Nixson charges into contention
NIXSON Kennedy put himself in the reckoning for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games after running the fastest time in the country this year in the 100m at the Pahang Open yesterday.
The 22-year-old sprinter from Sarawak clocked 10.25 seconds in the semi-finals for a personal best before winning the final in 10.27 at the Islamic International University Sports Complex in Kuantan.
Nixson easily improved on his previous best of 10.50s set in 2015 as he came in streets ahead of second-placed Nasharuddin Mohamad (10.55).
Although Azam Masri clocked 10.22s in a race in South Africa in March, the time was not recognised as official by the International Association of Athletic Federations due to questions over the timing equipment used.
This means Nixson is officially the fastest sprinter in Malaysia this year, ahead of national record holder Khairul Hafiz Jantan, who has a season’s best of 10.39.
His coach, Ithnin Mahadi said Nixson worked hard on his acceleration after two previous runs this year of 10.60 and 10.54 at the Perak All-Comers and National Closed Championships respectively.
“After each race, I would analyse his runs and point out to him where he needs to improve,” Ithnin told Timesport yesterday.
“One area we identified is his acceleration up to the 60-metre mark was not good enough because he tends to fumble out of the blocks.
“So today he took off perfectly and after 60 metres his deceleration was not as a rapid which allowed him to post a fast time. Even Nixson was surprised at how fast he ran.”
Ithnin was cautious when asked of Nixson’s prospects for the KL Sea Games in August, given that he will need to battle with the likes of Khairul, Badrul Hisyam Manap and Haiqal Hanafi for two spots available in the 100m.
“Nixson is in good condition now but he needs a proper plan to ensure he peaks at the right time,” said Ithnin. “We don’t know what athletes from other countries are doing. What I want from Nixson is consistency and if he can regularly run 10.3 seconds then he should be a candidate for the Sea Games.”
Ithnin is hoping Nixson will be selected for the Thailand Open later in May to improve his chances of being selected for the Sea Games. Devinder Singh