Sunday August 17, 2003

Two reasons why Yufang gets nod for world c’ships

KUALA LUMPUR: There are two reasons why Yuan Yufang was picked to replace hurdler Noraseela Khalid at the World Championships in Paris from Aug 23-31.

Yufang, who will take part in the 20km walk, is a recipient of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) scholarship.

If she competes in Paris, she is likely to continue to receive benefits.

Yufang receives US$800 from the IOC every month.

“The other reason is: it will give her the best opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games in Athens next year,” Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union president Datuk Khalid Yunus said yesterday.

In the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Yufang finished a respectable 15 in a field of 53 walkers.

Yufang was picked for the Paris meet after Noraseela has decided to pull out and compete instead at the World University Games in South Korea from Aug 21-31.

The other Malaysian competitor for the World Championship is Mohd Faiz Mohammad. He will take part in the 110m hurdles.