Nauraj aims to soar in London
BEFORE he returns home for a Sea Games hat-trick bid, Nauraj Singh Randhawa will be aiming to make a bit of history for Malaysian athletics at the World Championships in London this week.
The high jumper will be competing in the qualifying round tomorrow as he looks to become the first Malaysian to qualify for a field event final at the world meet.
Having spent over a month tuning up in Europe, Nauraj declared himself ready for a crack at making the 12-man final on Sunday.
"Things are going well. So far so good," Nauraj, 25, told Timesport yesterday.
"You could say that I'm ready to compete on Friday.
"We (with coach Alex Stewart) had a good preparation stint in France prior to coming to London and we are pleased with how training had been. So right now I'm just looking forward to compete this Friday."
Nauraj had his final warm-up in Cologne, Germany on July 19 where he cleared 2.24 metres having earlier won meets in Barcelona and Castellon. He spent the next two weeks in France in getting ready for London, where he arrived on Saturday.
After narrowly missing out on making the Rio Olympics final on count back last year, Nauraj is determined to make good on his world meet debut.
"So far I'm feeling good and normal," said Nauraj, who qualified for London after setting the national record of 2.30m at the Singapore Open in April.
"I'm doing my best to stay calm and not being worried or troubled over matters that are out of my control and just doing what I can while I can.
"I mean I've put in the work and now it's just a matter of being patient and go out there and compete. I stand a good chance of making the final and I'll just have to play my game right and hopefully with no unnecessary mistakes, it will pay off."
Among the competitors Nauraj will face are Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, the world’s leading jumper this year, reigning Olympic champion and world title holder Derek Drouin of Canada, China’s Zhang Guowei and Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine, the silver and bronze medallists respectively from the 2015 World Championships.
After the world meet, Nauraj will turn his attention to the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games on Aug 19-30 where he will be bidding to win a third successive high jump gold medal. Devinder Singh
Nauraj Singh Randhawa is aiming to become the first Malaysian to qualify for a field event final at the World Championships.