HUGE INCENTIVE: Gold medallist will be rewarded with a 12.5kg gold bar worth a fortune
WITH Malaysians hoping the elusive Olympic gold medal will be delivered in London later this month, KL Racquet Club owner Datuk Seri Andrew Kam has promised a gold bar, worth RM2 million, to a local gold medallist in badminton. This is in addition to the government and private incentives already on the table.
The 12.5kg gold bar will be shared should there be more than one gold medallist but it applies only to badminton.
The incentive is on top of the national sports scheme of RM1 million for a gold medal along with the RM1 million carrot pledged by furniture company, Three V Holdings, recently.
This means a shuttler, who wins an Olympic title, can earn RM4 million for his effort.
Andrew, who owns a gold mine in Raub, hopes the incentive will spur the shuttlers to win Malaysia's first Olympic gold medal.
"This is my challenge to our players. I hope it will motivate them to try even harder. I will only reward the gold medallist," said Andrew after announcing KLRC's incentive at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"If you ask me how did I come up with this idea... well, I am a gold producer and I believe in producing only the best.
"You (shuttlers) produce a gold medal, I will give you a gold bar."
On why he has made such an offer, Andrew said: "Badminton is my life... I love the sport. It is my way of motivating our players," said Andrew.
Olympic-bound shuttlers Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying and Tee Jing Yi, together with former Olympic bronze medallist Razif Sidek, Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi and former BA of Malaysia president Tan Sri Elyas Omar were among the attendees.
"Chong Wei has a good chance of winning the singles title if he puts his mind to it but we must not write off Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who are also capable of going far," Andrew added.
Chong Wei, a two-time All England champion, was one of the most excited shuttlers yesterday.
"I have only held a gold bar once in my life. It was two years ago after winning my first All-England title.
"My wish is to own a gold bar one day and KLRC's offer will further encourage me to try my best in London.
"However, the focus is, of course, on one of us to win Malaysia's first ever Olympic title," said Chong Wei.
On his preparations for the Olympics, Chong Wei said he will make his final push in training during the stint in Bath.
The national team, together with sparring players, leave for Bath tomorrow.
"I am 80 per cent prepared but of course, I need to push harder to reach my full potential," Chong Wei added.