HAKIMI IN GOLDEN FORM FOR SEA GAMES
Triple jumper dazzles at Selangor Open
DEVINDER SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
HAKIMI Ismail made a welcome return to form after leaping to the second-best mark of his career to win the Selangor Open men’s triple jump title at the Universiti Malaya Arena yesterday.
His winning effort of 16.61 metres ranks just behind Hakimi’s 16.76m national record which he posted in winning gold at the 2015 Singapore Sea Games.
It was a welcome return to form for Hakimi, who had struggled with a foot injury last year which hampered his bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
“This competition was essentially for me to test a new technique with a longer up run-up and I’m happy to have posted my second-best effort of my career,” said Hakimi, who was also a silver medallist at the 2013 Sea Games.
“I’m just a little bit disappointed falling short of the World Championship qualifying mark of 16.80m. But I’m satisfied with my performance, especially in this hot conditions.”
Hakimi said he is looking for higher-level competition in Europe or Kazakhstan in an attempt to qualify for a second successive World Championships after making his world meet debut in Beijing two years ago.
“The competition at the Sea Games is going to be tough because my rivals have been doing 16.70m or better,” said Hakimi, 26.
“So I’m looking for competitions of higher standard where the jumpers there can help to push me to do better.”
Izzuddin Yahya and Nor Aliyah Abdul Rahman both completed sprint doubles after winning the men’s and women’s 200m finals respectively.
However, Izzuddin expressed regret at the absences of Badrul Hisyam Manap and G. Aravinn Thevarr, his rivals for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games slots, from the event.
“Badrul and Aravinn are the fastest 200m runners in the country and I’m disappointed they did not compete,” said Izzuddin, who won in 21.60 seconds with S. Kannathasan second in 22.03s.
“I ran well and finished without injury. It’s my first competition in the sprints this year and I hope to do better next weekend in Perlis at the Government Services Championships.”
Nor Aliyah, the Malaysian Schools Championships Under15 quadruple gold medallist, put her seniors in the shade again by winning in a personal best of 24.81 seconds, ahead of Norris Foo (25.84).
In other events, Syazwan Ahmad won the men’s high jump with a 2.10m clearance while Singapore’s Michelle Sng claimed the women’s high jump title with a new meet record of 1.75m.
Hakimi Ismail made the second best jump of his career at the Selangor Open yesterday.