RAYZAM Shah Wan Sofian will skip the athletics indoor season to focus on qualifying for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games this year.
The 26-year-old 110m hurdler had been named in the national squad for the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Huangzhou, China on Feb 15-16 but has since withdrawn from the meet.
Rayzam, who finished a disappointing second to Thai rival Jamras Rittidet in the Sea Games final last month, hopes to return stronger ahead of the two multi-sport events this year.
“The Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games are the two biggest events this year and I am only focused on that,” said Rayzam when contacted in Tawau, Sabah on Wednesday.
“I don’t plan on competing in the indoor season because there is no point in running the 60m hurdles.
“I am preparing for the outdoor season so that I can qualify for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games as soon as possible.”
The qualification mark for the Incheon Asian Games is 13.81 seconds and 13.84 for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Rayzam’s personal best is the 13.81s he clocked at the 2012 Australian Open while he ran a season’s best of 13.86 in 2013.
“I returned to training three weeks ago and I will start competing in April in one of the local meets,” said Rayzam, who has yet to compete in either the Commonwealth or Asian Games.
“If I can improve on my personal best than I am qualified for both Games. I think I stand a 50-50 chance of doing it.”
With Rayzam out, three senior athletes will be sent to Huangzhou — shot putter Adi Alifuddin Hussin, pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi and triple jumper Hakimi Ismail.
By Devinder Singh