It was the first time I ever witnessed the Hawaii Roll Down. Its when a lot of disappointment happens. The proceedings were chaired by Graham and Ross. "We will give the slots to the automatic qualifiers from 12 noon to 12.30 p.m. They must be here to receive it, if not we will roll down their slots at 12.45 p.m.", is what Graham said.
The class of Hiroyuki Nishiuchi. "Two slots are normally available for the Pro Men. However WTC has a new rule requiring the second placed person (Hiroyuki - 8 hr 50 min) to come within 5% of the time of the winner. As the second place person did not meet this, the second slot is not given", said Graham. The audience gasps. Hiroyuki stood up (I was surprised he understood English), politely acknowledged the audience and walked out. What a class act (rather than picking a fight), he received the loudest applause.
Barry Lee, 2nd 18 yrs - 24 yrs (10 hr 23 mins). Did not turn up because he was not accepting the slot. No problems there I suppose, Barry consciously "did not want to go".
Muhammad Abdullah (Wong Ah Thiam). 10 hr 8 min (winner 35 - 39 yrs). He was there, he accepted the slot. Please take note, he got it because he won his age group.
Heidilee Muhammad (Dino). 2nd, 25 - 29 years, 10 hrs 44 min. Two slots were automatically given for this age group, but Dino wasn't there. When they first announced this at 12.05 pm, it didn't dawn on me to look for Dino. At about 12.20 p.m., Simon Cross realised that we should look for Dino. We only had Julie's number. Anyway we called her and told her to find Dino ASAP, he has 10 mins to turn up.
Dino turned up at 12.38 p.m. He was driving to the airport. He gave up his flight and pleaded with the officials. They told him he was late. They had given his slot to the next person (who happened to be there) at 12.31 p.m. rather than wait until 12.45 p.m. Dino was distraught.
Who was to blame. Dino or the WTC officials??
Carmen and Sam went to the officials' table "What about the slot for the first Malaysians (which had been given since the first race in 2000)". It was then they found out the slots for the first Malaysians were no longer given. I just can't put into words the disappointment on their faces.
I spoke to Ross after, he said "its not given elsewhere, it was never promised. Chandran should have announced clearly that there were no automatic spots for Malaysians".
I guess I am gossiping, as I have nothing better to do now.
Future of IM MY:
(Normally they would have announced the dates by now.) I have been reliably informed the Ironman next year is on. Its not going to be at Kuah Town, maybe Pantai Cenang (where the Swedish lady died from a jelly fish sting) or some other place.
The race will be owned by WTC and Datuk Chandran. Dato Seri Ram is out (advisor only). Same as for Putrajaya 70.3.
For me, any Ironman Race in Malaysia is fine, even a very badly organised one.