PETALING JAYA: Diver Yeoh Ken Nee (pic) can forget about his chance of competing in the 2004 Athens Olympics and defending his titles in the Vietnam SEA Games in December.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) have lost patience with Ken Nee and they have decided to drop him from the training squad preparing for the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar.
Asum secretary Edwin Chong said yesterday that Ken Nee, who won two bronze medals at the Busan Asian Games last year, had not been in training for some time since his inclusion in the 2006 programme early this year.
Ken Nee won three gold medals in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2001. He was the first Malaysian to win silver in the world junior championships in 2000.
Early this year, he made a request to Asum to let him concentrate on his studies in a private college and to reduce the duration of his training sessions.
“Because the programme is geared towards the 2006 Asian Games, we agreed to allow him to come for training in the afternoon during weekdays. But he had to undergo full sessions on weekends,” said Edwin.
“However, he has not stuck to the agreement and he has not attended any training session. We gave him ample time over the last two months to contact us and discuss with us his future plans.
“I tried to contact him but he did not respond. We are left with no choice but to recommend to National Sports Council (NSC) that Ken Nee be dropped from the national squad.”
Edwin added that the NSC were fully aware of situation involving Ken Nee.
“It will not be fair to the other divers if he is still in the training squad under the 2006 programme. The national coach (Yang Zhuliang) has also indicated that he will not wait for Ken Nee any more. He prefers to concentrate on bringing up the juniors,” he said.
“If he wants to come back, he will have to fight for selection in the national championships, just like everyone else.”
The decision to axe Ken Nee from the squad also meant that he would not make the grade to feature in his second Olympics.
A diver needs to be in constant training to reach the Olympic qualifying standard for at least one year and it is unlikely that the 20-year-old Ken Nee will be able to make a comeback in time to win a place in the Athens Olympics.
He is also out of the World Championships, which will be held in Seville from July 13-27. The meet is a main Olympic qualifying event.
The second qualifying meet will be the World Cup in Athens in July next year.
With Ken Nee out, the seniors among the 18 under the 2006 programme are Leong Mun Yee, Rossharisham Roslan, Noraznizal Najib and Low Lap Bun.