Ma­rina says Ko­ma­lam is out of the Sea Games

New Straits Times - - Sport - DEVINDER SINGH

THERE is no way back to the na­tional track and field Sea Games squad for sprinter S. Ko­ma­lam Shally.

With less than two weeks to go be­fore the start of the ath­let­ics pro­gramme on Aug 22, the women's sprint team’s prepa­ra­tion has been thrown into dis­ar­ray.

Nei­ther team man­ager Datuk Salim Par­lan nor na­tional chief coach Zainal Abas wanted to elab­o­rate fur­ther on the is­sue with no de­ci­sion reached on who will fill the women's 200m spot made va­cant by the de­ci­sion to ex­pel Ko­ma­lam, 29.

Malaysian Sea Games chef-de­mis­sion Datuk Ma­rina Chin sup­ported the move made by the ath­let­ics man­age­ment to drop Ko­ma­lam over un­spec­i­fied dis­ci­plinary is­sues.

"She was given her rights and the de­ci­sion has been reached," said Ma­rina af­ter meeting the track and field ath­letes in Bukit Jalil yes­ter­day.

"She had been given many chances and fi­nally that de­ci­sion has been taken.

"As CDM and a for­mer (Bukit Jalill Sports School) prin­ci­pal, I al­ways be­lieve in dis­ci­pline. With­out it you can­not go any­where. If we don't take ac­tion what mes­sage are we send­ing to the rest? So I have no in­ten­tion (of re­vers­ing the de­ci­sion)."

Ma­rina is con­fi­dent the is­sue will not de­tract the na­tional ath­letes from fo­cus­ing on the Sea Games, where the Malaysian Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion have tar­geted six gold medals.

"It's a set­tled mat­ter. If peo­ple don't harp on it then it would not be a big is­sue.

"At this mo­ment, the ath­letes have ac­cepted it and life goes on.

"We can­not tol­er­ate in­dis­ci­pline. I ap­peal for ev­ery­one not to in­ter­fere with the prepa­ra­tion of the ath­letes.

This is a very cru­cial time. Let them fo­cus on task at hand,” said Ma­rina, a for­mer sprinter.

The na­tional coaches are now con­sid­er­ing what to do to fill the void in the women's 200m and 4x100m re­lay.

One op­tion is to have Siti Fa­tima Mo­hammed dou­ble up for the 100m and 200m, as Zai­datul Hus­niah Zulk­i­fli is set to do, while an­other is to se­lect a dif­fer­ent ath­lete to fill the 200m slot.

Among those avail­able are na­tional schools sprint cham­pion Azreen Nabila Alias and new callup Norris Foo.

Norris is be­ing looked at to join Hus­niah, Siti Fa­tima and Azreen in the re­lay team with the coaches also look­ing at al­ter­na­tives in­clud­ing 400m run­ners Nu­rul Faizah Asma Ma­zlan and Fathin Nur­faqi­hah Yusuf.

How­ever, mat­ters are com­pli­cated by Faizah al­ready be­ing en­tered in the 400m, 400m hur­dles and 4x400m events while Fathin is com­mit­ted to two events.

Shereen Samson Val­labouy, who was part of the quar­tet which set a new 4x100m na­tional record at the Thailand Open in June, is out of the run­ning as she is re­cov­er­ing from in­jury and will only com­pete in the 4x400m event.

One of th­ese ath­letes (from left) Norris Foo, Fathin Faqi­hah Mohd Yusuf, Zai­datul Hus­niah Zulk­i­fli and Azreen Nabila Alias could get a call-up to the 4x100 squad.

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