Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Athletics: Yufang wants China stint in bid to retain gold medal

KUALA LUMPUR: Walker Yuan Yufang wants to go to China for one-month stint to prepare for the SEA Games.

The Manila SEA Games gold medallist said that she had not been clocking good times in competitions and was in dire need of high-level training in Kunming.

“My aim is to retain the 20km walk gold medal in Korat. I am a bit worried about my performance and needs to buck up. High-level training will help,” she said.

The 29-year-old Yufang clocked a slow time of 1'51:28 in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) in Amman in July and it was way off her personal best of 1'30:33.

The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) coaching and development committee chairman, Karim Ibrahim, said that the National Sports Council (NSC) had requested Yufang to submit her training programme in China.

“Yufang is the gold medal prospect in the Korat Games and we are confident that NSC will allow her to train in China. To date, 20 athletes have qualified for the Games and Yufang is the only one to request for overseas training,'' said Karim.

Yufang has delivered gold for Malaysia in the walk event of every SEA Games since 1999 in Brunei.

Karim added that they would switch their SEA Games training camp from the NSC training track in Bukit Jalil to Kota Kinabalu after Hari Raya.

“The athletes have been training in Bukit Jalil since beginning of the year and they need a new environment,” he said. “They will train for a month in Kota Kinabalu.''

Three male walkers have met the Games qualifying mark.

They are Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman, Lo Choon Sieng and B. Thirukumaran but only two of them will get to go to Korat.

The MAAU will also pick their two representatives for the men's 100m from seven who have met the qualifying mark – Mohd Noor Imran Hadi, Mohd Latif Nyat, Danial Azuan Amar Nand, Mohd Zabidi Ghazali, Zabidi Ahmad, Mohd Asyraf Afendi and Mohd Arif Naim.

The others who have qualified for the Games are hurdlers Mohd Robani Hassan, Mohd Rayzam Shah, Noraseela Khalid; high jumpers Lee Hup Wei and Ahmad Najwan; pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu; triple jumper Ngew Sin Mei; hammer thrower Siti Shahida Abdullah and 1,500m runner M. Vadivellan.

The Star

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