KUALA LUMPUR: Nine track and field athletes have qualified on merit for the Korat SEA Games in December.
A few more are expected to earn their places for the biennial Games when they compete in the Federal Territories (FT) Open meet at the National Sports Council (NSC) training track in Bukit Jalil starting Saturday.
NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong has warned that national athletes who skip local meets without valid reason will be barred from representing the nation at overseas events.
MAAU coaching and development committee chairman Karim Ibrahim said on Friday that national chief coach Hanapiah Nasir has given him an assurance that all national athletes would take part in the two-day FT Open.
"Athletes should take part not only to win places for the SEA Games but to also assess their performance," said Karim.
Karim, who is also the MAAU vice-president, said that those who skip the FT Open without valid reason would not be sent for overseas meets.
"Athletes who have qualified on merit must maintain their form in the FT Open. We will also use it to select athletes for international meets," he said.
The nine who have qualified on merit are walkers B. Thirukumaran, Lo Choon Seing and Yuan Yufang; hurdlers Robani Hassan and Noraseela Khalid; high jumpers Ahmad Najwan and Lee Hup Wei; pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu; and triple jumper Ngew Sin Mei.