A 100m lesson from school teacher
SCHOOL teacher Izzuddin Yahaya showed his younger rivals a clean pair of heels to win the Selangor Open men’s 100m final at the Universiti Malaya Arena yesterday.
Izzuddin, 30, timed 10.66 seconds in his first 100m event this year as he edged Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School’s Haiqal Hanafi in a close finish to put himself in the running for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games selection.
Haiqal was only 0.02s behind while schoolmate Badrul Hisyam Manap came third in 10.79s, just ahead of Singapore’s Calvin Kang (10.81), on a track left drenched by rain.
Izzuddin, 30, a late bloomer who only made his Sea Games debut in Singapore two years ago, said all the attention given to the likes of national 100m record holder Khairul Hafiz Jantan and Badrul made him more determined to show that he can still compete with the teenage sensations.
“Last year was a total write off for me when I tore my hamstring and I couldn’t challenge the newcomers,” said Perlis sprinter Izzuddin, who plans to retire at the end of the season.
“I’m not worried about them because I know I’m still good enough even though I’m old.
“Let’s see if they can beat me at the Malaysian Open (in July).
“I’m aware of the times they have clocked but that was last year. Let’s see if they can do it again.
“It’s not so easy to beat me and once I get into my stride and I’m able to build confidence, I know I’m hard to beat.”
Izzuddin, who teaches at SM Syed Sirajuddin in Arau, toyed with the idea of switching to 400m but gave it up when he pulled up with a hamstring twinge at the National Closed Championships last month.
“I thought of giving the 400m a try but that event is not for me,” said Izzuddin, who then returned to training under former national sprinter Nazmizan Muhammad.
“I went back to Nazmizan because he understands me better than anyone.
“This is my last year as an athlete so I want to give it my best and get into the Sea Games squad.
“I feel I’m ready for one chance to win a medal.”
The women’s 100m final was won by national schools Under-15 sprint champion Nor Aliyah Abdul Rahman of Johor in 12.27 seconds, ahead of Singapore’s C. Kugapriya (12.34) and Sarawak’s Norris Foo (12.47).
“My focus was on improving on my time so I’m surprised to have won,” said Nor Aliyah, whose best in the 100m is 12.15 and swept the 100m, 200m and 400m titles along with a relay gold at the Malaysian Schools Championships last month. Devinder Singh
Izzuddin Yahaya gives the thumbsup after winning the Selangor Open 100m final yesterday.