KUALA LUMPUR: Sea Games gold medalist Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian returns to the track in February for the first time in six months in the hope that 2018 will lead to an Asian Games podium finish in Indonesia.
Rayzam has not competed since winning the 110m hurdles gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August, which came 10 years after his first Sea Games win in 2007.
Having also shattered Nurherman Majid’s 23-year-old national record last year with a time of 13.67 seconds, Rayzam hopes to hit the ground running when he returns to competition next month.
Rayzam has a choice of competing at either the Asian Indoor Championships in Teheran on Feb 1-3 or the Asian Games Test meet in Palembang on Feb 11-15.
“I’ve talked to my coach Jan May about which competition to go to but I have not decided yet,” said Rayzam on Wednesday.
“I would prefer to compete at the pre-Asian Games meet since it is an outdoor competition whereas in Iran I would be running in the 60m hurdles.
“Running outdoors will help with my preparation for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (in April) and I want to get started as soon as possible.”
Rayzam, 29, is one of three athletes selected for the Asian Indoors by the Malaysian Athletics Federation, including sprinters Nixson Kennedy and Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli, who will run in the men’s and women’s 60m respectively.
Sabah-born Rayzam is hoping to carry his form into the new year with the Asian Games in August top of his list of priorities.
“My target for this year is to win a medal at the Asian Games,” said Rayzam, who has yet to make his Asian Games debut.
“I know it will be tough but I think a place on the podium is possible.
“China have some of the best hurdlers in Asia so they will be favourite for gold but I hope to get a silver or a bronze.”
Malaysia have not won an athletics medal at the Asian Games since 2006 when pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu and 400m hurdler Norseela Khalid won silver and bronze respectively in Doha.