Yufang to compete in 20km walk, pulls out of run events


WALKER-runner Yuan Yufang has announced that she will take part in only one event - the 20km walk – ending conflicting reports about her participation. 

Yufang, who flew into Hanoi on Friday night after a surgery for a heart ailment on Tuesday, confirmed yesterday that her health condition did not permit her to compete in three events, which included the 5,000m and 10,000m runs. 

Athletics team manager R. Annamalai had on Thursday said that Yufang would stick to the original plan to compete in three events.  

A few days earlier, the National Sports Council's director, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, had said Yufang would take part only in the 10,000m. 

“I am fine enough to compete in one event. But three events in such a short period will be too much for me,” said Yufang, who underwent the minor surgery to remove a growth in her body at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur last week. 

A check with the Malaysian secretariat in Hanoi confirmed that the athlete had been registered for three events but she will withdraw from the two runs.  

“I am not feeling any after-effects of the surgery but I do not want to jeopardise my health by pushing myself to the limit,” said the 27-year-old Yufang. 

“I am going to play it safe by resting for the next five days before competing in the 20km walk on Thursday.” 

The 10,000m and 5,000m races are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday respectively. 

Yufang also explained the minor scare she caused on Friday when she failed to turn up at the Hanoi International Airport as scheduled at 12.30pm. Instead, she boarded the 6.30pm flight from Kuala Lumpur and touched down in Hanoi three hours later. 

“There must have been some sort of breakdown in communication,” said Yufang.  

“I was holding the ticket for the evening flight all along and I do not know how the officials got it all mixed up.”  

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