SINGAPORE: The Malaysian athletics team bound for the Singapore SEA Games endured a mixed day in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Wuhan, China.
Of the six athletes who were in action on the opening day of the ATF on Wednesday, only Grace Wong Xiu Mei (hammer) and Noor Amira Nafiah (long jump) received the thumbs up from Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) technical director Roberth Ballard.
The 15-year-old Grace, who made her debut in the ATF finished a creditable fifth in the women’s hammer event with a season’s best of 53.10m.
China’s Liu Tingting (68.24m) and Luo Na (65.77m) bagged the gold and silver. Japan’s Watanabe Akane took the bronze with 59.39m. Malaysia’s Casier Renee Kelly Lee finished last with a throw of 47.80m.
In women’s long jump, Noor Amira did well to equal her national record of 6.29m to finish fifth.
China’s Lu Minjia leapt 6.52m for the gold while South Korea’s Jung Soo-nok bagged the silver with an effort of 6.47m. China’s Xu Xioling cleared 6.46m to finish third.
Ballard was impressed with Grace’s effort in throwing beyond the 50m mark.
“I hope she can throw close to her personal best of 55.82m in the SEA Games. Noor Amira also did well to equal her national mark in the long jump event,” said Ballard.
Grace and Noor Amira’s events in the Singapore SEA Games are scheduled for June 9 and 10.
Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games silver medallist, clocked a poor time of 14.11 in the men’s 110m hurdles and failed to qualify for the final. His effort was way off his personal best of 13.81, which he did in the Australian Open in 2012.
Sprinter Harith Ammar Mohd Sobri clocked 10.57 in the men’s 100m semi-finals but it was still not good enough for him to qualify for the final.
The sixth Malaysian in action was woman high jumper Yap Sean Yee who cleared 1.70m to finish fifth.