KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) plans to organise the Malaysia Open Athletics Championship in early January 2021 as a platform for national athletes to make early preparations before participating in several sporting events next year.
MAF president Datuk S.M. Muthu said the parent body would continue to monitor the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic before deciding whether the championship would be held or not.
“Barring any problem, we will also invite some Asian countries to participate in the championship, but we need to look at the current Covid-19 situation.
“If the situation does not permit, we will probably hold a domestic championship only involving national athletes to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection among the local athletes and officials,” he told Bernama, recently.
MAF had organised a domestic tournament last month to test the current performance of the national athletics squad following the lack championships this year due to Covid-19.
Muthu was previously reported to have said that MAF had planned to hold the Malaysia Open from Dec 11-13, apart from the ‘National Under Distance Trials’ on Nov 7, but both championships had to be cancelled following the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
The national athletics squad had not participated in any international tournaments since March following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Muthu also confirmed that MAF would get the doping test results of national marathon runner, Tan Huong Leong before deciding whether the 2 hours 23 minutes 13 seconds recorded by the Johor-born runner at the Taipei City Marathon Championship, was considered a new national record.
“We are still waiting for the doping test results from the organisers which is expected to take two weeks before we confirm whether the record can be recognised as a new national record or otherwise,” said Muthu.
Tan reportedly set the new record after finishing sixth overall in the full marathon event (42 km) at the championship recently, thus surpassing his previous record of 2 hours 24 minutes 04 seconds. — Bernama