No stopping Irfan
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.