Discus thrower Queenie Ting Kung Ni (pic) is one of the few people who were celebrating on March 18, when the movement control order was enforced.
That was when she was told she had been promoted to the national athletics team after her efforts in bagging bronze at the Philippines SEA Games last December.
Last year, the Sarikei-born athlete was in the national pelapis squad but she made progress in the Malaysian Athletics Closed last August by upstaging national No. 1 Choo Kang Ni, to win gold with a personal best of 46.51m.
Her previous best was 46.08m, which she did in a competition in Hallesche, Germany, in 2018.
The 22-year-old Queenie, who is coached by Mohd Ali Hamid, said she had made progress since last year but was still hungry for more success.
“It feels good to be promoted into the national squad.
“And it will further boost me to perform better in competitions this year.
“I have set a personal target of hitting the 50 metre mark. I hope to achieve it in next year’s SEA Games in Hanoi, ” said Queenie, who is pursuing a degree in physical education at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Queenie, who is now at the UPM campus in Serdang, is doing strength training by herself to be ready to join thenational team as soon as the MCO is lifted.
Queenie has two major competitions this year, the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil from Sept 4-7 and also the Asean University Games in Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University, Nai Mueng, Thailand from Nov 17-26.
National chief coach Mohd Manshahar Abdul Jalil said Queenie deserved to promoted to the national team for her fine performances in competitions last year.
“She has made steady progress since her debut at the Singapore SEA Games in 2015 where she finished fifth, ” said Manshahar.
“She went to the Philippines SEA Games last December under Category B (as she did not beat the qualifying mark of 47.91m) but did well to return with the bronze with a throw of 45.28m.
“Queenie is still young and I believe she has the potential to be one of the top women discus throwers in South-East Asia, ” said Manshahar.