Four more athletes qualify on merit for Hanoi | Sports | Malay Mail

Source: Four more athletes qualify on merit for Hanoi | Sports | Malay Mail

National athletics head coach Mohd Manshahar Abdul Jalil said 22 national athletes have qualified on merit. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Four national athletes have qualified on merit for the Hanoi SEA Games based on their achievements at the 97th Malaysian Open Athletics Championships, which ended here today.

National athletics head coach Mohd Manshahar Abdul Jalil said that while none qualified on the opening day yesterday, M. Avinesh Austin (men’s 800 metres), Farm Loong Deng (men’s shot put) and Muhaizar Mohamad (men’s marathon) as well as Norliana Kamaruddin (heptathlon) booked their tickets today.

He said that, as such, 22 national athletes have qualified on merit for the Vietnam Games (from May 12-23) through Category A (fully funded by the National Sports Council).

“During the two-day competition, we saw great track and field rivalry, especially the four athletes who were able to qualify for Hanoi via Category A, the adverse weather not withstanding.

“Young athletes also seemed ready to give fierce resistance to the seniors, which is indirectly a good sign for the sport,” he said.

The Malaysian Open, which was held at the National Sports Council Mini Stadium in Bukit Jalil, also saw big names like Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi (men’s 100m), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (men’s 110m hurdles) as well as high jumpers Lee Hup Wei (men) and Yap Sean Yee (women) failing to meet the qualifying marks set for Hanoi.

However, Manshahar said it’s not the end of the road for these athletes pending an assessment by the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) Selection Committee, who will meet tomorrow to determine the final list.

According to him, those given a second chance are expected to be sent to Vietnam under Category B (to be reimbursed if they win a medal).

In the meantime, Manshahar said there are several local tournaments that the qualified athletes will use to prepare for the Hanoi SEA Games.

He also discounted the need to send athletes to competitions in Europe prior to the SEA Games as he preferred to watch them compete at Asian-level competitions.

“To compete in Europe, we would have had to make initial preparations since last December, including the documentation process, but I prefer the athletes to compete in tournaments in Asia because the weather is the same as in Vietnam,” he said.

Despite not qualifying on merit, Hup Wei was still satisfied to have set a personal best this season with a jump of 2.10m, which is 0.05m lower than the qualifying mark set for the Hanoi Games.

“I’m willing to go but it all depends on MAAU’s meeting tomorrow. If I’m not selected for Hanoi, I’ll retire I guess,” said the defending SEA Games champion, who finished with silver, blaming a foot injury as well as the rainy weather on his performance today.

Meanwhile, the 16.27-metre (m) throw by the national shot put champion Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli could not match the might of Farm Loong when he heaved 16.74m to grab gold while Jonah Chang Rigan of Sarawak struck bronze (15.66m).

After emerging as the sprint queen of the meet, Singaporean Pereira Veronica Shanti continued to prove her prowess when she won the women’s 200m in 24.69s. Sarawak’s Erissca Peter (25.43s) took silver and Pahang’s Darshini K. Murugam (26.08s) the bronze.

Results:

Men

200m: 1. Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi (PRK) 21.63s, 2. Jonathan Nyepa (ATM) 21.70s, 3. Tan Zong Yang (SGP) 21.83s.

800m: 1. M. Avinesh Austin (SEL) 1:50.48s, 2. Wan Muhammad Fazri Wan Zahari (KEL) 1:53.77s, 3. Jeff Lim Zhe Yu (SEL) 2:00.98s.

400m hurdles: 1. Quek Jun Jin Calvin (SGP) 52.35s, 2. Muhammad Ammar Aiman Nor Azmi (JOH) 55.94s, 3. Mohd Irfan Izzan Mohd Fetry (SAB) 56.41s.

Javelin: 1. Syed Abrar Syed Ahmad Zawawi (PER) 56.84m, 2. Mohd Alif Mohd Razi (SAB) 56.32m, 3. Chua Yi Xian (MEL) 53.06m.

Triple Jump: 1. Andre Anura @ Anuar (SAB) 16.09m, 2. Brendon Ting Li King (SWK) 15.62m, 3. Mohd Shah Sholihin Azshar (PRK) 15.11m.

Women

800m: 1. J. Padhmaloshini (JOH) 2:20.15s, 2. Hong Xyan (PEN) 2:29.68s, 3. Jerusha Olive Jason (SEL) 2:36.96s.

400m hurdles: 1. Nor Shakiratul Aina Mohamad Asri (TER) 65.63s, 2. Frenynila Sherly Lucius (SAB) 67.79s, 3. Nur Nasyatul Nadia Nasri (KED) 69.50s.

Shot put: 1. Nani Sahirah Maryata (PAH) 12.67m, 2. Nurrul Ainin Syauqina Mohd Nor Azahar (PAH) 11.17m, 3. Nurul Aqma Mohd Nizam (KED) 10.74m.

Heptathlon: 1. Norliana Kamaruddin (NS) 4,839 pts, 2. Mazween Ubong Lah (SWK) 3,758 pts, 3. Nur Syazira Zulhaini (PER) 3,475 pts. — Bernama

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