KUALA LUMPUR: All the signs for Olympic glory in London are there going by the charismatic attitude and attire of Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Yesterday, Ismail apologised twice during the elaborate launch of the Road to London programme at Bukit Jalil.
He said sorry for turning up 45 minutes late for the function and also for wearing a tie with shuttlecock prints — a present from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
“I am late because the Parliament session took a longer time than I had expected. I also want to apologise for wearing this “badminton” tie today. It is not that I favour them,” said Ismail.
He may have showed up late yesterday but it is no indication that the elusive Olympic gold medal will be late too. Going by the determination of the Government, sports associations and the athletes, glory could very well be achieved in London in 2012.
He may have picked up the tie at random but realistically, badminton is still Malaysia’s best hope to end the country’s agonising wait for an Olympic gold medal.
So far, only badminton has contributed medals at the Olympic Games. In fact, Lee Chong Wei did the country proud by winning the sole silver medal at the last Games in Beijing.
Yesterday, Ismail spoke confidently of his hopes for the 17 athletes chosen from the three sports — badminton, cycling and archery — to end the country’s gold drought.
“We want to do better than the last Games. Winning one silver and one bronze will be an achievement at the next Games,” said Ismail.