Rabia Abdul Salam the Quarter-mile Queen (1973-1994)

>> February 25, 2014

Rabia Abdul Salam died at the Kajang District Hospital 20 years ago today (25 February 1994).

She was 20 years old.

The cause of death was not publicly revealed, but being classified as a sudden death.

She was born in Penang on the 5th November 1973, mainly competed in the 400m, but also in the 200m and 800m, apart from the relays.

Her best times were 12.3h in the 100m, 24.6h in the 200m, 52.56 in the 400m, and 2:10.40 in the 800m.

Rabia Abdul Salam

Indeed, she left the Malaysian athletics fans at young age. In a span of approximately 5 years, she accomplished a lot for the country, notably:

December 1993

In less than 3 months prior to her death, she won silver medal of Asian championships, in the women's 400m, which was held in Manila.

On this occasion, she recorded 52.56, a time that remains the national record for Malaysia to this date. Ma Yuqin of China won it in 51.23, while Kalawati Saramm of India was 3rd (52.83).

She also helped the Malaysian quartet to win bronze medal (3:41.66).

June 1993

During the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore, she won one gold, one silver, and one bronze.

The gold medal came from the women's 4x400m. She teammed up with R Shanti, Josephine Mary, and G Shanti, and anchored the team to the finish in 3:35.81, ahead of a strong team Thailand.

The time they set remains the national record. She added a bronze medal from the 4x100m.


She won a 400-800m double during the national junior championships in Ipoh.

In the same year, Rabia entered semifinals (400m) of the World junior championships.


In the 1991 SEA Games in Manila, she was part of the 4x400m team, winning silver medal.


In 1990 Asian Games in Beijing, she teammed up with Josephine Mary, Sajaratuldur Hamzah, and G Shanti to win bronze medal in the 4x400m.

Here they recorded 3:38.52, erasing the nine-year-old national record of 3:41.35 set during the 1981 SEA Games. The 1981 team consisted of Zaiton Othman, Mumtaz Jaafar, Saik Oik Cum, and Angamah, who clinched gold in that edition.


Rabia took bronze in the 800m during the 1989 ASEAN Schools held at Baguio, the Philippines.

In 1988, she was 3rd of the 800m in National Games (SUKMA).

Jad Adrian (ATFS statistician)

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