PETALING JAYA: National hurdler Noraseela Khalid will be competing in the Guangzhou Asian Games despite failing to qualify on merit.
This was clarified by Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi yesterday.
Noraseela qualified for the recently-concluded New Delhi Asian Games but did not make the trip as she was then recovering from a leg injury.
Kok Chi said the hurdler took part in last month’s Malaysian Open and “clocked a decent time of 58.23 to show that she is fit again and warrants a ticket to Guangzhou”.
He added that Noraseela had always performed well in big competitions and “it would not be right to leave her out from Guangzhou”.
The 31-year-old Noraseela was in smashing form last year, bagging the gold medal in the 400m hurdles in the Laos SEA Games in December with a time of 56.99.
A month earlier, she bagged the silver medal in the same event at the Asian Track and Field Championships in Guangzhou with a time of 57.16.
However, Noraseela failed to qualify on merit for this month’s Asiad after clocking 58.23 in the Malaysian Open last month. The qualifying mark was 56.85, which she did en route to winning the bronze medal in Doha four years ago.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim also confirmed Noraseela’s participation in the Asiad.
“There should be no talk of her name not being registered for the Asiad as we have done everything necessary to include her,” said Karim.