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Muhammad Azeem clocked 20.83 seconds at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium here for the ninth fastest time out of the 48 runners in the qualifying rounds to advance to the semi-finals. — Picture via Facebook

Thursday, 04 Aug 2022 5:37 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — Young sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi inched closer to the national record after setting a new personal best en route to winning Heat Three of the men’s 200-metre (m) race in the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia early this morning (Malaysian time).

Muhammad Azeem clocked 20.83 seconds (s) at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium here for the ninth fastest time out of the 48 runners in the qualifying rounds to advance to the semi-finals.

The 18-year-old, running in Lane Eight, did well to finish ahead of Australian Aidan Murphy and Jamaican Bryan Levell, who ended up second and third respectively in identical times of 20.85s.

The Perak-born Muhammad Azeem’s previous personal best of 20.89s was considered the second fastest time in the history of Malaysia’s 200m event, with Russel Alexander Nasir Taib being the proud holder of the record after clocking 20.77s in 2019.

For the record, Muhammad Azeem had set a new national 100m record after clocking 10.09s in Cali on Tuesday (Aug 2).

Meanwhile, Botswana’s 19-year-old Letsile Tebogo, who won the 100m gold, again stole the show when he advanced to the semi-finals in style by breaking the meet record after clocking 19.99s to top Heat Two.

Thailand’s 16-year-old Puripol Boonson, winner of the Hanoi SEA Games 100m and 200m events, also moved into the semi-finals after coming out tops in Heat Four in 20.68s.

The semi-finals will be held later today (4.30am Malaysian time) and the final will be held early tomorrow morning (Malaysian time). — Bernama