COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Qualifying standards to be revised
THE Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) plans to revise several qualifying standards for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Although the Olympic Council of Malaysia routinely uses the sixth-placed mark of the previous Games as the qualifying criterion, MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said some adjustment is required.
“Some of the qualifying marks are either too high or too low and need adjustment,” he told Timesport on Wednesday.
“We plan to revise the standards for some events.
“For instance, the women’s sprint quartet have qualified but the standard is very low.
“We don’t want to just send them and then they get eliminated early.”
MAF’s management committee was scheduled to meet at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday to discuss the matter but the meeting was postponed to Tuesday after Zainal had to undergo an emergency medical procedure.
MAF will also be meeting its joint-working committee partner National Sports Council on Monday to map out the athletics schedule for the year and preparations leading to the 2015 Singapore Sea Games.
The national women’s 4x100m quartet met the low sixth-placed qualifying standard for the July 23-Aug 3 Commonwealth Games largely as a result of several disqualifications in the event’s final in New Delhi in 2010.
Middle distance runner Jironi Riduan, who won two gold medals at the Sea Games last December, also qualified for the men’s 800m but has quit the track, and now only runs road events.
The adjustments will be made based on the recommendations of new MAF technical director Robert Ballard.
Meanwhile, MAF named four young walkers for the Asian 20km Race Walking Championships in Nomi City, Japan on Sunday.
They are Khairil Harith Harun and newcomer Eswaran Rajan Deran for the men’s race and 2012 Malaysia Games double gold medallist Elena Goh and Pua Ling En for the women’s.