High jumper Nauraj Singh cleared 2.20m en route to winning the gold medal in the Malaysian Open last October. The qualifying mark of the Commonwealth Games is 2.19m, which is the sixth placing mark of the 2010 Games.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) have warned the two athletes who have qualified for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July not to take their places for granted.
The athletes – high jumper Nauraj Singh and pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi, both from Johor – have surpassed the qualifying mark for the Games, being held from July 23-Aug 3.
Nauraj cleared 2.20m en route to winning the gold medal in the Malaysian Open last October. The qualifying mark is 2.19m, which is the sixth placing mark of the 2010 Games.
Iskandar rewrote his national record of 5.10m to win the silver in the Myanmar SEA Games last December. The qualifying mark is 5.00m.
They are the only two to qualify in the athletics field so far.
MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said that they would conduct special trials three weeks before the Commonwealth Games to gauge the performance of the duo.
“If they do well in the trials they will go to Glasgow,” said Zainal, insisting there would be no “passengers”.
“We don’t want athletes going to Glasgow and then saying they cannot jump because they are injured.
“We will only send athletes who are injury-free and can give their best at the Games,” said Zainal, recalling what happened at the 2012 London Olympics.
Noraseela Khalid, the women’s 400m hurdler, went to the Olympics despite suffering a hamstring injury. She clocked 1:00.16 in the heats, which was far from her personal best of 56.02.
Former Asian high jump champion Lee Hup Wei, who holds the national record of 2.27m, only managed 2.16m to finish a poor 30th in that Olympics.
Zainal reminded athletes that the country spent a lot of money preparing them for the Games and want them to improve their personal best in competitions.
“We have also revised the qualification standards for the Commonwealth Games based on the analysis done by technical director John (Ballard) and the recent performance of Malaysian athletes and those likely to make the finals (in all events at the Games).
“In some events it is tougher to qualify and time is running out for other athletes to surpass the qualifying mark,” said Zainal.
The last Malaysian athlete to have won a medal in athletics in the Commonwealth Games was G. Saravanan, who won the men’s 50km walk in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.