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Sprinter Komalam dropped, women's relay team crippled days before SEA Games

A member of the record-breaking women's 4x100m team has been dropped. (Picture from NST Online)
Sprinter S. Komalam Shally (second from left) was dropped from the record-breaking women's 4x100m relay team just days before the start of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Komalam was dropped last Friday apparently over her "bad behaviour".

"She was accused of belittling the younger sprinters but Komalam claims she was merely trying to motivate them," said an insider.

The matter was brought to the Olympic Council of Malaysia's board yesterday and it was decided that an inquiry be conducted over her dismissal.

A committee, overseeing the inquiry, will meet Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) officials and coaches today before possibly meeting the athletes tomorrow.

Many are baffled to why the drastic decision was made just days before the Games.

If true Komalam had "disciplinary issues", the matter should have been handled earlier or at least after the Games.

It is learnt trouble within the 4x100m team — consisting Shereen Samson Vallabouy, Siti Fatima Mohammad, Komalam and Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli — started brewing when the they returned from their South African training stint earlier this year.

Komalam, Siti Fatima and Zaidatul Husniah have been clocking below 12.0s in recent times.

Further cracks in the record-breaking relay team is seen as at least two of the sprinters want their coach to be changed. The girls are currently coached by Hamberi Mahat.

The foursome clocked 45.19s at the Thailand Open in Bangkok on June 15, en route to erasing the national record of 45.32s set at the 2016 Singapore Open. They are projected to win a medal at the SEA Games.

"These girls are capable of winning the gold (medal)," another insider revealed.

"An athlete should be judged based on his or her performance, not communication skills. If you find his or her behaviour disruptive, you tackle the issue and not sideline the talent especially just days before a major event on home soil."

The Delegation Registration Meeting will be held on Thursday where the final list of athletes participating in the Games will be finalised.

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