KUALA LUMPUR: Walker Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman (pic) has qualified on merit for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March. But he was not included in the Games, thanks to a technical error.
Someone in authority did not know the 20km walk was being included in the Games.
The City lad had beaten the fifth placing mark of 1'37:29 in the men's 20km walk of the last Games but neither the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) nor the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) had the result sheets of the men's 20km walk from the 2002 Manchester Games.
As such, it was assumed the event was not being hosted in Melbourne.
I, too, first thought that there was no 20km walk event, said Shahrulhaizy's coach V. Subramaniam. The OCM gave out the qualifying mark only for the 50km walk.
But after I checked on the internet, I found that the 20km event will be held. Shahrulhaizy has actually surpassed the sixth placing mark.''
He has beaten the mark twice last year in the ATF (Asian Track and Field) meet and also in the Manila SEA Games,'' said Subramaniam.
The 25-year-old Shahrulhaizy clocked 1'32:21 in the ATF meet in Incheon, South Korea in September while in the SEA Games, he won the gold medal on 1'35:45. The fifth placing mark at the Manchester Games was 1'37:29.
Subramaniam said he had informed MAAU vice president Karim Ibrahim of Shahrulhaizy's situation.
MAAU have assured me that the walker will be competing in the Games. I am relieved, he said.
Shahrulhaizy was left thanking his coach for checking on the internet.
If the coach had not checked, I would have been left out.