KUALA LUMPUR: Germany-based hurdler Noraseela Khalid hopes to make amends for her weak performance in the recent World Athletics Championships with a good show at the Asian Track and Field (ATF) championships, which begin tomorrow in Incheon, South Korea.
The 26-year-old Noraseela had trained in Leipzig since February this year but clocked a poor time of 57.58 in Helsinki two weeks ago to finish last in the heats of the women's 400m hurdles.
The time was more than a second slower than her personal best of 56.55, which she clocked in the Zeulenroda Open in Germany in May.
Noraseela, who returned from Germany on Saturday, said that she was quite disappointed with her performance in Helsinki.
“After six months of intensive training in Germany, I should have clocked a faster time and improved on my personal best,” she said.
“But I clock a slow time ... it was very frustrating. I hope to redeem myself with a good time in Incheon.”
The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) have not set any target for the team to the ATF. But Noraseela is seen as a good bet to win a medal.
She was the bronze medallist in the 2000 championships in Jakarta.
“I also have the experience after having competed in a few meets in Germany against the best hurdlers there. I will go all out to win a medal to redeem my pride,” said Noraseela.
Besides Noraseela, another athlete who has won a medal in the ATF is walker Yuan Yufang – a bronze in the 20km event at the last championships in Manila two years ago.
“In Manila, no one expected me bag the medal but I surprise everyone. I not only won the bronze medal but also qualified for the Athens Olympics (with a time of 1'32:25). I hope create another surprise,” said Yufang.
Malaysia will be represented by nine men and seven women in the four-day championships in Incheon.
Besides Noraseela and Yufang, the other women athletes are Moh Siew Wei (100m hurdles), Vally Michael (800m), Tan Song Hwa (hammer), Roslinda Samsu (pole vault) and Shabana Khanum (high jump).
The men's team comprise Robani Hassan (110m hurdler), Mohd Zafril Zuslaini (400m hurdles), M. Vadiveelan (1,500m), Lee Hup Wei, Ahmad Najwan (high jump), Mohd Syahrul Amri Mohd Suhaimi (long jump), Ahmad Firdaus Salim (triple jump), Teh Weng Chang (pole vault) and Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman (20km walk).