LAST_UPDATESun, 24 Jun 2018 2pm

No Place For Khairul Hafiz In Podium Programme

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 100m gold medallist Khairul Hafiz Jantan was once again missing from the list of 39 new athletes announced by the National Sports Institute (ISN) for the Podium Programme next year.

ISN chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi said the sprinter from Melaka was not listed because he had failed to meet the criteria set for the programme.

According to Abdul Azim though Khairul is the fastest runner in South East Asia with a time of 10.18 seconds which is also the National record, his personal best was still slow compared with times set at the Asian and Commonwealth Games level.

“In the SEA Games (Khairul Hafiz) won the gold but his time is still off the Asian mark. Khairul’s time is 9th fastest in Asia but 60th spot in the Commonwealth Games ranking. It is the same in the 200m where his time puts him in 18th spot (Asia) and 36th in the Commonwealth Games.

“If he is in the top 6 in Asia and top 10 in Commonwealth Games, maybe we can consider. The time difference is vast,” he told reporters at the announcement of new athletes for the Podium Programme, here today.

He added that in efforts to deliver the cream of the crop, the ISN need to set very strict guidelines and criteria to ensure athletes under the programme can achieve the highest level of performance.

“These guidelines and comparison involving athletes is based on data and statistics from National Sports Associations and not targetted at winning gold medals at the SEA Games level. We will look at the performances of the athletes and compare them against statistics at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games,” he said.

Apart from Khairul, the men’s 4x100m quartet were also excluded.

Meanwhile, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria accepted the announcement of the new list of athletes for the Podium Programme although seven players recommended by the BAM was rejected.

The seven names rejected were Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain, Sonia Cheah Su Ya, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean.