Monday, October 29, 2007

Put Your Best Foot Forward At All-comers Meet - Shahidan

By Jaiarajo LetchumananKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysian athletes bound for the Korat SEA Games have been urged to put their best foot forward when competing in the MAAU/NSC All-Comers meet on Nov 3-4 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim wants SEA Games' athletes to use the All-Comers meet to showcase their calibre, especially in the presence of top-class athletes in the meet."We are expecting countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore to send their best athletes here as these countries will also be competing in the SEA Games," Shahidan told Bernama."My message to the athletes has been loud and clear always - that I want them to give their best and deliver the goods - especially in the SEA Games. I will be meeting them tomorrow and hope to have a pep-talk with them," said the Perlis Menteri Besar.Shahidan, who took over as MAAU president in October last year, will be hosting a Hari Raya open house for MAAU officials and SEA Games-bound athletes tomorrow.

Apart from Malaysia as host, countries like SEA Games host, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are expected to send their best athletes for the meet which has also attracted countries like Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Bahrain.The Malaysian athletics contingent have been targeted to deliver at least 10 gold medals in Korat, 20 per cent more than the eight won during the 2005 Manila SEA Games.However, Shahidan feels Malaysian athletes are capable of winning more than 10 gold medals, since the core of gold medal winners in Manila are still on the boat to Korat and the fact that a number of young athletes have been showing very good progress.Five of the women gold medal winners in Manila - Yuan Yufang (20km walk), Ngew Sin Mei (triple jump), Roslinda Samsu (pole vault), Siti Shahida Abdullah (hammer throw), Moh Siew Wei (100m hurdles) and two men winners Mohd Shahrul Haizy (20km walk) and Shahadan Jamaludin (400m hurdles) will be in Korat.The only medal winner who will not be in Korat is 110m hurdles winner Robani Hassan who has been floored by injury.

Apart from the seven, Norasheela Khalid, who returns from injury after missing the Manila Games, is regarded as a strong gold medal prospect in the 400m hurdles, while Doha Asian Games men's high jump gold medallist, Lee Hup Wei, will start as the clear favourite in his event.The emergence of Sabahan Josbert Tinus, who leaped 7.88m in the Thailand Open early this month to shatter Mohd Zaki Sadri's 11-year old record in long jump, is another medal prospect in Korat, as the mark also bettered the SEA Games record of 7.81m set by Henry Dagmil of the Philippines in Manila.-- BERNAMA

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