ATHLETICS: Iskandar, Nauraj get lucky – New Straits Times

ATHLETICS: Iskandar, Nauraj get lucky – New Straits Times.

THE Malaysian Athletics Federation’s (MAF) revised qualification standards for the Commonwealth Games means two athletes have secured their tickets to Glasgow for the event on July 23-Aug 3.

In some cases, MAF has loosened its qualification mark while tightening the required standard in others.

High jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa and Iskandar Alwi are the main beneficiaries of the lowering of qualifying marks with their performances at the Sea Games last December enough to secure their berths in Glasgow.

However, the women’s 4x100m quartet miss out after MAF deemed the sixth-placing mark of the 2010 Games in New Delhi too low.

The same applied to the men’s 800m where Jironi Riduan, the Sea Games double gold medallist who has quit the track for road events, would have qualified based on the sixth-placing standard.

MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said the revised standards were based on analysis done by technical director Robert Ballard, who took into account past results of Commonwealth Games, recent performances of Malaysian athletes and the likelihood of making the finals in Glasgow.

“In some events, the standard has been lowered and in others they have gone up,” said Zainal when contacted yesterday. “Robert did the analysis and came up with the revised standards.

“National athletes have until May 31 to meet the qualifying marks to be included in the contingent to the Commonwealth Games.”

Zainal added that the revised standards for the Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games were accepted by the Olympic Council of Malaysia during a selection committee meeting on Monday and Tuesday.

For the Asian Games, MAF general manager Datuk Kenneth J. Luis confirmed that Nauraj and Iskandar have also qualified along with triple jumper Hakimi Ismail and long jumper Luqman Hakim Ramlan.

Luis said national athletes have two foreign — the Australian and Thai Opens — and six local meets up until May 31 to book their tickets to Glasgow.

“We proposed 17 names for the Commonwealth Games and 32 for the Asian Games,” he said. “However, these are subject to meeting the revised qualifying standard.”