KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) yesterday confirmed that there will be no late inclusions to the athletics squad bound for the Vietnam SEA Games on Dec 5-13.
The MAAU will not expand or reduce the size of the squad. Furthermore, the MAAU have decided to send only those who met the qualifying marks, said MAAU secretary Hamid Barkath Ali.
He said it would not be practical to make any changes to the squad now as this would affect the athletes' preparations for the meet.
This means the MAAU would not use their own funds to send athletes who did not meet the qualifying mark but are considered to have the potential to win medals in Vietnam.
We are sticking to our decision to only send those who qualified. As for those said to have the potential to win medals, they should have proved their capabilities earlier, he said.
Among the athletes believed to be among the potential medal winners in the biennial Games are distance runners M. Ramachandran and S. Munusamy.
Unfortunately, the duo failed to shine and were unable to beat the qualifying time set for the Vietnam Games.
Their decline in form was due to, among other factors, injuries which had limited their participation in the local meets.
The absence of these two runners could severely dent Malaysia's challenge in the distance events in Vietnam.
The MAAU have placed a modest target of winning five gold medals in Vietnam. In Kuala Lumpur two years ago, Malaysian track and field competitors won eight gold, five silver and nine bronze medals after predicting a haul of 16 gold medals.
Their best haul in the SEA Games series was in Jakarta in 1997 where they brought home 16 gold, seven silver and 15 bronze medals.
The MAAU have listed 21 athletes, including eight women, for the Vietnam Games. Bernama
Men: Nazmizan Mohamad (100m), Mohd Robani Hassan, Muhd Faiz Mohamad (110m hurdles), Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abd Rahman (20km walk), Mohd Shahrul Amri Sulaiman, Mohd Hazuan Zainal (long jump), Wong Tee Kue, Azman Mohammad (hammer), Firdaus Salim (triple jump), Mohd Zaiful Zainal Abidin (400m), Malik Tobias (decathlon), Loo Kum Zee and Ahmad Najwa Aqra (high jump).
Women: Moh Siew Wei (100m hurdles), Noraseela Khalid (400m hurdles), Yuan Yufang (20km walk), Wong Boon Sian (high jump), Ngew Sin Mei (triple jump), Roslinda Samsu (pole vault), Siti Shahida Abdullah (hammer) and Fauziah Abd Razak (200m).