Maldives Olympic Committee (MOC)'s Secretary General Ahmed Marzooq, on Tuesday, visited Odawara, Japan, the city which will host Maldivian athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Joined by Ambassador to Japan Ibrahim Uvais, Marzooq observed the facilities which are to be utilized for 'pre-game training'.
Moreover, the delegation met with the city's Mayor Kenichi Kato and discussed plans of a youth exchange programme between Odawara and Maldives following the Olympics.
Maldives demonstrated remarkable skill at the recently held 10th Indian Island Ocean Games (IOGI), bagging a total of four gold and silver medals, as well as seven bronze finishes across multiple sporting disciplines.
Marzooq explained that the collective achievements of 2019 had set a new standard for excellence that would serve to encourage other athletes to aim high in the near future.
However, the lack of infrastructure is a serious impediment to the advancement of several sports. There is a notable trend of more plentiful facilities established for sports such as football, to the detriment of other less popular disciplines.
As revealed by an audit conducted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment in 2019, there are currently 143 football grounds across the nation compared to a mere 25 badminton courts. Overall, several sports facilities across the country are in dire need of repair or upgrades.