KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) will push for the national men’s sprint squad to be sent to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) selection committee will meet on Monday and Tuesday to decide the country’s contingent for the April 4-15 games with MAF proposing 14 names in total.
They include sprinters Khairul Hafiz Jantan, Nixson Kennedy, Jonathan Nyepa, Badrul Hisyam Manap and Haiqal Hanafi.
“It is up to OCM to decide on who to select but all the athletes we have proposed have qualified on merit with the exception of the relay team,” said MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim after chairing a meeting on the programme towards the 2019 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur today.
“They qualified according to the placings of the last Commonwealth Games.”
Podium Programme athletes Nauraj Singh Randhawa, Irfan Shamshuddin and Hakimi Ismail are almost certain to be selected for trip to the Gold Coast.
MAF also hope to send hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, high jumper Lee Hup Wei, pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi, shot putter Jackie Wong, sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli and heptathlon national record holder Norliyana Kamaruddin.
The national 4x100m men’s relay team set a national record of 39.27 seconds at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games last August but could only finish fourth.
However, they did so without Khairul in the team as he was sidelined by a hamstring injury after winning the 100m gold medal.
Karim also said MAF will recommend to the National Sports Council that 18 coaches, whose contracts ended on Dec 31, be retained but this does not include long distance coach Samuel Rono and sprints coach Hamberi Mahat.
Fero Petrovic and Viktor Sotnikov, the respective coaches of Irfan and Hakimi, will be promoted to the Podium Programme while MAF hope to bring in two foreign coaches for the long distance and hurdles disciplines.