ASIAN INDOOR: 23-year-old misses out on triple jump bronze in Hangzhou
AFTER being denied Sea Games gold at the death last December, Hakimi Ismail experienced another disappointment when he narrowly missed out on a medal at the Asian Indoor Championships in Hangzhou, China last weekend.
Hakimi, 23, saved his best for last but it was not enough to take the triple jump bronze medal away from Ruslan Kurbanov of Uzbekistan after both finished tied on 16.00 metres.
Kurbanov was awarded the bronze on a countback after his next-best jump of 15.98m was far better than Hakimi’s 15.51m, thus denying Malaysia a first medal at the competition since Roslinda Samsu won gold in the women’s pole vault in 2010.
Yet Hakimi took great encouragement from his first international competition of the year as he had the consolation of setting the first national indoor record in the triple jump.
“I could have done better but I had problems with my run-up,” said Hakimi yesterday after returning on Monday.
“But it was my first indoor competition ever and I came close to winning a bronze. It was just bad luck that my second-best jump was not good enough.”
Hakimi set the national outdoor record of 16.44m at the Sea Games in Naypyitaw, breaking Zaki Sadri’s mark, but had to settle for silver when overtaken by Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hung with his last attempt.
With that, Hakimi will not be going to the World Indoor Championships in Poland next month after failing to qualify with the Malaysian Athletics Federation also electing not to take up a wild card for the track events.
“I will now concentrate on the outdoor season starting with the Negri Sembilan Open (on March 1) to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” said Hakimi.
Hakimi’s was the only stand-out performance in Hangzhou with four other athletes failing to impress.
Sea Games winner Nauraj Singh Randhawa finished eighth in the men’s high jump after clearing 2.10m while shot putter Adi Alifuddin Hussin was seventh with a 16.13m effort.
Iskandar Alwi failed to set a mark in the men’s pole vault after bombing out at 4.60m while Raja Nursheena Raja Azhar trailed in fifth in the women’s 60m hurdles final in 8.78 seconds.