MAF Throws A Lifeline To Athletes Who Have Yet To Qualify For The SEA Games On Merit

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) has given athletes who have yet to qualify for the Singapore SEA Games on merit a lifeline.

MAF President Datuk Karim Ibrahim said the federation had decided to register the names of potential athletes for the SEA Games first since the dateline given by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) was April 1.

“These athletes will be given 45 days to try and meet the qualifying mark. They will be given a chance to compete in three local and overseas meets to enable them to achieve the target.

“The MAF council which met today unanimously agreed to list 43 athletes for the SEA Games, including 17 who have already qualified on merit. They must be at least a bronze medal prospect before the final entry is submitted,” he told reporters when met during the Malaysian Open Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here Sunday.

He said among those who would be given a chance are shot put thrower Adi Alifuddin Hussein and sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (woman) while those who qualify for the 100m would be given a chance to compete in the 200m as well.

Karim said the MAF had also decided to send entries for the walk, 4x100m and 4x400m relays during the Singapore SEA Games scheduled from June 5 to 16.

OCM President Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar had earlier announced that all National sports associations must submit their list of athletes for the Singapore SEA Games by April 1.

He said after three days of action in the Malaysian Open, only two sprinters, Mohd Izzuddin Yahya (men’s 200m) with a time of 21.40s and Nixson Kennedy (men’s 100m) with a time of 10.50s, managed to make the cut.

With the addition of the two sprinters, 17 athletes qualified on merit to compete in 18 events.

Meanwhile, National pole vault record holder Iskandar Alwi and National discus champion Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin used the Malaysian Open as a platform to renew their own marks, yesterday.

In pole vault Iskandar raised the bar from 5.15m (old record) to 5.16m while Muhammad Irfan threw the discus 58.04m to erase his old mark of 54.26m.

Karim added that aspiring young athletes can also earn a ticket to the Singapore SEA Games when they compete in the 10th SEA Junior Athletics Championships at the National Sports Council Mini Stadium in Bukit Jalil, in two weeks time.

“The government has approved our appeal for funds to host the championships which involves athletes who are 17 and below from 11 ASEAN countries, including Malaysia,” he said.

— BERNAMA