Malaysia will be aggressively pursuing its ambition to host either the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games in the next 10-15 years and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) vice-president Dato’ Shahrul Zaman Yahya has said that “discussions are underway”.

The next year’s Asian Games have been awarded to Hangzhou in China, while Birmingham is the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur had last hosted the CWG, in 1998.

“There is certainly serious talk about us hosting a big Games in the next 10-15 years,” Yahya was quoted as saying by insidethegames.biz.

“Hosting Games is not a small feat. It is something that we have to plan probably for. Not only to host it but to bid for it would require very extensive and proper plans.

“Yes, we are talking about it. It is not impossible for us to perhaps host the Commonwealth Games again. Of course, the next progression for us after hosting the Commonwealth Games, we are looking at hosting the Asian Games. Again, there’s nothing stopping us from considering to host the Commonwealth Games after that very successful Commonwealth Games in 1998,” Yahya said.

In fact, Malaysia became the first Asian country to host the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

While the slots for hosting the Asian Games till the 2034 edition have all been filled — the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has awarded the 2030 and 2034 editions to Qatar and Saudi Arabia respectively — Malaysia can aim for the 2038 slot for the continental games. The Commonwealth Games could be an option since the host for the 2026 edition has not yet been finalised.

The Canadian city of Hamilton did appear inclined but has asked the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to award the 2030 Games as it would coincide with the centenary of the first Commonwealth Games in the Canadian city.

“I have seen the Commonwealth Games growing and I think it will continue to grow in terms of the number of athletes that will participate,” said Yahya, indicating that Malaysia could bid for the CWG in 2026.

–IANS

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