THE National Silat Association (Pesaka) have barred all national exponents from silat olahraga (contact) class for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in the hope of finding new talent. However, those in the silat seni (artistic) category, will be allowed to compete.
Pesaka secretary Megat Zulkarnain Datuk Omar Din (right) said that the association realised that there are not many new talent coming through and as such, took the decision last week. Pesaka have an eye on the 2006 Asian Games where they hope silat will make its debut as a medal sport and as such, have identified this year's Sukma as the place to find the champions of tomorrow. Silat will be a demonstration sport in the Busan Games later in the year.
"Although only a handful of our exponents are eligible to compete in Sukma, we felt it would be better to bar them from competing," said Zulkarnain. "Moreover, the national exponents are now preparing for the World Championships in December which will be in Penang.
"Pesaka do not want them to get injured just before such an important meet. "The reason we allowed those from the silat seni to compete as it is not a contact sport." For the record, only Pahang's Mohd Hanif Ahmad who was crowned national champion in July, is the only one from the silat seni who is eligible to compete in Kota Kinabalu.
Zulkarnain also said that Pesaka will hold their council meeting in Sabah as all their top officials will be present in Kota Kinabalu. Among the items on the agenda is the proposal of disciplinary action against the Lincah Malaysia association for their disorderly behaviours over the loss of their exponent, SEA Games champion Ismail Darus, during the national championships.
"The council will also discuss the actions of our own officials who made the mistake of appointing a Gayuh Fatani judge for the bout, which is clearly against the rules as his fighter was involved," added Zulkarnain.
Written by GRAIG NUNIS
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