No stop­ping Ir­fan

New Straits Times - - Sport - Devinder Singh

AF­TER set­ting a third na­tional record in five days, dis­cus thrower Ir­fan Shamshud­din is inch­ing closer to the qual­i­fi­ca­tion mark for the Lon­don World Cham­pi­onships in Au­gust.

In a re­mark­able feat of stamina and en­durance, Ir­fan set a new record of 62.55 me­tres at the Union Le­ich­tath­letic Gala at Linz, Aus­tria on Thurs­day to com­plete a suc­cess­ful week of record-break­ing throws.

It was only on Tues­day that Ir­fan threw the dis­cus to 61.56m in the Czech Repub­lic, which in turn came af­ter his 61.10m ef­fort in Ger­many on Sun­day which made him the first South­east Asian over the 60-me­tre mark.

“In five days I did three na­tional records and three South­east Asian records. Thanks for all your sup­port. Thanks Ger­many, Czech Repub­lic and Aus­tria!” a de­lighted Ir­fan, 21, posted on Twit­ter.

For­mer Euro­pean ju­nior cham­pion Lukas Weis­shaidinger of Aus­tria won the event in Linz with a throw of 65.35m while Croa­t­ian Roland Varda was third on 58.65m.

Ir­fan’s record-break­ing ef­fort came on his sec­ond at­tempt with his 62.55m ef­fort good enough to be ranked among Asia’s top-five dis­cus throw­ers and be­come a medal con­tender at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

It also puts him within strik­ing range of a medal at the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games in the Gold Coast and not far off the 65m qual­i­fy­ing mark for the World Cham­pi­onships, which he needs to achieve by July 23.

“If he can fur­ther im­prove his dis­tance, it will en­hance his chances of win­ning a medal at the Asian Games,” said Malaysian Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion statis­ti­cian and an­a­lyst Jad Adrian.

“He will need to throw 63m in or­der to be in top 10 of the Com­mon­wealth an­nual rank­ings, but to win a medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games, 62m would be suf­fi­cient if you are lucky.”

Mean­while, hur­dler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian came close to his per­sonal best when run­ning 13.85 sec­onds in the 110m hur­dles at a meet in Zue­len­roda, Ger­many on Thurs­day.

Rayzam, who posted 13.89s in the heats, came home sec­ond in the fi­nal just 0.04s short of his per­sonal best. The fi­nal was won by Ger­man Eric Bal­nuwet in 13.63s.

His per­for­mance makes him favourite to re­gain the Sea Games gold medal he won in 2007 in the ab­sence of Thai ri­val Jam­ras Rit­tidet, who has re­tired af­ter win­ning four Sea Games gold medals.

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