NSC vow to help Kirthana with vision problem

THE National Sports Council (NSC) will do everything possible to help save the athletics career of national triple jump champion R. Kirthana, who is suffering from failing eyesight.

NSC director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail feels it is premature to talk about turning her into a para-athlete.

He said Kirthana, who is from Perak, should get a proper diagnosis of her vision problem and get it treated first.

The 23-year-old had said she may have to become a para-athlete if her eyesight problem can’t be treated.

Her coach, Ahmad Firdaus Salim, also feels the same way.

“Kirthana is a national athlete and we (NSC) will take every necessary action to help overcome her eye problem,” said Shapawi.

“The priority is to help her recover and compete in tournaments with able-bodied athletes,” said Shapawi.

“It is premature to discuss about Kirthana becoming a para-athlete as it is a big decision.

“We will have to talk to her and find out what are her plans before jumping to conclusions.

“Her future is at stake and her problems should not be discussed in public.”

Kirthana, whose eyesight has been deteriorating since 2017, finished seventh in the Philippines Sea Games last year after she struggled to see the jumping board and was faulted a few times.

Kirthana, a mass communication student at Universiti Putra Malaysia, has also been struggling personally after her father T. Ramasamy died of kidney failure two months ago.

Hopefully, NSC can take quick action to help improve her eyesight and put her athletics career back on track.

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