PETALING JAYA, June 4 — Former national huddler Noraseela Khalid believes Malaysian athletes to the SEA Games have the ability to succeed if they can stay disciplined.
Noraseela, a three-time SEA Games (2003, 2009, 2011) gold medal winner, said going into major championships with the right mindset normally leads to success.
“Eat properly, sleep well, feel excited about competing and most importantly, go all out. You have nothing to lose if you give your best,” said Noraseela, who is now doing her Masters in Sports Science at Universiti Putra Malaysia.
“Athletes have to be focused on their goal, be optimistic and take their opportunity. They are done preparing and just need to go out and perform. Whether they do well or not, that’s up to them.”
The 35-year-old, who competed in many big meets including the World Championships, hoped her own tale of perseverance will inspire others.
“The day before I left the country for the 2009 Games, my heel swelled up and I couldn’t walk. The pressure was on me to perform as I had skipped the previous two editions.
“But my preparations were excellent and I didn’t want this problem to hinder me. Thankfully, I had wonderful support from my medical team. With their help, I won gold and even clocked my personal best.
“Athletes will go through these situations, so they have to be prepared to make drastic decisions. When they finish their careers, they shouldn’t have any regrets.”
Noraseela also backed the national athletics contingent to deliver in Singapore.
“We’re sending a big team comprising a lot of young and talented athletes. I’m happy the Malaysian Athletics Federation is giving these youngsters a chance to prove themselves ahead of the 2017 Games on home soil,” said Noraseela.
“Opportunities to get medals are there and our athletes should aim to be on the podium in as many events as possible.
“I’m confident we’ll get a few pleasant surprises.”