Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - Page 4 News List

New sports agency has Olympic goals

AIMING HIGH:The new agency wants to outdo the nation’s medal haul in 2004, host a successful Universiade and increase the number of athletes by 3% a year

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The newly established Sports Administration (體育署) yesterday said that it aimed to see the nation win three golds, two silvers and one bronze in the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janiero, exceeding the medal tally of the 2004 Games.

The agency replaced the Sports Affairs Council (SAC), which was established in 1997.

Sports Administration Deputy Director-General Peng Tai-ling (彭台臨) said the nation won two golds, two silvers and one bronze in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“If we reviewed the performance in 2004, I would say it was a failure because our goal was three golds, two silvers and one bronze,” Peng said. “Unfortunately, the nation has never truly seen the true core value of the Olympics Games, which is to seek to surpass the previous records … In 2016, we would like to win at least three golds, two silvers and one bronze and would press on from here [the goal].”

“Nobody believed me when I said in 2003 that we would have at least one gold in the Olympics, but this is sports. Anything can happen. You have to have dreams and be brave enough to pursue them,” he said.

Sports Administration Director-General Ho Jow-fei (何卓飛) said the goal was worth pursuing.

“We have to think positively,” Ho said. “Regardless of whether we are going to make it, we will follow that direction. This is our basic attitude.”

Regarding the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, Peng said the nation had four years to prepare and there was no time to waste.

“We have to activate [training] for athletes competing in the categories of swimming, track and field and gymnastics. We will bring in coaches who have trained Olympic gold winners to coach our own athletes,” he said. “If we can win medals in any of these categories, then it will help athletes in other sports to perform better too.”

Peng said that Taiwan has a good chance to win gold medals in archery, sport shooting, taekwondo and weightlifting, with the nation’s ranking in archery potentially rising from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world.

It also has the potential to win medals in table tennis and badminton, he said.

The nation’s women’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams will be able to compete in the qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics Games, Peng said, adding that the agency will draft a comprehensive amendment to the the Regulations Governing the Issuance of Guo Guang Athletic Medals and Scholarships (國光體育獎章及獎助學金頒發辦法).

The regulations are the basis for rewarding athletes who perform exceptionally at major international games.

Ho also said that his agency, which is part of the Ministry of Education, was considering providing more funding for athletes’ training and less for sports facilities.

Ho said the agency also aimed to raise the nation’s number of athletes by 3 percent every year.

The Sports Administration will also host a series of forums, which would help it compose the nation’s white paper on sports.

“We hope to deliver the draft of the white paper within three months,” Ho said.

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