KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s gold medal hopes in the 11th Asian Junior Athletics Championships, which begin at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Saturday, rest on Vietnam SEA Games high jump silver medallist, Ahmad Najwan Aqra.
Najwan, who cleared 2.10m for the silver in Hanoi last December, heads the list of 70 athletes announced by the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) here yesterday.
Apart from Najwan, the MAAU have also placed high expectations on 19 other athletes who had won golds in the 10th Sukma in Negri Sembilan.
MAAU president Datuk Khalid Yunus said they did not want to set any targets for the meet to avoid adding unnecessary pressure on the athletes.
Najwan, who was beaten to the gold in Vietnam by national high jump ace Loo Kum Zee, is in the senior squad but is still eligible to compete in Ipoh.
Among the most notable athlete heading the girls’ squad is Perak’s Fauziah Razak, winner of four Sukma golds through the 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m.
The others who had a golden outing in Sukma are Ahmad Firdaus Salim (triple jump), Zafril Zuslaini (400m), M. Vadivellan (1,500m), S. Vikkaram (10,000m), Jironi Riduan (3,000m steeplechase), Syed Zamilludin Syed Ahmad (high jump), Firdaus Zainal (long jump), Adi Aliffudin Hussin (shot putt), Abdul Halim Yatim (hammer) and Sazari Sahar (decathlon).
In the girls’ events, apart from Fauziah, Siti Fatimah Muhamad (100m), S. Sanggeetha (5,000m), Azizah Ibrahim (100m hurdles), Wong Oi Lan (400m hurdles), Siew Mee Yen (high jump-heptathlon), Siti Nurul Ain Abdul Rahim (shot putt), Yap Jeng Tzan (discus) and Tan Song Hwa (hammer) are also medal prospects.
In the 10th edition of the championships in Bangkok last year, Malaysia bagged two silvers through Faiz Mohammad in the boys’ 110m hurdles and Jasmaniah Osman in the girls’ pole vault.
100m: Azrul Abdullah, Syarafie Sauli, Latif Nyat; 200m: S. Narendran, Mohammad Noor Imran Hadi; 400m: Zafril Zuslaini, K. Amran Raj, Abdul Hadi Ruslan; 800m: S. Chandru, S. Puviarasan; 1,500m: Jironi Riduan, S. Chandru, M. Vadivellan; 5,000m: S. Vikkaram, G. Kumaran; 10,000m: S. Vikkaram, M. Balu, S. Venugopal; 110m hurdles: Shinar Shazua Sharuddin, Radzuan Rahman, Yap Fook Xing; 400m hurdles: Izwan Hishamuddin, Zuraimi Abdul Rahman; 3,000m steeplechase: Jironi Riduan, G. Kumaran; 10,000m walk: Matthias Fabian Alexander, Khairul Adnin Rus; High jump: Syed Zamilludin Syed Ahmad, Lee Hup Wei, Ahmad Najwan Aqra; Long jump: Yee June How, Firdaus Zainal, Lee Meng Chin; Triple jump: Ahmad Firdaus Salim, Firdaus Yakob; Pole vault: Khairul Ikhsan Shah Kamal Bashah, Kamirunizam Rahmat; Shot putt: Adi Aliffudin Hussin, Hasrol Nizam Yaakob, Hafiz Hashim; Discus: Sean Teo, Hasrol Nizam Yaakob, Hafiz Hashim; Javelin: Sazari Sahar; Hammer: Abdul Halim Yatim; Decathlon: Ahmad Ikhwan Nor, Sazari Sahar; 4x100m: S. Narendran, Syarafie Sauli, Latif Nyat, Mohammad Noor Imran Hadi, Shinar Shazua Sharuddin, Azrul Abdullah; 4x400m: Zafril Zuslaini, K. Amran Raj, Abdul Hadi Ruslan, R. Kalimuthu, Mohammad Azlan, Mohammad Izwan.
100m: Siti Fatimah Muhamad, Nurul Eftihah Kasim, Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaluddin; 200m: Fauziah Razak, Siti Fatimah Muhamad; 400m: Fauziah Razak, Norohida Badawi, Noor Hazwanie Norizan; 1,500m: S. Sanggeetha; 5,000m: K. Ganthi Manthi, S. Sanggeetha; 10,000m: K. Ganthimathi; 100m hurdles: Azizah Ibrahim, Shaniz Mobarak Istiaq Mubarak, Nurul Afzan Wan Remli; 400m hurdles: Wong Oi Lan, Jacklyn Diana Andrew, Siti Maimunah Satar; 10,000m walk: Foo Chee Yean, Ou Sie Fong; High jump: Wong Boon Syian, Siew Mee Yen, Savidtre Prakthet; Long jump: Siti Zubaidah Adabi; Triple jump: Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Mary James Nakaran, Norshahila Abdullah; Pole vault: Noor Akmar Abdul Fatah, Kathleen Ong; Shot putt: Asrenny Asik, Siti Nurul Ain Abdul Rahim, Yap Jeng Tzan; Discus: Asrenny Asik, Siti Nurul Ain Abdul Rahim, Yap Jeng Tzan; Javelin: Norrini Abu Hanifah; Hammer: Tan Song Hwa, Siti Nurul Ain Abdul Rahim, Patria Pang; Heptathlon: Siew Mee Yen, Savidtre Prakthet; 4x100m: Siti Fatimah Muhamad, Fauziah Razak, Nurul Eftihah Kasim, Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaluddin, Azizah Ibrahim, Shaniz Mobarak Istiaq Mubarak; 4x400m: Fauziah Razak, Norohida Badawi, Nor Hazwanie Norizan, Nur Azuwa Lasim, Wong Oi Lan, Jacklyn Diana Andrew. – Bernama