Thursday, September 27, 2007

Submission of entries hampered by last-minute appeals

KUALA LUMPUR: The submission of entries of Malaysian athletes for the SEA Games in December have been held up after 13 sports made eleventh hour appeals for the inclusion of their athletes under Category A.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) selection committee met yesterday but they were unable to come up with the final list of athletes.

The 13 sports are athletics, football, judo, baseball, cycling, tennis, lawn bowls, sailing, triathlon, fencing, volleyball, taekwondo and weightlifting.

However, the OCM president, Tuanku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, allayed fears that the registration process would be held up.

“We should be able to finalise most of the entries by tomorrow. There is still time. We have to officially submit entries by names to the organisers by Oct 8,” he said.

“Some sports have appealed for their athletes to go under Category A. For example, the men's football team felt they should go under Category A because they won the Merdeka Tournament last month.

“In the case of lawn bowls, they have submitted six-member teams earlier.

“They are now optimistic of a clean sweep of six gold medals and wanted us to consider allowing them to bring one extra athlete.”

Category A athletes are fully funded by the OCM. Under Category B, the OCM will reimburse the costs of the expenses of an athlete in full if he wins at least a silver medal. A 50% reimbursement will be given to a team winning at least a bronze of a competition involving more than five countries.

The Malaysian contingent of more than 600 athletes will compete in a total of 37 sports in the Games, which will be held in Korat, Pattaya and Phuket.

The Star

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