Re-list weightlifting as a core sport: PABM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (PABM) hopes weightlifting can be re-listed as a core sport in an effort to further strengthen athlete development activities.

Its president Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) and the National Sports Council (NSC) should consider the matter by looking at the achievement of two gold medals contributed by the national weightlifting camp so far at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

He said the soaring success of Mohamad Aniq Kasdan in contributing Malaysia’s first gold tin the men’s 55 kg (snatch, clean and jerk) category and the second from Muhamad Aznil Bidin in the 61kg category is testimony that PABM had exceeded the target of one gold medal set by KBS and NSC.

“Since the target is achieved, we hope NSC and the ministry will reintroduce weightlifting as a core sport so that we can produce more athletes with potential to represent the country in the future,“ he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Ayub said that if weightlifting is restored to core sport status, PABM will have the ability to form a back-up team through a larger allocation and expand efforts to find talent as early as at school level.

Weightlifting was among the three sports dropped from the country’s core sports list apart from sepak takraw and taekwondo in 2017.

Deteriorating performances in addition to disciplinary problems such as the failure of several athletes in dope tests was the main cause leading to weightlifting being dropped.

Ayub said that since he took over the leadership of the association, PABM has gone through many reforms, notably in reducing cases of doping and the use of prohibited substances among its lifters.

He said awareness of the offence among state associations and coaches had also increased through various workshops and seminars organised by PABM.

In the meantime, Ayub said PABM also anticipates corporate support as sponsors to ensure a flow of gold glitter at prestigious games.

“Weightlifting is not a popular sport but then a popular sport doesn’t guarantee medals… so we are appealing that for a more secure a future in producing more athletes and if we want more gold from games like this, then the sponsors need to come forward to help us, ” he said.

Meanwhile, with PABM’s target at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games at three golds, he said one more is expected from Muhammad Erry Hidayat who will compete in the men’s 73kg class at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham at 1.30 am local time (on Monday). – Bernama