Now that the dust of the elections has settled, Olympic Council of Malaysia's chiefs Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, Datuk Abdullah Sani Karim and Low Beng Choo depart for Lausanne today to lobby for their non-Olympic sports to be included in the 2016 Games.
Tunku Imran and Sani will be lobbying for squash, whereas Beng Choo is garnering support for softball to be reinstated.
Softball is competing not only against squash but also baseball, golf, karate, roller sports and rugby sevens for a maximum of two spots on the 2016 Games program. The IOC fat cats, however, can choose to deny entry to all seven. The Executive Board will create a two-sport shortlist in August before it goes to a full member vote in Copenhagen in October.
In 2005 squash received the highest number of votes among new sports (softball was seeking reinstatement) but failed to receive the minimum required to be added to the program.
Golf, with Europe Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie leading its bid, and rugby sevens, are widely seen as the two front-runners.
Lobbyists for squash claim cost-effective venues also play a part. Squash's ability to use minimal space and infrastructure is certainly an advantage and the thought of a glasscourt being placed in a location in one of the winning 2016 bid cities - Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo - is appealing. If that happens, Nicol David stands the brightest chance of becoming the country's first Olympic gold medallist!
In his weekly report, Kok Chi said the fact that the incumbent office bearers and Sani Karim were returned, was based on their good track records, honesty, integrity and dedication. On the other hand, the candidates who challenged the incumbents, were incompatible to their call for change, as almost all the candidates who challenged the incumbents have served and held high and senior positions in sports organizations, but have failed to contribute any or minimum benefits to sports development or the organizations they served.