Hammer thrower first national athlete to test positive for Covid-19

Jackie Wong Siew Cheer was exposed to the deadly virus when he visited his father in hospital. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: National hammer thrower Jackie Wong Siew Cheer is the first national athlete to test positive for Covid-19, according to the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF).

Its president, S M Muthu today said the national record holder was confirmed positive for the viral infection through the test results issued by Sibu Hospital, Sarawak early this morning.

He said Wong was suspected of having been infected with the virus while visiting his father, Sarikei Member of Parliament Andrew Wong Ling Biu who was receiving treatment at the hospital as a patient under investigation for Covid-19, recently.

With this latest development, Muthu said MAF immediately decided to stop the training for national athletes, besides cancelling a number of competitions so as to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection.

“This action will remain until we receive further directives from the Health Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and National Sports Institute.

“The MAF views this matter seriously to protect the health of our athletes and ensure that they are not infected by the virus,” he said at a media conference held at the MAF office today.

Muthu stressed that all the national athletes and coaches must self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Meanwhile, he said MAF did not intend to ask national high jumpers Nauraj Singh Randhawa and Lee Hup Wei, who are now undergoing training in Brisbane, Australia, to return to Malaysia soon.

He explained that MAF was still hoping for at least one national athlete to qualify on merit to the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in view of the duration in qualifying for the Games to be ending in June.

“If there is none, we will name an athlete who we think qualify to fill the wildcard slot to the coming Olympic Games,” said Muthu.

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