KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — National high jumper Lee Hup Wei has finally received some long-awaited good news that his coach has been allowed to accompany him to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which begin on July 23.
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk S M Muthu confirmed that Hup Wei’s coach, Aleksandar Gasparyan, will join the 34-year-old to Tokyo, in addition to the team manager who had been listed previously.
“We have just gotten confirmation from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) that the application to bring the coach was approved. We hope that this will help him perform better.
“We would like to thank OCM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria and secretary-general Mohd Nazifuddin Najib for granting the approval to bring the coach along,” he told Bernama today.
MAF had previously been criticised for sending only team manager S Govindarajoo for the world’s premier sporting event and for not listing Aleksandar.
Hup Wei, the 2007 Asian champion, qualified for the Tokyo Games after being ranked 23rd in the World Athletics with 1,235 points, allowing Malaysia to have a representative in the men’s high jump for four consecutive Olympics since Beijing 2008.
It will be his third Olympics appearance after Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Another track and field athlete who secured a chance to compete at this year’s Olympics is Azreen Nabila Alias in the women’s 100 metres.
“She is a young athlete with not that much experience. We don’t mind whatever result she gets there; the experience and exposure gained at the Olympics will help the development of her career,” Muthu said. — Bernama