KUALA LUMPUR: The national men’s Rugby Sevens team have qualified on merit for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year.
Malaysia Rugby secretary Jamaluddin Salim confirmed that Malaysia and Sri Lanka are the two countries from Asia to have booked their places for the Games after finishing in the top eight of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series recently.
“Sri Lanka are ranked fifth in Asia and Malaysia seventh,” said Jamaluddin, who added that they had received an invitation from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to attend the selection meeting for the Commonwealth Games on Oct 3.
“We are confident that the men’s rugby team will be selected for the Games.”
Malaysia competed in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games as a replacement for Fiji, who had been suspended from the Commonwealth since 2009 due to a military coup.
Jamaluddin said that the national rugby team are in high spirits after winning their first-ever gold medal in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last month.
“Competing in the Commonwealth Games will also be a good preparation for the Asian Games (in Jakarta) in October next year,” said Jamaluddin.
Malaysia qualified for the Asian Games by virtue of being SEA Games gold medallists.
A total of 19 sports are in the programme for the Commonwealth Games and OCM will have a selection committee meeting next week to decide on the number of athletes and sports that will represent Malaysia in Gold Coast, Australia.
The sports are aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, powerlifting, rugby, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.