KUALA LUMPUR: Superb performances by triple jumper R. Kirthana and hurdler Rizzua Haizad Muhamad saw Malaysia win two more gold medals at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Superb performances by triple jumper R. Kirthana and hurdler Rizzua Haizad Muhamad saw Malaysia win two more gold medals at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday. The boys’ 4x100m quartet narrowly missed out on making it a golden treble on the penultimate day of competition as they ended up with the silver medal at the Thong Nhat Stadium, as did high jumper Norshafie Mohd Shah. After Khairul Hafiz Jantan’s historic 100m victory on Saturday, the three gold and two silver won todate meant the national juniors will return home with a best-ever haul from the meet, with one day of competition still to go. Prior to this year’s edition, Malaysia had only ever won two gold medals through Fauziah Abdul Razak (2004) and Siti Nur Afiqah Abdul Razak (2014). Kirthana jumped to a personal best of 13.20 metres to win the girls’ triple jump and qualify for the World Junior Championships in Poland next month. The 19-year-old from Perak produced her winning jump at the fourth attempt to edge the favourite Mariya Ovchennikova of Kazakhstan by a mere centimetre. Another Kazakh jumper, Anna Gorodkova, was third with 12.97m. Rizzua, 19, also qualified for the world junior meet when he won the boys’ 110m hurdles final in 14.00 seconds, a little slower than his personal best of 13.87s set in Saturday’s semi-finals. It was a close finish with India’s Poulose Maymon only 0.02s back in second while Zhang Tao of China was third in 14.05s. The boys’ 4x100m relay team of anchor Khairul, Badrul Hisyam Manap, Asnawi Hashim and Haiqal Hanafi, all based at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School, clocked 39.91 seconds to finish runners-up to Taiwan (39.75s). Thailand (40.36s) were third. Norshafie then added to the country’s medal tally when he soared to a personal best of 2.14 metres for the high jump silver. There could yet be more medals arriving on Monday as Khairul, who only turns 18 next month, became the third fastest Malaysian in the 200m sprint after running a personal best of 21.01 seconds in the semi-finals. Only national record holder Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan and Azmi Ibrahim have run faster with Khairul now in with a chance to complete a sprint double. Noor Eewan Syafiqah Sabri posted the third fastest time of 24.95 seconds in the semi-finals to qualify for the girls’ 200m final while Shereen Samson Vallabuoy’s time of 25.07s was the fourth fastest