KUALA LUMPUR: More Malaysian athletes are expected to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with as many as eight badminton players likely to make the cut after the qualifying rankings were closed after the 2024 Finnish International ended today.

The eight - men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles), Pearly Tan-M Thinaah (women’s doubles), Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) and Goh Jin Wei (women’s singles) - are expected to qualify pending confirmation from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) this May 1.

National Sports Council (NSC) deputy director-general (sports development) Jefri Ngadirin said that athletes in the sports of athletics, swimming, table tennis, archery and golf will learn whether they qualify for Paris in the next few weeks.

“NSC hopes that all athletes give their full focus and perform at their best to qualify for the Olympics. Athletes still have a chance of qualifying as qualifiers are still ongoing.

“Diving also has one more chance through the unused quota, which will be provided (if any other country does not use up their quota),” he told Bernama.

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Meanwhile, Chef de Mission of the Malaysian Contingent to the 2024 Paris Olympics Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said that they were monitoring the preparations and performance of all the athletes who qualified or have the potential to qualify.

“We expect to be able to have a complete list for Paris by early June through the international federations of the sports involved,” he added.

So far, 10 athletes have qualified for the Games, with four - trek cyclists Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri and veteran sailor Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy - booking their spots this week.

The other six athletes are Mohamad Aniq Kasdan (weightlifting), Nur Shazrin Mohd Latif (sailing), Johnathan Wong (shooting), Ariana Nur Dania Mohd Zairi (archery), Nur Aisyah Mohd Zubir (road racing) and Bertrand Rhodict Lises (diving).

Unfortunately, Malaysia’s national teams for two popular team sports failed to qualify for the Olympics, as the Harimau Muda failed to earn a single point in the group stage of the Under-23 Asian Cup in Qatar while the men’s hockey squad ended their qualifying campaign in Oman last in the group stages early this year, and failed to advance beyond the group stage at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

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