KUALA LUMPUR: After missing out on the Manila SEA Games two years ago because of an Achilles injury, hurdler Noraseela Khalid is looking at getting back on the rostrum in the biennial Games in Korat in December.
Noraseela, who was the 400m hurdles gold medallist in the 1999 and 2003 editions, is also nursing a right hamstring injury at the moment. The 28-year-old sustained the injury in May but she is expected to be fully fit for the Games.
“I have been out of competition since picking up the hamstring injury. I have resumed training but only on grass. Once I am fully recovered, I will train on track.”
Despite the lack of preparations of the SEA Games, Noraseela strongly believes that she will be able to do well in Korat.
“My best time thus far is 56.00, which I did in the Domlitzmilch-Gala competition in Germany in June last year,” said Noraseela.
“As a senior of the team, there will be pressure on me to deliver a gold medal in the SEA Games. If I can clock close to 57 seconds, I have a good chance to win the gold medal.”
The Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) are looking at the team improving on the eight-gold haul achieved in the Manila Games.
The MAAU coaching and development committee chairman, Karim Ibrahim, said: “We have a big team of 52 athletes (42 in Category A and 10 in Category B). But many of them are from the back-up squad and were promoted recently to the senior side.
“We are not putting pressure on them to deliver. But an improvement on the medal haul from Manila is a realistic target. We are counting on the seniors to deliver and we hope for a few surprises from the others.”