PETALING JAYA: Manchester Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and veteran Mohd Sabki Mohd Din has been dropped to allow youngster Azlan Johari to represent Malaysia in the air rifle shooting event in the Vietnam SEA Games in December.
Both Azlan and Mohd Sabki had beaten the qualifying mark but the National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) in announcing their line-up for the SEA Games yesterday favoured exposure for the Bukit Jalil Sports School's (BJSS) student.
The NSAM's executive secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that they were allowed to select only five men for the rifle event.
“The OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) wanted us to expose the youngsters. Therefore we decided to give Azlan a shot,” he said.
Initially, the NSAM did not want to include juniors for the SEA Games because they were still eligible to compete in Sukma (Malaysia Games) next year.
“We have now ruled that only those who have competed in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics will not be allowed to compete in Sukma. We have made an exemption for those who took part in the SEA Games,” said Jasni.
The other youngsters selected for the Vietnam Games are Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Bibiana Ng, Mohd Hameleay Abdul Mutalib and Ivan Jayavenkatesh Rao.
The seasoned campaigners in the team are Mohd Emran Zakaria, Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan and Nurul Huda Baharin.
Jasni added that the Vietnam-bound squad would take part in the South-East Asian Championships in Taiwan from Nov 5-12.
The SEA Games Squad
Men: Mohd Emran Zakaria, Ahmad Anai, Mohd Hameleay Abdul Mutalib, Azlan Johari (air rifle); Ivan Jayavenkatesh Rao (50m rifle prone); Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan (rapid fire pistol); Ricky The Chee Fei (skeet); Chen Seong Fook (trap).
Women: Nurul Huda Baharin, Noriha Abdul rani, Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi (air rifle); Bibiana Ng Pei Chin, Siti Sarah Mohd Ibrahim (sport pistol); Nordalilah Abu Bakar, Roslina Abu Bakar (50m rifle prone); Suefarinawathy Affendi, Sapiah Pilus, Leong Wai Si (air pistol); and Rusnah Ismail (trap).