The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Sprint queen eyes SEA Games, as Olympic hopes fade


KUALA LUMPUR: With the mission of her second Olympic Games appearance in Tokyo becoming almost impossible, national women’s sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli now trained her sight on qualifying for the SEA Games 2021 in Vietnam at the end of this year.

She said her primary focus now is to rebuild the strength of her legs through a rehabilita­tion programme at the National Sports Institute (ISN) after undergoing an ACL reconstruc­tion and cartilage repair on her right knee for the second time early this year.

The 27-year-old runner said she is not prepared to give up her two favourite events, 100 metres and 200m apart from being excited after recovering from the injury.

“Thought of retirement has not crossed my mind. I just need to strengthen my legs and would not rush into training as the injury may recur. The coach also told me the same thing. “For the coming SEA Games, I will try to qualify but everything depends on attaining full recovery in six to nine months,” she told Bernama.

In 2019, Zaidatul Husniah recorded the fast personal best at 11.65 seconds and had shocked the local athletics arena when she clocked 11.35s in 2017 to crack the national record of 11.50s set by G. Shanti but it was not recognised by the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) following a technical issue.

“I am not sure if I get to train under Miller (Dwayne Miller) as there is no programme for me now,” said the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games silver medalist.

In the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippine­s, Zaidatul Husniah failed to defend her silver medal after she did not qualify for the final.

The Kedahan made her Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 in the women’s 100m sprint qualifying round.

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