Monday, 12 October 2009

OCM ready to handle disputes over selection of athletes

KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) are bracing themselves for more disputes over the selection of athletes for the Laos SEA Games following a recent appeal for inclusion in the contingent from golfer Michelle Koh.

The Games are scheduled for Dec 9-18 and most of the national sports associations are in the final stages of reviewing and confirming their squads.

The 18-year-old Michelle ended a nine-year title drought for the country in the Malaysian Open women’s amateur championship last month. But unfortunately, the United States-based Pahang golfer was not on the first list of women’s golfers recommended for participation at the Games.

The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) had named five – Ainil Johani Abu Bakar, Joanne Logan, Sharon Lau May Yen, Isza Fariza Ismail and Diana Tham Syen Yen.

But only three will get to compete in Laos and the deadline for final entries by name made to the OCM is Oct 26.

Michelle has been one of the more prominent golfers under the umbrella of the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (Malga).

The OCM secretary, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, said that the national associations’ obligation to name their best athletes for the Games.

“We are always faced with this selection problem ahead of major Games. The OCM have their stand on selection of athletes and we hope that the associations will consider it when they pick and choose their best line-ups,” he said.

“The selection of athletes will have to seem to be fair. Those ought to be considered should be considered. We do not want anyone to be overlooked.

“And OCM are not concerned with the affiliation of the athletes. What is important to us is having the best athletes to represent the country.”

Kok Chi saidt hey were open to changes in team lists for the Games.

“We will ask Malga to submit Michelle’s name to the MGA for consideration. There should be a meeting to justify her inclusion,” he said.

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