The nation of Malaysia warmly welcomes the announcement that Squash will be added to the roster of sports featured at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. This significant development was met with enthusiasm and support, as it represents a momentous step for the world of sports.

According to the Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, this move is indicative of the growing diversity and inclusivity in the world of sports, offering exciting opportunities for athletes and fans alike.

The RTG committee addressed a range of vital agendas during the meeting, which included:

1. Expenses During the RTG Program

2. Progress and Status of Existing RTG Athletes

3. Nomination of Athletes from the Hangzhou Asian Games

4. Qualification of Athletes for the Paris Olympics

5. Squash's Inclusion in the 2028 LA Olympics

Following thorough consideration, the RTG committee has made the decision to remove the mixed doubles pair of Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, as well as Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, and the national men's hockey team from the program. This decision stems from the observed decline in performance, with Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing falling to the 23rd position and Soon Huat-Shevon Lai to the 17th position on the Olympic qualification list. However, should these pairs experience an upturn in their performance by becoming the country's top pair in the top eight or qualify as the highest-ranked Malaysian doubles pair in the top 16 of the Race To Paris rankings, the committee will reconsider their exclusion.

The selected shuttlers for the upcoming event comprise the men’s doubles pairs Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, the women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, and the mixed doubles pairs Chen Tang Jie & Toh Ee Wei.

In addition to the badminton representatives, the list includes four other accomplished athletes: Dato’ Muhammad Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in cycling, Dato’ Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri in diving and Mohamad Aniq Kasdan.

In response to a request from the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation, the RTG program has welcomed Mohamad Aniq Kasdan (61KG) as the latest addition.

Mohamad Aniq Kasdan (61KG)

Aniq currently holds the 10th position in the Olympic ranking, a key criterion for RTG inclusion, and at just 21 years of age, he exhibits significant potential for improvement. His current Personal Best of 291kg, while 3kg short of the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist's 294kg, reflects the promise he carries.

The Road to Gold (RTG) Committee convened to deliberate on the achievements and future support for athletes who clinched gold medals at the 2022 Asian Games. The discussions cantered around the following notable gold medalists:

National Surfer - Nur Shazrin binti Mohamad Latif

Nur Shazrin binti Mohamad Latif is set to receive an enhanced allowance in recognition of her outstanding performance and gold medal win at the Asian Games. Additionally, she qualifies for supplementary incentives through the Olympic Games Incentive Scheme (SISO) due to her successful qualification for the Olympics. Nur Shazrin binti Mohamad Latif will continue to benefit from comprehensive support under the Podium Program, which encompasses accommodations, sustenance, coverage of competition expenses, provision of equipment, nutritional assistance, as well as medical and sports science services administered by the National Sports Council (MSN) and the National Sports Institute (ISN).

National Equestrian Rider - Qabil Ambak

Qabil Ambak conveyed his decision not to pursue participation in the Paris Olympics, having missed several qualifying events prior to the event. However, he will remain eligible for continued support from MSN, ensuring his needs are met as required.

Karate (Men's Kumite Under 85kg) - Muhammad Arif Afifuddin bin Ab Malik

Muhammad Arif Afifuddin bin Ab Malik, a gold medalist in the Karate category (Men's Kumite Under 85kg), is not included in the RTG program, as Karate is not featured in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Nevertheless, Arif will witness an increase in his monthly allowance under the Podium Program in acknowledgment of his remarkable victory at the 2022 Asian Games. He will continue to receive unwavering support, encompassing training, competition, and sports science and medical assistance, all of which are diligently provided by MSN and ISN. This reaffirms the commitment to uphold the wellbeing and growth of our athletes, irrespective of Olympic qualification status.

With that being said, a group of athletes who have successfully secured their spots at the forthcoming Paris Olympics has been duly acknowledged and rewarded for their remarkable achievements. Below is the list of athletes who have earned their qualification:

National Diver - Bertrand Rhodict Lises

Bertrand Rhodict Lises, a distinguished national diver, will receive an increase in his financial allowance in light of his exemplary performance, which secured a bronze medal at the Asian Games. Additionally, he becomes eligible for an additional allowance under the Olympic Games Incentive Scheme (SISO). At a youthful age of 18, and with the immense potential he has demonstrated, the National Sports Council (MSN) is committed to collaborating closely with the Jump Team to develop a tailored program for Bertrand. Furthermore, his inclusion in the Road to Gold (RTG) Program will be a matter considered in due course.

National Shooter - Johnathan Wong

Johnathan Wong, a prominent national shooter who has secured his place in the Paris Olympics, is also entitled to an additional allowance provided through the Olympic Games Incentive Scheme (SISO) by MSN. Johnathan will continue to receive comprehensive support from MSN and the National Sports Institute (ISN) under the Podium Programme.

While these athletes are not presently part of the RTG Program, the National Sports Council is fully committed to ensuring that they receive unwavering support through the Podium Program leading up to the Olympic Games next year. This reaffirms the dedication to nurturing the success and well-being of our qualified athletes as they prepare to represent Malaysia on the world stage.

On the other hand, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a significant announcement on October 16, 2023, confirming the inclusion of Squash as an official event in the prestigious Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. This announcement comes as a momentous and welcome development, especially in the wake of the national contingent's outstanding achievement, securing three gold medals at the recent Asian Games.

In light of this momentous inclusion, the IOC has entrusted a pivotal role to RTG Committee Member and Deputy Chef De Mission for the Paris Olympic Games, Datuk Nicol Ann David. Her mandate is to collaborate closely with all pertinent stakeholders and collectively devise a strategic plan to place squash at the forefront of the Road to Gold (RTG) program for the upcoming LA 2028 Olympics. This strategic initiative not only underscores the sport's growing prominence on the global stage but also serves as a testament to the nation's commitment to nurturing and showcasing exceptional talent in the world of sports.