Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saving Elaine and Nurul for Asian Olympic qualifiers

PALEMBANG: Gold medal hopefuls Elaine Teo and Nurul Nadia Mahamat have been left out of the SEA Games taekwondo competition to save them for the Asian qualifiers for the London Olympics.

The dates for the qualifiers have been deferred until after the SEA Games due to the floods in Bangkok.
The tournament, originally scheduled for Nov 4-6, has been postponed to the end of the month.
“We have been told that it will now start on Nov 24 but that depends on whether the flood situation improves,” said national coach R. Dhanaraj.

“Elaine and Nurul haven’t fully recovered from knee injuries sustained earlier in the year and we don’t want to put them at risk by fielding them here.

“Their rivals are aware of their injuries and may target them. This could jeopardise their chances of making it to the Olympics from the Asian qualifiers.”

The gold medal hopes now rest on Ryan Chong (flyweight) and Mohd Afifuddin Sidek (lightweight).
Both are also competing in the Asian qualifiers, where the top two finishers in the four respective weight classes will qualify for London.

“They are our best bets to maintain the tradition of at least one gold medal from the SEA Games. They have the experience of competing at this level and know what it takes.”
Che Chew Chan delivered the only gold at Laos 2009 but she has since quit the sport.


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