Nix­son charges into con­tention

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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