Malaysia’s “Usain Bolt” plods on despite MCO 3.0

TELUK INTAN – Despite the country under a total lockdown (Movement Control Order 3.0) to curb the spread of COVID-19, young sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi (picture) is not taking a break from physical training to maintain his fitness level.

Dubbed ‘Usain Bolt of Malaysia”, the 17-year-old Teluk Intan-born athlete said he is allocating at least one hour and 30 minutes every day to do physical activities based on the weekly schedule compiled by coach Mohd Amir Izwan Tan Abdullah.

“From Monday to Friday, I will do training in the afternoon while Saturdays and Sundays in the morning.

“From the training point of view, I will focus on exercises that involve the strength of the whole body such as ‘jackknife’, ‘sit ups’ and ‘half squats’. I also do acceleration training every day, involving at least a distance of 50 metres (m) to maintain the running momentum,” he said when met by Bernama at his residence here.

Muhammad Azeem was once recognised as the world’s fastest athlete in the 200m event for ages 16 and under with a time of 21.24 seconds at the 61st Malaysian School Sports Council (MSSM) Athletics Championship in Johor on April 22, 2019.

He also stole the spotlight when he won the 100m gold at the SEA Youth Championships in Ilagan, Philippines by breaking the championship record with a time of 10.69s in March 2019. He also won the 200m gold with a record time of 21.86s.

Muhammad Azeem admitted that it was a bit awkward to train alone and also faced the constraint of lack of equipment compared to other sprinters who could easily get the facilities through full monitoring from the National Sports Council (MSN).

“It is really difficult (to train on your own) when compared to other sprinters who come under the supervision of MSN. They have facilities (training equipment). I am here, if we want to maintain the momentum of performance at the best level, we have to work harder, ”he said.

Commenting on his personal target, he said that he is currently preparing to pass the eligibility requirements to compete in the 100m event at the Vietnam SEA Games, which is scheduled to take place in Hanoi from Nov 21 to Dec 2.

“The SEA Games is my biggest target this year. I will try my best to get past the qualifying limit. I also hope that there will be a meet in the near future for me to try to exceed the qualification limit set for the SEA Games,” he said.

The MCO 3.0 is from June 1 to 14.

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