KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Race Walking Championships will be held as scheduled today in Nomi City despite Japan being hit by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Friday.
Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) deputy president Karim Ibrahim said that the organisers had informed them that Nomi City, which is in the southwest part of Japan, was not affected by the tsunami.
“The men’s and women’s 20km walk competition will be held tomorrow (today) ... and our four national walkers arrived safely in Komatsu on Friday,” said Karim.
Malaysia will be represented by 2009 Laos SEA Games gold medallist Teoh Boon Lim, Lo Choon Sieng, T. Dhiban Raj and Norliyana Mohd Rusni.
“I hope the walkers will not be mentally affected by the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami,” said Karim.
“We hope Boon Lim and Choon Siang, who competed in the Guangzhou Asian Games last November, will clock good times and qualify for the Indonesia SEA Games in November.”
The qualifying time for the SEA Games is the silver medal mark of the 2009 Laos Games – 1’32.09 for men and 1’45.23 for women.
Malaysia have dominated the walk event in the biennial SEA Games for the last two decades.