July  3 - Malaysia's athletes will start training at Bath University later this year for the London 2012 Olympics after they choose there instead of Loughborough, it was announced in Kuala Lumpur today.

The National Sports Institute (NSI) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University in October, they said.

NSI director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz said this would pave the way for the university to be used as Malaysia's High Performance Training Centre (HTPC) in Europe.

He said: "After the MoU, Malaysian athletes will be undergoing training at the university especially in three sports with good gold medal prospects - badminton, archery and cycling.

In March Aziz had told insidethegames that he had hoped to sign MoU's with both Bath and Loughborough and for Malaysian athletes to begin training there from August.

But now an exclusive deal will be signed with Bath, which was controversially overlooked as the choice for Britain's training camp in the build-up to London 2012.

Aziz said the choice of the University of Bath over Loughborough University as the HTPC had the support of Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek but that he hoped to continue working with the Leicestershire centre, who recently signed a deal to host Japan's Olympic team for 2012.

Bath will also be Malaysia's base for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and for other events around Europe, including major badminton tournaments.

The Malaysian Government have made winning the country's first Olympic gold medal in London a major priority.

The South East Asian country, which gained independence from Britain in 1957, finished 74th in the medals table in Beijing with the silver medal badmionton player Lee Chong Wei won in the men's singles, the fourth Olympic medal won by a Malaysian player since the sport was introduced in 1992.

The deals with Bath and Loughborough ends a long and controversial search by Malaysia to find somewhere to prepare in Britain for London 2012.

An original plan to set up a camp at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury, London was blocked by East Herts Council Development Control Committee.

The NSI then held discussions with Marlborough College before they broke down.

The University of Bath has established an enviable record in recent years for its sporting success under Ged Roddy, their sporting director.

A number of sports are based there, including Modern Pentathlon and triathlon, while Malcolm Arnold, the former coach of Colin Jackson and Jason Gardener, oversees a high-profile athletics group.