Antananarivo — Eighty-eight Malagasy athletes will be sent to China for five months of training this year, Malagasy sports minister said on Friday.
"Eighty-eight Malagasy athletes in five disciplines will be selected by Chinese experts and Malagasy technicians and will leave this year for five months of training in China," Madagascar's minister of sports Anicet Andriamosarisoa said during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong.
"These Malagasy athletes perform in swimming, athletics, ping pong, weightlifting and badminton," the minister said.
"The Chinese government sent a study mission consisting of four experts to study the needs of the Malagasy side and establish the sports cooperation program," the minister added.
Apart from swimming, athletics, ping pong, weightlifting and badminton, other disciplines will also be improved as part of this Sino-Malagasy sport cooperation program, the minister disclosed.
Yang said that the two countries planned to invite Chinese sports coaches in Madagascar and to send talented Malagasy athletes to train in China and provide sports equipment.
"Our goal is to help Madagascar improve the performances and conditions of training," the Chinese ambassador said.
"The implementation of this project will reinforce the existing cooperation and will support the implementation of Madagascar's national sports policy, increase the exchanges of young athletes from both countries," Yang said.
The Chinese ambassador added that this is "the most important project in recent years in the field of sports cooperation between the two countries."