Malaysian Powerlifting Team Facing Financial Struggle Over Championships

The 2019 Asian Powerlifting Championships are happening in Kazakhstan this December, but one critical team may not be in attendance.

Despite collecting an impressive 24 medals and several top-5 finishes over the past few years, the Malaysian powerlifting team may not be competing in the Asian Powerlifting Championships this year due to budget restrictions. Powerlifters Kelvin Yeoh, Liew Ashton, Kenneth Kaden Chin, Nelson Chui, Kathryn Chong, and Stephanie Ensol spoke out to Mashable East Asia about lacking financial support from the government.

“We were told that due to the change of government during the General Elections, the new presidential council had to settle the [financial] issues within the ministry first,” Kenneth said.


In the past, the Malaysian government has suspended funding from the team when it felt the money was better spent elsewhere. Events like the SEA Games, which host more mainstream sporting events like football, rugby, and rowing, often generate more revenue than sports that are thought of as more niche, like powerlifting. This sometimes results in a lapse in funding. The team has yet to receive any funding from the government with less than three weeks out from the competition; in their current condition, they expect to be competitive “for 10 medals, with at least 5 of them being Gold.” With nowhere else to turn, the team is using crowdfunding to help cover the cost of transport and housing for the duration of the competition.

You can check out some of the impressive deadlifting from these athletes on their Instagrams below:

Best of luck, Team Malaysia, on making it to your competition! We’re rooting for you!

*Image courtesy of Instagram

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