PETALING JAYA: High jumper Lee Hup Wei enjoyed a windfall yesterday when he received RM40,000 for his efforts in bagging a gold medal for Malaysia in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Jordan last week.
Roslinda Samsu was also rewarded with RM15,000 for winning the three-competitor women’s pole vault event. She received an additional RM5,000 for qualifying for the Beijing Olympics next year under Category B after clearing 4.30m in winning the gold medal in the Kazakhstan Open in June.
Hup Wei was given a bigger reward than Roslinda under the National Sports Council (NSC) incentive scheme because there were more than five competitors in his event and he also chalked up a personal best to become the first Malaysian athlete to win a field event in ATF.
Hup Wei soared over 2.24m to equal Loo Kum Zee’s national record, which was set in winning the gold medal at the Chiang Mai SEA Games in 1995.
“I am deeply motivated to improve my personal best further. I hope to reach the 2.27m height by the end of this year,” said the 20-year-old Hup Wei, who added that the RM40,000 is the biggest incentive he has received so far in his career.
Had he cleared 2.27m, he would have qualified for next year’s Beijing Olympics.
So far, only Kum Zee had qualified for the Olympics – at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Two men’s recurve archers – Cheng Chu Sian and Mohd Marbawi Sulaiman – also received a special incentive of RM5,000 each for qualifying for the Olympics.
The duo made the grade by finishing among the top 16 in the World Championships in Leipzig last month.
Having qualified for the Olympics on merit, Chu Sian and Marbawi will also be enjoying an additional allowance of RM1,000 each in addition to their monthly allowance.
The duo will compete in the Asian Championships in Xian, China on Sept 14-20.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said presented the cheques to the four athletes yesterday.