Jonathan Nyepa breaks 10.30sec barrier in Korea

KUCHING: Jonathan Nyepa clocked 10.28sec to finish second in the 100m final at the Korea Open Athletics Championships in Jeongseon, Gangwon-do yesterday. The Sarawak sprinter finished behind Korean ace Kim Kok Young who won in 10.07s. Fellow Sarawakian sprinter Nixson Kennedy finished a creditable fourth place in 10.43s.

Jonathan and Nixson are representing Malaysia in the international meet which serves as a platform for national athletes to stake their claim for selection into the national team for the coming SEA Games.

Both are aiming to qualify for their second SEA Games.

Jonathan’s time yesterday ranks him as the second fastest in Malaysian history. Malacca’s Khairul Hafiz Jantan ran 10.18s at last year’s 18th Sukma to break Sarawak’s Watson Nyambek’s 18-year-old national record of 10.30s. Jonathan was second in 10.36s in that race held at Petra Jaya’s Sarawak Stadium.

His new personal best time of 10.28s also means that the 21-year-old has now broken Watson’s Sarawak state record in the event. The wind gauge measured +0.8 m/s (within the legal +2.0 limit) for the race yesterday.

Meanwhile, Nixson’s performance follows his recent good form.

He won the 100m at the Pahang Open at the end of April, clocking 10.25s and 10.27s in the semi-final and final respectively.

There has been no official word on the wind speed recorded.

Nixson, a year older than Jonathan, ran in the 2015 SEA Games held in Singapore but failed to qualify for the final of the 100m.

However, he did anchor Malaysia’s 4 x 100m relay team led by Jonathan, to fourth place in Singapore with a time of 39.67s.