Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Incentive fuels Noraseela’s fire for gold


KUALA LUMPUR: Hurdler Noraseela Khalid is all fired up to deliver two gold medals in the Laos SEA Games after receiving an incentive for her efforts in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Guangzhou, China, last month.

The 30-year-old Selangor athlete received RM5,000 from Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim yesterday for bagging a silver in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 57.16 at the ATF.

She was the only medallist out of the 22 athletes who competed in the ATF.

Shahidan is confident that Noraseela would be able to bag two gold medals – in the 400m and 400m hurdles – in Laos.

Noraseela, who skipped the last two SEA Games – Manila 2005 and Korat 2007 – because of injuries, will also compete in the 4x400m.

Noraseela welcomed the incentive, saying it would motivate her to give her best in all three events in Laos.

She made a golden debut in the 400m hurdles in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games. Two years later, she bagged the silver in Kuala Lumpur before winning the gold in Vietnam in 2003.

Thirty-one athletes – comprising 17 men and 14 women – will compete in the Laos SEA Games starting on Sunday.

Shahidan said MAAU were offering incentives of RM1,000 for athletes who bag the gold medal at the Games.

“Those who break the national record will receive RM1,000 and they will get an additional RM1,000 if they break the Games record,” said Shahidan. “We have set a target of eight gold medals and I believe the athletes can do it.” STAR

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