Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine fluBadminton, martial arts games may be affected

KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia wants the authorities to check with the Health Ministry before sending sports teams to Thailand because the country has reported cases of swine flu.

The OCM urged those involved in the 1st Asian Martial Arts Games 2009 from June 6 to 14 to check with the ministry before planning their trips.

Honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said if the swine flu situation in Thailand worsens, the Malaysian contingent might be withdrawn from the games.

He also urged athletes to stay away from other countries known to have been affected by the swine flu.

"For the time being, athletes should remain in the country as Malaysia is free from the swine flu," he said.
The games, expected to feature 45 countries under the Olympic Council of Asia, would have nine martial art sports: taekwondo, kickboxing, ka-rate, muay thai, jujitsu, judo, kurash, wushu and pencak silat.

Only the Malaysian Pencak Silat Association and the Malaysian Amateur Karate Federation had decided to send their exponents for the games.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia will also monitor the outbreak closely before deciding on whether to send national shuttlers to the Sudirman Cup in Guangzhou, China from May 10-17.

BAM general manager Kenny Goh said it was up to the Badminton World Federation as organisers of the Sudirman Cup on whether or not to postpone the tournament.

Malaysia is to be represented by Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Wong Mew Choo, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui in the mixed team championship.

Tan Chun Seang, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong (men's singles), Julia Wong (women's singles), Zakry Latif/Fairuzizuan Tazari (men's doubles) and Vivian Hoo (women's singles) are the reserves.

The Malaysian squad is drawn together with defending champion China, South Korea, Denmark, England, Indonesia, Japan and Hong Kong in Division One, in the tournament that will see 34 teams competing for the title. -- Bernama

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