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Deserving duo overlooked for the Olympics

 | July 30, 2012

Malaysian Athletic Union deputy president Karim Ibrahim claims hidden hands meddled in the selection process.

KUALA LUMPUR: The future of Malaysian athletes succeeding at the highest level of competition is heading in wrong direction, said the Malaysian Athletics Union (MAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim.

Karim claimed hidden hands had meddled in the selection process of two athletes – high jumper Lee Hup Wei and hurdler Noraseela Khalid.

He said that hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian and pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu were the best in their respective events and deserved to be in London instead of Lee and Noraseela.

He said MAU had agreed, at its council meeting on May 31, that selections be base on the International Association of Athletic Association (IAAF) qualifying mark.

Both Rayzam Shah and Roslinda scored better points compared to Lee and Noraseela.

He said even though not a single Malaysian athletes made it under ‘B’ qualifying standard, both Rayzam and Roslinda were the better choices.

“They are young and the best in this region and have made great improvements since winning gold in their respective events at the last SEA Games in Palembang,” said Karim.

Rayzam, said Karim, clocked a personel best of 13.6 seconds during his recent stint in Germany, while Roslinda’s personal best jump was 4.20 metres.

Karim claimed that some other youngsters were doing better compared with Lee and Noraseela.

He said he had nothing against Lee or Noraseela but said both had taken part in major events and are in the twilight of their careers.

“We must justify the tax payers money by not by being mere passengers at the game,” added Karim.

For the record, two senior officials of MAU had accompanied the Malaysian athletes who are not expected to go beyond the first round.

Athletes demoralised

When asked why he was favouring Rayman and Roslinda, Karim said that both were at the peak of their careers and should be exposed to the highest level of competition.

“Senior MAU council members, including myself, feel that Rayman and Roslinda may have fared better compared to Lee and Noraseela,” said Karim.

He claimed that Malaysian Sport Council (MSN) and two MAU council members, without his knowledge, had favoured Lee and Noraseela for the London Games.

“It’s bad for the sport, especially for the younsters and their family members who had sacrificed much to excel in their respective fields,” said Karim.

Rayman was recently qouted as saying that he was utterly devastated at being sidelined and intended to quit athletics.

“Maybe it’s time I quit athletics. It’s something I’m thinking about and when I’m no longer around, then maybe it will open their eyes,” he was qouted by a national media.


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