TAIPEI, (NDT).- President Tsai Ing-wen said Sept. 4 that the country’s athletes, coaches and support staff showed the world the true spirit of Taiwan at the Asian Games in Indonesia and pledged to invest more in elite sport.
The hard work of the team raised Taiwan’s profile on the global stage and contributed to the greatness of the nation, Tsai said. Accordingly, the government and the people stand humbled by this effort and are deeply grateful, she added.
Tsai made the remarks while receiving members of Team Taiwan at the Office of the President in Taipei City. The 730-plus contingent won 17 golds, 19 silvers and 31 bronzes—the country’s biggest medal haul in 20 years at the quadrennial event.
According to Tsai, a number of the golds were firsts for Taiwan in the events and saw the athletes set new national records or personal milestones. She singled out Lee Chih-kai, Tai Tzu-ying and Wen Tzu-yun for achieving such honors in the women’s badminton singles, male pommel horse and women’s karate 55-kilogram division, respectively.
Tsai, who also praised the team’s chef, dietician, medical staffers, physiotherapists and trainers for outstanding contributions to the successful games campaign, said the medal tally demonstrates Taiwan can punch above its weight as a sporting nation.
Going forward, Tsai said providing athletes with enhanced support so they can scale even greater heights for Taiwan is a top priority for the government. The Sports Administration under the Ministry of Education is working to ensure the national team receives everything it needs to outperform at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, she added.
Tsai said this commitment, which includes doubling sports-related budgets and rolling out innovative policies, is expected to help athletes fully focus on earning Taiwan a place at the top table of international sport. (SFC-E)