KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 (Bernama) — Malaysian Athletics Union (MAU) technical director Robert Ballard has set a 23 medals target for the 28th SEA Games to be held in Singapore from June 5 to 16.
With just 17 athletes qualified for the biennial games to date, Ballard believes the national squad’s good performance should significantly increase the medal tally.
“We currently have three athletes who ranks number one in South-east Asia, Mohd Hakimi Ismail (triple jump), Nauraj Singh Randhawa (high jump) and Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (discuss), who have the potential of delivering the medals,” he told Bernama at the Malaysian Open Athletics Championships held at Bukit Jalil National Stadium here, today.
Ballard said Malaysia has a good prospect to win medals in both the women’s and men’s hammer event and the men’s pole vault at the SEA Games.
He said his prediction has not been presented to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the MAU.
“When we get closer to the SEA Games, we will decide how many is the gold, silver and bronze medals,” he added.
Meanwhile, sprinter Nixson Kennedy of Sarawak became the 17th athlete to qualify for the SEA Games by finishing the 100m sprit in 10.50s in the semi-final.
Nixson surpassed OCM’s silver medal recommendation of 10.51 beside booking a place in the final tomorrow along with Mohd Izzuddin Yahya who set 10.48s in another semi-final.
However, triple jumper Mohd Hakimi failed to qualify for the SEA Games based on the recommended qualifying standard by posting a poor 15.86m.
Mohd Hakimi, who holds the national record of 16.44m at the Myanmar SEA Games two years ago, failed to meet the recommend qualifying of 16.04m eventhough he bagged the gold medal today.
Speaking to the reporters after the prize giving ceremony, the Myanmar SEA Games silver medalist left the decision to MAU to decide his participation in Singapore.
Shot putter Adi Alifuddin Hussin, the silver medalist in Myanmar, also shared a similar fate when he failed to qualify by only scoring 15.87m, below the recommended 16.33m