KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The new track at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil received the thumbs up during pre SEA Games test event, MAF Open Championships yesterday.
However, Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) are faced with uncertainties as they have not obtained International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) track certifications for the two-day event.
MAF technical chairman S. Chinnatamby said IAAF officials had inspected and approved the track but the certification only be obtained before the start of the SEA Games which is from August 19 to 30.
Chinnatamby said only national and championships records will be recognised but it will not be the case if world records are broken during the event.
“The IAAF track certification officials have already completed their inspections and have approved the new track. It will take about a month before we receive the IAAF certification,” said Chinnatamby.
“However, the delay will not affect the SEA Games as the athletics events will be held between August 22 to 26.
“As for the MAF Championships, the national records will be recognised but not world records.”
Looking at the quality of field, it is unlikely a world record or even a national record, would be broken but the month-long wait for IAAF certification is a cause for concern.
Meanwhile, MAF in rushing to make the championships a testing ground, even forgot to set up podiums for medal presentation.
A temporary podium was used after medal presentation was done by the side of the track.
With the final touches still being done inside the stadium, MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim is unperturbed by the shortcomings.
“MAF Open is only a test run. We are testing the track and other equipment for the first time. We have another month before the stadium is ready,” said Karim.
The stadium looks on track to be ready for the SEA Games but MAF must speed up the IAAF certification process as soon as possible.