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No Sabah athletes infected with COVID-19

26th March, 2020

KOTA KINABALU: State Youth and Sports Minister, Phoong Jin Zhe gladly stated that no state athletes have been reported to be quarantined or infected by the COVID-19 virus.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Luyang Assemblyman added that majority of state athletes are continuing their training routines at their respective homes to maintain their fitness level during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

“These athletes have been given daily workout lists by their respective coaches where the coaches are also able to monitor their athletes via video call during the training sessions.

“With the MCO being extended to April 14 as announced by the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday, it will not be easy for everyone, including our athletes, but we must stay strong to defeat this contagious pandemic,” he said.

Phoong continued that his ministry has strongly advised against participating in any training camp or championships abroad since early this year.

“We have banned athletes from participating in any championships in China, while teams that were training or competing before the MCO period, have been advised to undergo self-quarantine in their respective homes for 14 days.

“It is undeniable that following the COVID-19 outbreak, it has affected the preparations of teams planning to train or participate in international tournaments.

“This is because exposure to big events can help athletes improve on their performance because competing in international events will surely bring out their weaknesses which coaches can help to improve as some athletes are too comfortable competing in local national events, and those weaknesses will be shown on bigger stages,” he said.

Lastly, Phoong advised all state athletes to continue their training at home, be disciplined to continue their routines provided by their coaches during the MCO period.

“In the event that an athlete does not reach the proper fitness level as required, KBSS will re-evaluate the participation of those athletes and coaches,” he said. – UMESH RAJAN

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