Southeast Asian sprint king, Khairul Hafiz Jantan, has once more been omitted from the new list of 146 existing and new athletes that will be under next year’s Podium Program from January onwards. NSTP File pic/YAZIT RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asian sprint king, Khairul Hafiz Jantan, has once more been omitted from the new list of 146 existing and new athletes that will be under next year’s Podium Program from January onwards.

National Sports Institute (NSI) chairman, Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi explained that Khairul was not among the athletes listed because the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games 100m gold medalist failed to meet the criteria and requirements necessary including in terms of world, Asia and Commonwealth rankings.

“If we see Khairul Hafiz’s ranking position from an overall perspective, yes, he did win gold at the KL Sea Games, but if you look at his best recorded timing in the 100m event, he is actually the ninth fastest man is Asia and 60th for the Commonwealth Games. In the 200m, he is ranked 18th for the Asian Games, and is 36th for the Commonwealth Games.

“If he were between 6th or 10th best in Asia and the Commonwealth, perhaps we could have helped him improve on his performance and best personal timing through sports science and specialised training at a higher level.

“However, since he is 60th in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games level, it makes it difficult for us to include him for the Podium Program,” he said during the press conference after the official announcement ceremony for the new list of 146 athletes under the Podium Program at the NSI yesterday.

Earlier, Podium Program director, Tim Newenhem made the announcement of 146 athletes from 22 different sports including 26 new faces listed under the elite program which begins in January as early preparations of sorts for the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year.

Meanwhile, 13 athletes from diving, rhythmic gymnastics, karate, silat, bowling, weightlifting, para archery, para athletics, powerlifting dan para swimming have been dropped from the program because they failed to perform and meet the criteria and requirements set by the NSI.

Commenting further, Abdul Azim said among the important aspects taken into account in the selection of athletes for the program is their ability to win at least a bronze medal at next year’s Asian and Commonwealth Games.

“Even though many national athletes won gold at the KL Sea Games, if we take a closer look at their performance, in terms of speed, height, distance, timing, and points collection, they are actually lagging far behind medal winners from the Asian and Commonwealth Games,” he said.

In retrospect, Abdul Azim has defended NSI’s actions in retaining the 12 sepak takraw athletes under the program even though they failed to live up to expectations and eventually lost to the superior Thais at the 2017 ISTAF Sepak Takraw World Cup in Hyderabad, India, earlier this month.

“We listed sepak takraw because we are confident they can deliver one gold at the Asian Games in August next year. This is one, specialised training program for the speak takraw players with the objective that they can win a medal at the Asian Games.

“So we will be closely monitoring their performance and progress at sepak takraw tournaments that they take part in over the next six to seven months. If they fail to achieve the target that has been set, then we will drop them from the program,” he said.

List of 146 Podium Programme athletes


Nauraj Singh Randhawa

Muhammad Hakimi Ismail (Baharu)

Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (Baharu)


Khairul Anuar Mohamed

Haziq Kamaruddin

Muhammad Akmal Nor Nasrin

Muhammad Ikram Joni

Muhamad Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli



Lee Chong Wei

Tan Wee Kiong

Goh Wei Shem

Goh Liu Ying

Chan Peng Soon

Vivian Hoo Kah Mun

Woon Khe Wei

Tan Kian Meng

Lai Pei Jin

Goh Jin Wei

Ong Yew Sin

Teo Ee Yi


Azizulhasni Awang

Fatehah Mustapa

Shah Firdaus Sahrom

Fadhil Mohd Zonis

Shariz Efendi Mohd Shahrin

Khairil Nizam Rasol

Farina Shahwati Mohamed Adnan


Pandelela Rinong

Cheong Jun Hoong

Nur Dhabitah Sabri

Ahmad Amsyar Azman

Chew Yi Wei

Ooi Tze Liang

Leong Mun Yee


No selected athletes

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Amy Kwan Dict Weng

Koi Sie Yan

N Shasangari Sivanesway

Izzah Amzan (new)


National men’s team (new)


Lim Chee Wei

Syakilla Salni Jefry Krisnan

Lawn Bowls

Hizlee Abdul Rais

Fairul Izwan Abd Muin

Fairuz Abdul Jabal

Syamil Syazwan Ramli

Soufi Rusli

Zulhilmie Redzuan

Azlina Arshad

Zuraini Khalid

Nur Fidrah Noh

Siti Zalina Ahmad

Emma Firyana Saroji

Nor Hasimah Ismail

Auni Fatihah Khamis (new)

Pencak Silat

Al-Jufferi Jamari

Fauzi Khalid

Siti Rahmah Mohd Nasir

Razak Ghazali

Faizul M Nasir (new)

Taqiyuddin Hamid (new)

Rosli Mohd Shari (new)

Robial Sobri (new)


Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy

Faizal Norizan

Ahmad Syukri Abdul Aziz

Nuraishah Jamil

Norashikin Mohd Sayed

Nurshazrin Mohd Latif

Sepak Takraw

12 athletes (doubles, quadrant, regu, team)


Johnathan Wong (new)


Nicol David

Low Wee Wern

Nafiizwan Adnan

Ivan Yuen

S. Sivasangari


Welson Sim


Rafiq Ismail

Timmy Tan

Adrian Ang

Alex Liew

Syafiq Ridhwan

Sin Li Jane

Esther Cheah

Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi

Siti Safiyah Abdul Rahman

Shalin Zulkifli

Natasha Roslan (new)

Ahmad Muaz Mohd Fishol (new)


Azroy Hazlwafie Izhar Ahmad


Loh Jack Chang

Vincent Wong

Yeap Wai Kin (new)



Abdul Latif Romly (long jump T20)

Ziyad Zolkefli (shot put F20)

Ridzuan Puzi (100m/200m T36)

Siti Noor Radiah Ismail (long jump T20)

Nasharuddin Mohd (400m/800m T20)

Doriah Poulus (discus, jevelin and shot put F44)

Saifuddin Ishak (100m T12 and long jump F12)

Krisna Kumar (100m/200m/ 400m T38)


Bakri Omar — men’s singles (SL4)

Cheah Leik Hou — Men’s singles (SU5)

Hairulfozi Saaba — Men’s doubles (SU5)

Madzlan Saibon — Men’s singles WH2

Didin Terasoh — Men’s singles SS6 (new)

Para Cycling

Aiman Asraf Ahmad Bajuri Tandem

Najib Turano (Mass Start/ highway/ 4km/ sprint /1km

Khairul Azwan Wahab — Tandem (l)

Afiq Afify Rizan — sprint/ 1km and 4km (new)

Para Powerlifting

Jong Yee Khie

Shahmil Md Saad

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