KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 : The Malaysian Fencing Federation (MFF) is forced to face difficulties when the Philippines SEA Games Organisation Committee (PHISGOC) pushed forward the date of the competition.
MFF president, Rusni Abu Hassan said the organiser had pushed forward the competition date to Nov 3-8, namely, starting two days late, compared to the original dates, due to a delay in preparing the World Trade Centre, Pasay in Manila.
‘’Despite only a two-day delay, it makes it difficult for us as we have early plans and it is rather difficult to change the schedule. We have also appealed through the Olympic Council of Malaysia and given several suggestions to the organiser such as reducing the competition to four days, but they are adamant with the decision.
‘’So, we are forced to concur with the decision of the organiser. We have made an appeal to the airline company to amend the date of the flight, this time we received positive feedback,’’ she told a Team Malaysia media conference at the National Sports Council (NSC) here today.
Rusni also hoped that NSC would also settle the balance of the RM23,000 allocation to MFF as soon as possible so that the money could be used for the final phase of preparation for the fencing athletes to the SEA Games next month.
She claimed that, to date, the NSC had only channeled RM32,000 from the RM55,000 approved to MFF for preparations to the SEA Games, while MFF had also been successful in obtaining private sector sponsorship.
More shockingly, Rusni said the 2017 SEA Games payment (to MFF) was also in arrears amounting to RM16,000.
With 12 gold medals offered, Malaysia would be represented by 22 athletes, comprising the foil (eight), sabre (eight) and epee (six) disciplines and participated by five officials and coaches.
According to Rusni, the foil squad was currently undergoing a 20-day training in Japan while some of the sabre athletes were in China in preparation for the Asian Under-23 Championship in Bangkok, Thailand on Oct 23-28, in the effort to boost their ranking before the SEA Games.
The national fencing squad merely won one bronze medal at the 2017 SEA Games through Joshua Koh I-Jie in the men’s epee.