KUALA LUMPUR: Middle distance runner Asif Rahman Jiyadeen (pic) just cannot get going. The 22-year-old suffered a thigh muscle injury at the Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Ipoh in September, 2018 and was out for three months.
He returned to action early last year only to aggravate his injury at the Malaysian Closed in August. That saw him out for six months and just as he was getting ready to make his comeback in early March, the Covid-19 movement control order saw him grounded at home again.
The Selangor-born athlete is certainly feeling miserable.
“I was happy to be back in training after suffering a muscle tear of more than six centimetres in my left thigh last August. I am prone to injuries and I don’t want another injury to jeopardise my career,” said Asif, who cannot wait to get out onto the track.
“Since the Covid-19 outbreak, I cannot train on track but I am training daily at home through WhatsApp chat with my coach.
“He gives me my daily workout routine through the phone.
“I hope to be back training on the track by the end of this month. My focus this year is the Asean University Games (at Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University, Nai Mueang, Thailand, from Nov 17-26).
“I will compete in both the 400m and 800m in the Games. I want to win a place in next year’s SEA Games in Hanoi,” said Asif, who is being coached by American Dwayne Miller.
He believes coach Miller can help him build his muscles and fitness after the long layoff.
“He is helping me to do proper stretching exercises before I start training. I feel comfortable training under him as he wants me to build my muscles first before I start my actual training,” said Asif.
“I also want to focus on the 400m as I believe that I can do the one-lap race well. I have never taken part in the 400m in competition this year but I managed to clock 48.80 in training before the MCO.
“Running the 400m is important as Malaysia needs good runners for the 4x400m at next year’s SEA Games in Hanoi,” said Asif, who is pursuing a degree in sports science at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Asif had been coached by Kenyan Samuel Kipsang Rono since 2016 and went on to win the 800m gold in the Kuching Sukma in 2016. He also clocked a personal best of 1:51.56 in the Malaysian Open in 2017 to qualify for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games the same year.
By AFTAR SINGH