Azeem clocks in fastest 100m semi-finals time, guns for debut Sukma gold

Azeem clocks in fastest 100m semi-finals time, guns for debut Sukma gold

National record holder confident, but recognises tough competition for finals tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR – National sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi looks to be the favourite to win the men’s 100m finals tomorrow after the Perak athlete clocked the fastest time at the semi-finals today.

Crossing the line in 10.33s, Azeem enters the final tomorrow as the fastest sprinter, after the other two semi-finals winners, Negri Sembilan’s Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi and Johor’s Muhammad Arsyad Md Saat set a time of 10.57s and 10.54s respectively.

Although his time today was not the 10.09s national record-shattering pace he displayed at the Under-20 World Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia last month, Azeem said today’s run was among the best in his career so far.

“Today’s time of 10.33s was in the range that I targeted. The key to success is consistency, so that is what I am focusing on now.

“As long as I can dip below 10.40s or 10.30s, that is good for me. With that, I am looking forward to doing something special tomorrow in the finals,” he told the media after the win.

Making his Sukma debut, Azeem will be hoping to conquer the top podium step, but admits that there will be tough competition tomorrow in the finals.

“I am feeling good for tomorrow, but I do not want to underestimate the competition.

“Haikal and Arsyad are really good sprinters so I am sure they will bring a tough fight, but I will surely give it my best effort,” said the 18-year-old, who will be heading to the US soon.

In the other athletics final events today, Nur Atiqah Sufiah Md Hanizam won gold for Johor in the women’s discus throw, while Farrell Glenn Felix Jurus gave Sabah its first gold at the Games after winning the men’s high jump.

Sarawak’s Jonah Chang Anak Rigan came in first at the men’s shot put and Nurul Ashikin Abas won gold for Perak at the women’s triple jump.

National women’s hammer throw record holder Grace Wong from Sarawak, who also won gold at the 2022 Hanoi SEA Games, came in second at the shot-put finals today, behind Pahang’s Nani Sahirah Maryata, who clinched gold.

It was an astonishing victory for Muhammad Ikbolasen Md Kamal Hussain in the men’s 10,000m as he broke the previous Sukma record set 26 years ago, but his time of 31m 11.62s would not be recognised as a new Games record due to the National Sports Council’s (NSC) extension on the age limit this year.

Kuala Lumpur’s Kok Hui Ying won her debut Sukma 5,000m walk race, despite having to cover an extra lap around the track due to a faulty lap counter.

– The Vibes, September 15, 2022

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