KUALA LUMPUR: Cheer up, Jackie.
Sarawak hammer thrower Jackie Wong Siew Cheer can now look forward to competing in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Wuhan, China, from June 3-7.
His visa application to compete in China has been approved.
Jackie was among 15 athletes named for the ATF meet last week. But he was unsure about the China trip as the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) officials had not contacted him about the visa application.
MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim allayed his fears on Saturday, saying that they have applied visa for all 15 athletes.
“We’ll contact all the athletes by Monday or Tuesday to inform them that their visas have been approved. The athletes will leave for Wuhan on June 1,” said Karim.
The news certainly cheers up the 23-year-old Jackie.
“I can now look forward to competing in the ATF meet ... it will be a good exposure in preparation for the SEA Games,” said Jackie, who will be featuring in his third consecutive Games in Singapore next month.
He won two bronzes in the last two Games – in 2011 in Palembang and in 2013 in Myanmar.
He’s hoping to go one better in Singapore and win a silver.
“I also want to break my national record in Singapore,” said Jackie, who rewrote his national mark in the Philippines Open with a distance of 63.71m in March.
In Singapore, Jackie expects a strong challenge from Filipino Caleb Stuart, whose 64.81m effort handed him the gold medal in the Philippines Open.
The burly Stuart has a personal best of 68.66m, which he set in the Los Angeles Open in early March.
The other Malaysian athletes bound for Wuhan are Eddie Edward Junior (100m), Harith Ammar Sobri, Jonathan Nyepa (200m), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, Mohd Ajmal Aiman (110m hurdles), Mohd Firdaus Musa, Saidatul Izzati Suhaimi (400m hurdles), Mohd Irfan Shamsuddin (discus) and Lee Hup Wei (high jump) for men. The women are Raja Nursheena Raja Azhar (100m hurdles), Grace Wong Xiu Mei, Casier Renee Kelly Lee (hammer), Noor Amira Nafiah (long jump) and Noor Shahidatun Nadia Mohd Zuki (triple jump).
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