Brunei’s mistake may rob Malaysia’s Badrul of 100m record

Source: Brunei’s mistake may rob Malaysia’s Badrul of 100m record

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — It was a costly mistake, committed by others, that national sprinter Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap will never forget.

The 18-year-old, who was celebrated after breaking Watson Nyambek’s 17-year record by clocking 10.29s in the 100m event at the 7th Asean Schools Games in Brunei on Nov 23, may not be able to ink his name in the record books after all, due to irregularities on the part of race officials during the event.

While Badrul is resigned to his fate, the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) lambasted the Brunei Darussalam Amateur Athletics Association (AAA) after it admitted wrongly positioning a wind gauge. MAF also took a swipe at the Education Ministry for failing to notify the national body of Badrul’s timing.

Brunei AAA, in replying to an email from MAF recently, admitted they had installed the instrument in the opposite direction, against International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules that state the wind gauge for track events must be placed beside the straight, adjacent to lane one and 50m from the finish line. It must be positioned at a height of 1.22m and not more than 2m from the track.

“How can this even happen? We enjoy a cordial relationship with Brunei, but that will not stop me from taking them to task over such a silly but huge mistake. Don’t tell me the officials who accompanied the team there also didn’t realise? The poor boy (Badrul) has been robbed of his opportunity to place his name in the record books,” said MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim.

“You think it is easy for Badrul to clock 10.29s again? I hope he does but this shouldn’t have happened, especially when it is a regional competition and is already in its seventh edition.”

Karim said he was unsure if the organisers had conducted an anti-doping test on the Malacca-born sprinter immediately after his run.

“No one told me anything… not even the ministry. To break a record, you need to substantiate it with documents, including a photo finish, anti-doping test results and electronic timing.”

“I’m not sure if those who followed our athletes there know the rules of the sport.”

Karim wrote to Brunei AAA requesting the required documentation on Dec 3. Its general secretary Siti Adia Tawang replied on Monday saying: “ …the wind gauge (was) placed (in) the wrong direction during the event. It was placed 50m before the finish line but at lane eight, not adjacent to Lane 1 as stated in the IAAF competitions rules. That’s our mistake.”

“Our result is based on (the) Electronic Timing System, the error (was) only the wind gauge (that was) not at the right (place). It’s your decision now either to verify the record or not. (On) our part, it is clear, our mistake is the wind gauge direction.”

Karim added: “I’ve been told the officials were all locals … there was no foreign technical director around. Why so?”

He added that the Education Ministry should have informed MAF about the event and engaged with the federation when Badrul won the race.

“When our state affiliates go for meets, they write to us to inform us. We will then advise them accordingly.”

Karim said Brunei AAA promised to provide a report regarding the fiasco “by this week”.

“I met Badrul and his team mates two weeks ago and spoke to them about what transpired. I’ve explained to Badrul that his timing remains the nation’s all-time best, but it is not a national record until we get the required documents.”

Efforts to contact representatives of Brunei AAA and the ministry were unsuccessful at press time.

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