KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The national men’s sprint squad created a sensation when they made a clean sweep of medals in their Cambodia SEA Games 100 metres warm-up race at the Shield Series: Darren Thrupp Shield Championship in Queensland, Australia yesterday.
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) general manager Nurhayati Karim, who shared the success, said national sprinter Khairul Hafiz Jantan found his running rhythm when he won the gold with a time of 10.34 seconds (s), which is his personal best this season.
She said Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi won the silver (10.41s) while Jonathan Nyepa (10.43s) and Muhammad Zulfiqar Ismail (10.48s) came in third and fourth respectively.
Khairul Hafiz, when contacted, said the win was a big boost for him ahead of the SEA Games in Phnom Penh in May.
“I myself did not expect to be able to set that time, because I only arrived on Friday and the long journey was tiring Alhamdulillah, all of us did well.
“God willing, I will be able to improve on my time because this is the first overseas meet, there are many more for me to participate in and I am sure I can get better timings,” said Khairul Hafiz, who is nicknamed The Speedy Jantan.
The Melaka-born athlete is optimistic that the quartet that will be built for the 4x100m event for the biennial Games in Cambodia will be able to once again break the national record set by the national squad at the SEA Games in Hanoi last year.
“For me it is not impossible to break the record… because I did not expect to be able to run 10.3s and with Muhammad Haiqal doing 10.41s and Muhammad Zulfiqar 10.48s, we can get a good timing,” he said.
For the record, at the Hanoi Sea Games 2021, the national men’s 4×100 quartet managed to break the national record in the event and also managed to win the silver medal.
The quartet made up of Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi, dubbed ‘Úsain Bolt’ Malaysia, Muhammad Arsyad Md Saat, Muhammad Zulfiqar Ismail and defending men’s 100m champion, Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi managed to finish the race in 39.09s as well as erase the national record of 39.27s set at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama