A 100m les­son from school teacher

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

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