PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) have made an exception to the ruling to compel gymnasts to take part in the national championships so as to be eligible for international meets.
Top national top men’s artistic gymnast Ng Shu Wai (pic) is told to remain in China for his training and his place in the team for the World Championships in August and the SEA Games in December is assured.
The Manchester Commonwealth Games silver medallist will not be required to compete in the national championships in Kuala Lumpur on June 27-28.
He has been in training with the Chinese national gymnast in Beijing since March.
As China is one of the countries affected by SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Shu Wai will be required to be quarantined for 10 days upon his return to Malaysia for the national championships next month.
The MGF secretary, N. Shanmugarajah, said that it was best to exempt Shu Wai from the championships because he would miss out on 10 days of training if he were to come back.
“It’s better that he remains in Beijing and continue with his training. Based on his credentials and on the feedback we get from China on his progress, he will be in our team for the world meet and SEA Games,” he said.
The world meet in Florida is an avenue for gymnast to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics and Shu Wai is the best bet to become the first Malaysian man to feature in the Games.
“China have taken great precaution at their training centre. We have reports from the NSC (National Sports Council) on his progress. They get in touch with him every week. Even his parents get updates on his progress,” said Shanmugarajah.
“Except for Shu Wai, it is compulsory for all others, including the rhythmic gymnasts, to compete in the national meet.
Otherwise they will not be considered for selection for international championships.”
The national rhythmic gymnastics championships will also be held in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 3-5.
Shanmugarajah added that prior to the national meets, the national men’s artistic team would spend a month in centralised training at the Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) in Johor from May 19-June 20.
The team comprise Loke Yik Siang, Ng Shu Man, Onn Kwang Tung, Ooi Wei Siang, Lum Wan Fang and Heng Wah Mai.