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Malaysian Olympic archer Haziq Kamaruddin died at the age on 27 on Friday. He was hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Games. Photo: World Archery

Haziq Kamaruddin: Malaysia mourns death of Olympic archer at 27; health officials say no link to Covid-19 vaccine

  • The two-time Olympian who was trying to qualify for Tokyo died at his home on Friday, having taken leave to be with his family during the Muslim Eid celebrations
  • Post mortem says he died of a blocked coronary artery and there is no link to the vaccine that he and other athletes recently received

Malaysia is mourning the death of two-time Olympic archer Haziq Kamaruddin, who died at the age of 27 on Friday morning after collapsing at his home.

Social media erupted with speculation that his death was linked to the Pfizer-BioNTech for Covid-19 he recently received. However, the Healthy Ministry said on Saturday that a postmortem found he had died of a blocked coronary artery and there was no evidence of a link to the vaccine.

Youth and Sports Minister Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican moved immediately to dispel speculation, saying he and other Malaysian athletes also received the first dose of the vaccine on April 13 with the second dose on May 4.

“I and 242 other athletes, including Haziq, had taken the vaccine together,” he said in a Facebook reply on Friday, while urging people to respect the feelings of his loved ones.

Haziq represented Malaysia at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games and was hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, with the qualification competition to be held in Paris in June.

He was a member of his country’s recurve team which won silver at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

Reports said Haziq, who was ranked 60th in the world, requested special leave to be able to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan at his home in Kajang, near Kuala Lumpur.

The Malay Mail quoted a family member as saying the archer had collapsed after performing his morning prayers on Friday and lost consciousness.

National Sports Council director Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail was quoted in The Star as saying Haziq’s death was a big loss to Malaysian sports.

“I was told that Haziq had no problems when he last trained with the team on Tuesday,” Shapawi was quoted as saying. “He was supposed to travel to Paris next month with the men’s recurve team to help Malaysia win one of the three remaining spots at stake for the Tokyo Olympics. Our condolences to Haziq and his family.”

The Olympic Council of Malaysia paid tribute to Haziq.

“President, Executive Board and Management MOM recorded condolences to the family of Allahyarham Haziq Kamaruddin OLY who returned to Rahmatullah on Friday, May 14, 2021,” it said in a statement. “He has contributed much success for the country. The passing of Allahyarham Haziq Kamaruddin OLY is a huge loss for the national sports arena especially for Archery sports. May his soul be blessed and placed among the believers.”

Haziq is originally from the southern state of Johor. Malaysia’s leading football team, Johor Darul Ta’zim, said in a Twitter post: “The Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT) family expresses our deepest condolences to the family of Johor and national archer Allahyarham Haziq Kamaruddin. Al-Fatihah.”