Sad Sarawak not hosting World Para Swimming Championships: Sebastian Ting
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decision on Sunday to strip Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming championships after the country banned Israeli athletes from participating is indeed a sad day for Sarawak, said Piasau State Assemblyman, Datuk Sebastian Ting.
He said in the world of sports, we should be above politics. “It is something we should entangle with politics as sports is something that shows the might and physics of a person. Politics and sports should be two different things all together and not to be mix at all,” he added.
The championships, a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, had been scheduled for Kuching between July 29 and Aug 4 will also be a big boost for us in term of tourism.
Ting pointed out that Malaysia was awarded the championships in 2017, the IPC had been given assurances that all eligible athletes and countries would be allowed to participate with their safety assured. But then, there has been a change of political leadership and the new Malaysian government has different ideas.
As Malaysia, he said, a majority-Muslim country that does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel barred Israelis held in Malaysia is indeed more of a political decision than a sports decision.
In Sarawak, he said, we must show to the outside world that we are not like that. We are genuine living in harmony with so many different races and religion as a big family. This is truely a sad case of us not being able to show to them that we are ‘different’ from what was assumed by the outside world now that we are stripped from playing host.
Around 600 swimmers from 60 countries had been expected to compete in the championships in the eastern state of Sarawak, with more than 160 titles to be won.
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