Malaysian athletics sees positive upside after Asian meet – Athletics | The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The future of Malaysian athletics is looking bright again after ending the Asian Junior Championships in Ho Chi Minh City with three golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Source: Malaysian athletics sees positive upside after Asian meet – Athletics | The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The future of Malaysian athletics is looking bright again after ending the Asian Junior Championships in Ho Chi Minh City with three golds, three silvers and one bronze.

It was Malaysia’s best-ever performance in the biennial meet since its inception in 1986.

What’s more pleasing is that the juniors won medals by achieving their personal bests.

National chief coach Zainal Abas has credited the junior athletes’ success to the proper implementation of their development programme.

“Our development programme has shown encouraging results and I’m proud that our athletes have also proven that they can perform well against top contenders from Asia to win gold medals.

“We have three – Khairul (Hafiz Jantan), R. Kirthana and (Mohd) Rizzua (Haizad) – who are the best junior athletes in Asia. They should continue to strive for better results in higher-level competitions.”

Malaysian teenage Khairul Hafiz Jantan (centre) and teammate with medals his won when arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, yesterday. MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star.

Proud medal winners upon arriving at the KLIA from Vietnam on Tuesday.

Khairul won the 100m in of 10.36. The 18-year-old from Malacca also bagged a silver in the 200m in 21.15 and was a member of the 4x100m quartet who took silver in 39.91. The other members of the relay team were Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap, Asnawi Hashim and Muhd Haiqal Hanafi.

Kirthana leapt 13.20m to win gold in the girls’ triple jump event. The 19-year-old from Perak improved on her personal best by seven centimetres.

Rizzua won gold in the boys’ 110m hurdles gold in 14.00. He had earlier achieved a personal best of 13.87 in the semi-finals.

Khairul, Kirthana, Rizzua and Badrul have qualified for the Under-20 IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland from July 19-24.

Some athletes are said to be more interested in competing in Sukma (Malaysia Games), which will be held from July 22-31, as they stand to gain financially if they won gold medals for their states.

“I want them to compete in the World Junior meet to test their performance against the world’s best,” said Zainal.

“I hope the states will release these athletes for the World Junior meet. This is the only chance they have to compete in the World Junior meet. They can compete in the next Sukma in 2018.”

In the Asian Junior Championships, Japan emerged overall champions with a 13-10-4 medal haul, followed by China 11-7-4.

India were third with 7-4-6, followed by Malaysia (3-3-1), Thailand (2-3-4) and Vietnam (2-3-2).