THE Qosanov Memorial Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on June 19-20 is the last chance saloon for Malaysia’s track and field athletes to qualify for the Olympics.
The Olympic qualification period for the Tokyo Games (July 23-Aug 8) will end on June 29.
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) will send Lee Hup Wei (high jump), Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (discus throw), Andre Anura Anuar (long jump), Muhammad Hakimi Ismail (triple jump), Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi and Jonathan Nyepa (100 metres) to Almaty.
Also competing in the Qosanov Championships will be Khairul Hafiz Jantan (200m), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (110m hurdles), Connie Chu (discus throw) and Yap Sean Yee (high jump).
The national athletes were supposed to compete in the Malaysian Open next month but it has been postponed due to the worsening Covid-19 situation.
MAF president Datuk S.M. Muthu said: “Our main focus now is the Olympics, then we will think about the Vietnam Sea Games qualifiers which are still open till November.
“We will send athletes who have the potential to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic to the Qosanov Memorial Championships first.
“If the Covid-19 cases drop, we can host the Malaysia Open and National Youth Championships, and for that, we need the athletes to be fit.
“We want our athletes to keep focused and continue training like normal.”