KUALA LUMPUR: Walker Norliana Mohd Rusni is not putting any hopes on winning a medal when she makes her maiden appearance in an international meet – at the Laos SEA Games.
Norliana, who has a personal best of 1’52:14 for the 20km event, is just delighted to be in the team for the Games. The 19-year-old comes in as a replacement for five-time SEA Games champion Yuan Yufang, who is pregnant.
“I have no experience in international competitions. I don’t stand a chance to get on the podium in the Laos Games,” she said.
“But it will be a good experience for me to find out where I stand against walkers in the region. I will be more than happy if I can improve on my personal best.”
Norliana is in the team as a Category B athlete as she did not meet the qualifying mark of 1’43:91, which was the silver medal-winning effort of the last Games in Korat in 2007. She has a personal best of 1’52:14 clocked at the Perlis Open in July.
Coach Jagjit Singh said that Norliana was a dedicated walker with a bright future.
“She was trained by former international G. Saravanan (the 1998 KL Commonwealth Games gold medallist) and I only took charge two months ago,” he said.“She has showed progress in training and I am confident that she will improve on her personal best in Laos.” STAR