SEA Games/Athletics: Alarming Performance: Track and field in dire straits

NST Online 17/12/2007

Men's 4x400 quartet of (from right) Muhamamd Zaiful Zainal Abidin, S. Thipan, Mohd Zafril Zuslaini and Amran Raj Krishnan celebrate their victory.
Men’s 4×400 quartet of (from right) Muhamamd Zaiful Zainal Abidin, S. Thipan, Mohd Zafril Zuslaini and Amran Raj Krishnan celebrate their victory.

THANK God for little mercies like 110m hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian and the men’s 4×400 quartet of Mohd Zafril Zuslaini, Muhamad Zaiful Zainal Abidin, S. Thipan and K. Amran Raj.

Otherwise athletics is in a really sorry state.

In fact, it is the worse gold haul after 1959 and 1975 and should worry the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union.

Only seven gold was won when the target was 10, which would have been acceptable considering the withdrawals of hurdlers Robani Hassan and Noraseela Khalid, but how was the latter targeted when she has been injured for almost a year?

Lee Hup Wei taking the high jump gold was just about the only other highlight for Malaysia in athletics.

Roslinda Samsu (women’s pole vault), Siti Shahida Abdullah (hammer), Yuan Yu Fang (20km walk) and Teoh Boon Lim (men’s 20km walk) were all targeted to deliver and they did.

But Moh Siew Wei (women’s 100m hurdles) and Ngew Sin Mei (long jump) failed but the question is, where are the other rising athletes?

Malaysia was once a force in Asia but today, the athletes are struggling at the Sea Games and this should worry MAAU.

A reason for this alarming state of affairs has to be the dwindling interest for the sport and the various meets the MAAU and it affiliates organise are proof of that.

Some events don’t even have two competitors and it is a common practice for several states to organise their respective Opens on the same weekend.

The rot must be stopped.

~ by missjewelz on December 17, 2007.

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