ISKANDAR ON A HIGH
Pole vaulter targets Sea Games gold after setting new indoor record
ISKANDAR Alwi is eyeing further improvements to put himself in gold medal contention at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games after setting a new national indoor pole vault record in Taiwan on Wednesday.
The 2015 Sea Games bronze medallist cleared 5.20 metres to finish fifth at the Taiwan International Indoor Pole Vault Championships in Caotun.
Iskandar was one of four vaulters to finish on 5.20m, an improvement on his previous indoor record of 5.15m set at the same meet in 2015 and matching his outdoor record, also set two years ago.
He only missed out on a place on the podium on countback with American Victor Weirich clearing 5.30m for the win, ahead of Finland’s Tomas Weckstein and South Korean Jin Min-Sub, 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist, in joint-second.
However, after Thailand’s Porranot Purahong won Sea Games gold in 2015 with a new meet record of 5.30m, Iskandar knows he has his work cut out for him in the next few months.
“I’m glad that after more than a year in which I failed to clear 5.20m, I managed to do it again,” Iskandar told Timesport yesterday.
“This is a good start to the year for me. Now my next aim is to improve on my personal best.”
No Malaysian has won the men’s pole vault gold since Teh Weng Chang at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
In the women’s event, which was won by American Kourtney Ross (4.30m), Chuah Yu Tian cleared 3.30m to finish jointeighth of 11 vaulters.
Meanwhile, the national sprinters returned to action during their South African stint in Germiston on Wednesday without reaching the heights of two weeks ago.
Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli, who smashed the national women’s 100m record with a 11.45 seconds run on Mar 9, finished sixth in the women’s 100m A final in 11.98s at the Athletics South Africa speed series meet. Teammate S. Komalam Shally clocked the same time in the B final.
National record holder Khairul Hafiz Jantan was the best of the Malaysian sprinters when he clocked 10.51s for second in the men’s 100m C final.
Jonathan Nyepa (10.65s) and Badrul Hisyam Manap (10.65s) were marginally slower in the B final while national schools champion Haiqal Hanafi timed 10.90s.
The four runners then combined to steer the 4x100m team to third place in 40.18s.
This is a good start to the year for me. Now my next aim is to improve on my personal best.
Shereen Samson Vallabouy posted a season’s best of 54.91s to place fourth in the women’s 400m with teammate Nurul Faizah Asma Mazlan sixth on 56.69s.
Iskandar Alwi set a new national record in the indoor pole vault at a meet in Taiwan on Wednesday.