KUALA LUMPUR: Siti Nur Afiqah Abdul Razak is only 17 years old but she has the capability to be among the medallists in the women’s 400m at the Singapore SEA Games in June.
The Terengganu-born clocked a personal best of 53.93 en route to the gold at the Asian Junior Championships in Taiwan last June. It was the fourth fastest time clocked by a Malaysian after the late Rabia Abdul Salam (52.56), Josephine Mary (52.65) and N. Manimagalay (53.71).
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) technical director Robert Ballard believes Siti has the potential to be a good quarter-miler in the South-East Asian region.
“Although she is only 17, I am optimistic she will give a strong challenge to the other runners to be on the podium at the SEA Games,” said the Australian coach.
Siti was among the 12 athletes sent by the MAF to Australia for six weeks of competition cum training stint in February. She clocked 55.15 to win the bronze at the Canberra Open.
But she was forced to skip the South-East Asian (SEA) Youth Championships in Bukit Jalil earlier this month due to an ankle injury.
Siti has since recovered from the injury and is now preparing for the Taiwan Open from May 15-16. It will be her last overseas competition before the SEA Games.
“The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have given the green light to the women’s 4x400m team to compete in the Singapore Games. Siti will be one of the members of the 4x400m team,” said Ballard.
The other Malaysian to compete in the women’s 400m in Singapore is Shereen Samson Vallabouy, who is also 17 years old.