Drop­ping of Shally will not af­fect chances of win­ning gold

New Straits Times - - Sport - HELMI TALKAH &HAIKA KHAZI nst­

SPORTS Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din be­lieves the chances of the na­tional women’s 4x100m re­lay team do­ing well at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games will not be af­fected by the ab­sence of S. Ko­ma­lam Shally who has been dropped due to dis­ci­plinary prob­lems.

Khairy said the ax­ing of Ko­ma­lam was done through the cor­rect chan­nels and due to le­git­i­mate rea­sons as stated by the Malaysian Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion (MAF), Na­tional Sports Coun­cil (NSC) and Olympic Coun­cil of Malaysia (OCM).

“This de­ci­sion was made by the ath­let­ics team man­age­ment it­self who then in­formed NSC and OCM,” said Khairy.

“As min­is­ter, the first ques­tion I asked of the man­age­ment was whether this would af­fect our chances in the 4x100m and the an­swer I re­ceived made sense.

“We have suit­able re­place­ments for Ko­ma­lam so our chances are not af­fected.”

Ko­ma­lam was dropped be­cause she was deemed to have dis­rupted the har­mony within the squad. She, to­gether with Zai­datul Hus­niah Zulk­i­fli, Siti Fa­timah Mo­hamad and Shereen Sam­son Val­labouy, had bro­ken the na­tional record in the event at the Thai­land Open in June.

Mean­while, bad­minton player Goh Soon Huat and a fut­sal player, who is yet to be iden­ti­fied, were al­leged to have bro­ken Sea Games cur­few at the Re­nais­sance Ho­tel in Kuala Lumpur on Mon­day.

Chef-de-mis­sion Datuk Ma­rina Chin is await­ing full re­ports from the na­tional sports as­so­ci­a­tions of the two ath­letes in­volved.

"I can­not com­ment as I have yet to re­ceive the re­ports and have not met with OCM sec­re­tary Datuk Low Beng Choo as I have been busy with a num­ber of pro­grammes," said Ma­rina when met at the open swim­ming, triathlon and wa­ter­ski venue for the Sea Games in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day.

"I have heard about it (in­ci­dent) but it is not fair for me to talk about it yet."

Ma­rina warned the ath­letes to ad­here to the rules to avoid dis­ci­plinary ac­tion which could even lead to them be­ing ex­pelled from the Sea Games con­tin­gent.

"Usu­ally, we will let off first time of­fend­ers with a stern warn­ing. How­ever, dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will be taken if they re­peat­edly break the rules.

"The NSAs will pro­pose to the con­tin­gent man­age­ment any dis­ci­plinary ac­tion to be taken against the ath­letes, should it be nec­es­sary."

Na­tional ath­letes have started to check into the Re­nais­sance Ho­tel since Fri­day. The Malaysian con­tin­gent have more than 700 ath­letes.

Malaysian ath­letes stay­ing at the ho­tel are re­quired to be in their rooms by 11.30pm at the lat­est.

Soon Huat, when asked about the in­ci­dent, said yes­ter­day: “I was only at the (ho­tel) lobby.”

The shut­tler said he had just re­turned from the na­tional ath­letes' camp at 10pm or 11pm on the night of the in­ci­dent with roo­mate Iskan­dar Zulka­r­nain Zain­ud­din.

"I saw that Iskan­dar was tired and al­ready wanted to sleep so I de­cided to talk on the phone out­side the room. I had bumped into (Na­tional bad­minton team man­ager) Mat Rashid Jahlil and told him that I just wanted to talk to my friend (on the phone) for a while be­fore I slept.”

S. Ko­ma­lam Shally

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