PETALING JAYA: World Championship-bound divers Rossharisham Roslan, Low Lap Bun and swimmer Abdul Hafiz Salleh have been dropped from the 2006 programme for playing truant in training.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) decided to axe the athletes after a joint meeting with the National Sports Council (NSC) recently.
Without Rossharisham and Lap Bun, Malaysia will be hard pressed to shine at the world meet and the Vietnam SEA Games. Malaysia's top diver Yeoh Ken Nee also left the national team last month. Ken Nee and Rossharisham were bronze medallists in the synchronised diving at the last year's Busan Asian Games.
With the latest decision by the Asum, the number of senior divers in the national team has dwindled to two. The two remaining divers are Leong Mun Yee and Noraznizal Najib.
Mun Yee and Noraznizal will represent Malaysia in the world meet, which will be held in Seville from July 13-27. The meet is an Olympic qualifying event.
Asum secretary Edwin Chong said the three senior athletes had failed to attend training regularly despite several warnings from their coaches.
“Their absence has upset our training programme and we feel it will be pointless to keep them when they are not serious and not committed in training,” said Edwin.
“We have so many juniors waiting at the wings. We would rather focus our time and effort on these juniors.
Edwin said that they have not decided on whether there would be replacements for Rossharisham and Lap Bun for the world meet.
“We had earlier identified four divers for the world meet (Rossharisham, Lap Bun, Noraznizal and Mun Yee). We may not send anyone as replacement unless some of the juniors qualify. The coaches will assess these juniors,” he added.
The young divers in the team currently are Zibeon Uzza Belang, Brian Nickson Lomas, Rosatimah Mohd, Gracie Junita Terry, Elizabeth Jimie, Cheong Jun Hoong, Naziratul Amirul Azmir, Mohd Salim Yunus, Terriena Lim Ah Jin, Khairul Safuan, James Sandayud, Ahmad Fakhri Khairuddin.
With Hafiz axed, there are currently 20 swimmers under the 2006 programme. The men are Lim Keng Liat, Jeremy Er, Wong Chun Jie, John Cham, Saw Yi Khy, Ooi Kee Tzuen, Kok Hui Jean , Soo Yu Hong, Wong Tuck Kar, Allen Ong, Daniel Bego, Lubrey Lim and Linvern Lim.
The women swimmers are Marellyn Liew, Chui Lai Kwan, Lai Mei Juan, Koo Cai Lin, Tunku Samira, Ong Ming Xiu and Siow Yi Ting.