Let Mandy go to SEA Games to improve on her time, says Noraseela

NORASEELA Khalid watched in vain as no Malaysian dipped below the 60s second barrier in the women’s 400m hurdles in the ongoing Malaysia Games (Sukma).

But she has a solution and urged the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) to send Sarawak’s Mandy Goh for the SEA Games in Cambodia next year.

Mandy, who won the 400m crown at the Games yesterday, has been undefeated for more than a year and cruised to her victory at the National Stadium.

However, Mandy’s time of 61.49s was still far from the 60s mark.

Noraseela said while the Sarawakian has the talent to go even faster, she does not have rivals to push her at the local events.

Despite the wet condition, Mandy managed to overcome Nor Shakiratul Aina Asri Terengganu (62.99s) and Ainur Shafiqah Azmi of Negri Sembilan (63.66s) easily.

The fact that yesterday’s mark was her new personal best, previous time being 61.91s, and this stresses the need for Mandy to be considered for overseas tournaments.

Noraseela still holds the national record of 56.02s which she set in Germany in 2006.

“Mandy has the potential and she has been the number one in this event for more than a year. She won easily here but she needs to compete internationally if she is to break the 60s barrier,” said Noraseela who has been Sarawak’s athletics coach since 2019.

“If she keeps competing locally, she is not going to improve. SEA Games in a competition where she can push herself and start improving. We tried to include her this year but she was not considered but she should be given the chance.”

Mandy was happy that she was able to register her personal best and felt that the rain had actually helped her.

“The wet condition didn’t bother me. It actually helped me and I am happy to achieve my personal best,” said the 22-year-old.

“My next target is to compete at the SEA Games and hopefully I can also win a medal in the process.”

“My main goal is to go below the 60s and I will be working hard to achieve the milestone.”

Being a good motivator herself, Noraeela’s brief presence in Mandy’s career should inspire the young athlete to emulate the multiple SEA Games champion and achieve the seemingly difficult task of breaking below 60s in her event.

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