NAYPYITAW: Burly Mohd Irfan Shamsuddin is eyeing a medal in the boys’ discus event at next year’s World Junior Championships in Oregon, United States, after his golden debut here.
The 18-year-old from Seremban is the most outstanding athlete in the SEA Games for his ability to break the men’s discus record five times in six throws.
Never has any other Malaysian managed to achieve that at the SEA Games.
Irfan made his debut at the SEA Games hoping to break the 50 metre mark barrier but he created the biggest surprise by breaking his own national record with a throw of 53.16m, erasing his previous mark of 49.90m, which he set at the Brunei Open last month.
Irfan, who only took up the discus two years ago, was in smashing form as he kept improving his national record five times in six throws – 50.77m, 51.67m, 52.28m, 52.39m and 53.16m. The fourth throw only went as far as 49.80m.
For his effort, he surpassed the qualifying mark of 51.50m for the Under-19 World Junior meet next year.
He has broken his national record four times in six months, and admits that winning the gold in Naypyitaw has boosted his confidence to go all out for a podium finish in Oregon in July.
“I have made steady progress this year and believe that I have the ability to further improve my mark to win a medal at the world junior meet,” said Irfan, who is pursuing a degree in business administration at Universiti Malaya.
“Nothing is impossible. I just need to train much harder and also take part in higher level competitions to keep improving my mark.
“My aim for next year is to surpass the 55 metre mark and also qualify for the 2014 Asian Games (in Incheon),” said Irfan, who has been training under Slovakian coach Frantisek Petrovic for the last two years.
“My ambition is to feature in the Olympics and to achieve that I need to hit more than 60 metres,” said Irfan.