PETALING JAYA: Rifle shooter Mohd Hameleay Abdul Mutalib has been caught in a spot after accepting an offer to join the police force.
Hameleay has taken up the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) cadet course at the Police Academy in Kuala Lumpur and it could cost him a place in the team for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March.
The 24-year-old Hameleay, who graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) last September, is among the shooters who have beaten the Games qualifying mark, which is the sixth-place effort at the last edition in Manchester in 2002.
“I have just started the ASP cadet course. I have to put my mind on getting through the course. I have not trained since the beginning of the month and I am not sure whether I can compete in the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
The son of former top rifle shooter Abdul Mutalib Razak did not compete in last week’s Selangor Championships, one of the tournaments used to identify shooters for the Melbourne Games.
Hameleay bagged a silver medal in the 2002 Manchester Games with Emran Zakaria in the men’s 10m air rifle pairs competition.
He beat the qualifying mark of 1,235.4 for the Melbourne Games at the Manila SEA Games last month, shooting a 1,236.7 to take the silver.
“I want to represent the country. But I am not sure whether I will be allowed to do so because I have just started with the course,” said Hameleay.
The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) secretary, Jasni Shaari, said that Hameleay was one of the shooters under the 2006 AsiaComm programme and they would seek the Sports Ministry’s help for a solution.
“He is in the programme geared towards the Commonwealth and Asian Games (in Doha in December) and it is important for him to compete in these two Games,” said Jasni.
“I do not think it is a big problem getting him exempted (from the course) because he will be competing for the country.”
Jasni added that they would recommend all the shooters who bagged medals in the Manila SEA Games to be selected for the Commonwealth Games.
“Those who won gold in Manila have all beaten the qualifying marks and there should be no problem getting places in the contingent,” he said. “We will also propose the names of younger shooters for selection to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).”
The three shooters who bagged gold in Manila were Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan (men’s 25m rapid fire pistol), Bibiana Ng (women’s 10m air pistol) and Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi (women’s 50m rifle prone).
Malaysia are down to compete in 15 sports in the Melbourne Games and the OCM will meet on Feb 3 to select the athletes.
At the 2002 Manchester Games, the shooting team bagged two silver and two bronze medals.