of our athletes and officials are protected,” it added.

Nevertheless, OCM said the health and well-being of the national athletes and officials remained their top priority, adding that the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.

The national body also pointed out that the approved standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the local authorities will allow the national athletes and officials to return to training in the safest environment possible.

“The OCM will continue to consult with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Associations, athletes and officials as we further monitor the current protocols and fine-tune the SOP for ‘normal’ training to resume,” the statement added.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in a press conference yesterday, said the government has given special relaxations for 265 individuals including 57 athletes involved in the RTT programme to begin preparations and training on June 1.

The approval was granted by the Special Ministers’ meeting on the movement control order (MCO) yesterday, following an application from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican on preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year. – Bernama