MAAU set to take Zafril and Vadivellan to task

KUALA LUMPUR: Middle distance runner M. Vadivellan and 4x400m runner Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini (pic) could land in hot water for not fulfilling their commitments in the just concluded Malaysian Open.

The 23-year-old Vadivellan competed in the 1,500m on Saturday but did not race in the 800m event on Sunday. Zafril took part in the 400m on Saturday but skipped the 4x400m the following day.

The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president, Karim Ibrahim, was annoyed over the negative attitude from the two runners.

“Vadivellan did not give any reason for skipping the 800m. His coach (S. Muthiah) also did not inform any of the officials that his athlete would not compete in the event,” said Karim.

“We organise this meet for athletes to qualify for the Laos SEA Games. And for those who have qualified, it is part of their preparations for the Games.

“Vadivellan has qualified for the 800m and he must have felt that it was not necessary for him to compete in the event at the Malaysian Open. This is not the right attitude from national athletes.”

Perakian Vadivellan holds the 1,500m national record of 3:45.70, which he set in the 2007 Korat SEA Games, to win the silver medal.

Karim added that it was disappointing that Zafril informed them at the last minute that he was unable to run in the 4x400m because of a muscle strain.

“We won the gold medal in the Korat Games and were looking forward to seeing the team perform in the Malaysian Open. But with Zafril out, the team had to sit out the race.”

Karim said that they would call up Vadivellan and his coach to explain the withdrawal from the 800m and Zafril would be sent to the National Sports Institute (NSI) for a check on the injury.

“We will take action against Vadivellan if he can­­not give us a good explanation. It will be the same for Zafril if he had faked the injury,’’ he said.

Only one athlete bettered the qualifying mark for the Laos Game from the Malaysian Open – Sarawakian Mohd Jironi Riduan in the 800m.

Thus far, nine men and four women have made the grade.

Besides Jironi and Vadivellan, the other male athletes who have made it are S. Mathialagan and D. Jayakumar (800m), Lo Choon Sieng and Teoh Boon Lim (20km walk), Lee Hup Wei (high jump), Mohd Hafizuddin Sahadan (pole vault) and Chan Yew Woo (marathon).

The women athletes in the Games team are Noraseela Khalid (400m, 400m hurdles), Yuan Yufang (20km walk), Tan Song Hwa (hammer) and Roslinda Samsu (pole vault).

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