Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Zaiton Creates History Off The Track By Becoming First Woman Sports Commissioner

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Former National heptathlon champion and record holder Datuk Zaiton Othman also created history off the track by becoming the first woman to be appointed as the Sports Commissioner.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who made the announcement said Zaiton would replace Ahmad Shapawi Ismail effective Feb 1, since the latter has been appointed as the Director-general of the National Sports Council on Dec 19.

Ahmad Shapawi who was the Sports Commissioner from June 2013 to Dec 2014, had succeeded Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong who has since been appointed 2017 SEA Games chief executive officer.

"I wish to congratulate Datuk Zaiton and hope she will carry out her duties with responsibility and dedication," said Khairy in a statement, Tuesday.

Zaiton, 55 from Kepala Batas, who is the Director of Athletes Welfare at the National Sports Council, has been an athlete and official for about three decades.

She was known as the "Iron Lady" of Malaysian sports because of her domination in the gruelling heptathlon event in local and international competitions throughout the region.

Zaiton won a total of 10 gold medals at SEA Games and Asian Veterans Meets and a few silver and bronze medals at the Asian Games and Asian Track and Field meets from 1979-1989.

Upon her retirement from competitive sports, Zaiton, a graduate in Physical Education, did her post graduate studies in Sports Psychology and became a Sports Officer with the NSC so that she could devote full time to guiding, counselling and motivating women to pursue excellence as athletes, coaches and leaders.

Apart from heptathlon which was her pet event, she was also a formidable in the 400m and continued to blaze the tracks while her most memorable achievement was setting the SEA Games record in heptathlon at the Manila SEA Games in 1981.

Apart from being crowned as the 'Queen of Heptathlon in the Manila SEA Games' she brought home three gold, a silver and a bronze medal through (Heptathlon, 4x400m, 4x100m), high jump silver and long jump bronze.



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