Sprinter Amirudin gets Games tickets

Sprinter Amirudin Jamal had been feeling "a little uncertain" over the past two weeks.

While the 28-year-old and national teammate Calvin Kang were the only men's 100m sprinters to meet the South-east Asia (SEA) Games qualifying mark of 10.55 seconds, Singapore Athletics (SA) president Tang Weng Fei had told The New Paper that he would go with Elfi Mustapa over the 2013 bronze medallist for this year's event, based on current form.

This year's SEA Games will be held in Singapore for the first time since 1993, from June 5 to 16.

Amirudin was a relieved man yesterday after SA released its final list of 74 names for the SEA Games. Kang, 25, and Amirudin, were pencilled in for the blue-riband event, and in the men's 4x100m relay squad who are gunning for the gold.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the 50est: Stirring Stories for the Singapore Soul at the Sports Hub Library last night, Amirudin said: "I definitely feel a sense of relief today, I wasn't really sure about my selection in the event for the past few weeks, but I still had to continue to train and prepare for the Games as per normal.


"I definitely couldn't have just stopped training."

He acknowledged that Tang's comments caught him by surprise, although it has given him an added motivation to train harder.

As part of his training plan, which has been worked out with his coach, former Malaysian sprinter Azmi Ibrahim, Amirudin plans to be in top form at the Games. Forty-one men and 33 women make up the Republic's athletics squad. They include seasoned campaigners such as 2013 SEA Games women's shot put gold medallist Zhang Guirong, hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad and women's 100m contender Shanti Pereira.

Soh Rui Yong and Ashley Liew will compete in the men's marathon, after 2013 champion Mok Ying Ren pulled out due to injury.

In a media statement, Tang said: "Together with our colleagues at SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council), we are pleased to announce the list of 74 athletes who will do their very best in bringing glory to Singapore in the track and field arena.

"I am confident that our athletes have prepared well and, come June, we will all be one as Team Singapore to compete, encourage and do our nation proud."

The squad, the sport's biggest ever at the Games, will compete in 44 of the 46 events, with no local representative in both the men's and women's hammer throw events.

At the last Games in Myanmar in 2013, the track and field team returned home with two golds, three silvers and three bronze medals, and Tang is confident of at least equalling that count.

This article was first published on April 18, 2015.
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