KUALA LUMPUR: School teacher Mohd Izzuddin Yahaya of Perlis is Malaysia’s new sprint king.
The 28-year-old, who won the men’s 100m in 10.51s on Friday, ran a personal best time of 21.40s to win the 200m final on the final day of the Malaysian Open athletics championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
Izzuddin’s efforts also surpassed the 200m SEA Games qualifying time of 21.46s.
Izzuddin was delighted to bag the double despite not training full time.
“I have to teach at the SMK Syed Sirajuddin in Arau in the morning and only get to train in the evening,” said Izzuddin, who previous best time was 21.55s which he achieved in the Terengganu Open two weeks ago.
“Some days I only train for one hour in the evening because of school activities in the afternoon.
“I hope the Education Ministry will give me time off to train full time in preparation for the SEA Games (in Singapore in June).
“I want to follow in the footsteps of my cousin Nazmizan Mohamed (who bagged the 100m and 200m golds at the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games). “Nazmizan is my idol. I wouldn’t have achieved the double here if not for his guidance for the last two years,” added Izzuddin.
Zaidatul Husnia Zulkifli also bagged the women’s sprint double by winning the 200m in 24.13s.
The 21-year-old Penangite, who has qualified for the 100m in the Singapore Games, missed the 200m qualifying time of 24.02s.
Only two national records – Mohd Irfan Shamsuudin (men’s discus) and Iskandar Alwi (men’s pole vault) – were set in the three-day championships.
To date, 17 athletes have qualified on merit for the SEA Games.