Hammer thrower Jackie Wong first national athlete tested positive for Covid-19


Jackie Wong in action in the men’s hammer throw at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil. — Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: National hammer thrower Jackie Wong Siew Cheer is the first national athlete to test positive for Covid-19, according to the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF).

Its president, Datuk SM Muthu today said the national record holder was confirmed positive for the viral infection through the test results issued by Sibu Hospital, Sarawak early this morning.

He said Wong was suspected of having been infected with the virus while visiting his father, Sarikei Member of Parliament Andrew Wong Ling Biu who was receiving treatment at the hospital as a patient under investigation (PUI) for Covid-19, recently.

With this latest development, Muthu said MAF decided to immediately stop the training for national athletes, besides cancelling a number of competitions soon so as to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

“This action will remain until we receive further directive from the Health Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and National Sports Institute.

“The MAF views this matter seriously to ensure the health of our athletes and that they are not infected by the virus,” he said at a special media conference held at the MAF office, here, today.

Muthu stressed that all the national athletes and coaches must undergo quarantine at their homes for 14 days to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Meanwhile, he said MAF did not intend to ask national high jumpers Nauraj Singh Randhawa and Lee Hup Wei, who are now undergoing training in Brisbane, Australia to return to Malaysia soon.

He explained that MAF was still hoping for at least one national athlete to qualify on merit to the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in view of the duration in qualifying for the Games to be ending in June.

“If there is none, we will name an athlete who we think qualify to fill the wildcard slot to the coming Olympic Games,” said Muthu. – Bernama