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Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 6:25:00 PM
Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 10:28:52 PM
by aftar singh
Hammer thrower Nur Fazira Jalaluddin (second right) listens to coach Gu Yuan during training. The teenager will be making her SEA Games debut in Myanmar next week. - The STAR
The biennial Games will be the Rawang lass’ first overseas competition.
Although of average height and weight – 165cm and 67kg – Fazira is bent on making a golden debut in the biennial Games.
She is optimistic after achieving a personal best of 52.19m in the Malaysian Open in October at Universiti Malaya to qualify for the SEA Games.
She also upstaged team-mate and national No. 1 Casier Renee Kelly Lee in the Malaysian Open.
Based on her efforts in Malaysian Open, Fazira is ranked second in South-East Asia – behind the towering Casier, who achieved her personal best of 52.50m in the Federal Territory Open in June.
Fazira, who has never won a medal in the National Schools (MSSM) athletics championships, is thankful to China coach Gu Yuan for helping her improve her personal best by more than three metres in just five months.
“I wouldn’t be ranked second in the region if not for coach Gu Yuan, who has transformed me into one of top athletes in the region,” said Fazira, who is pursuing pre-university studies at Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
“I upstaged Casier in the Malaysian Open and I’m confident of doing it against the other bigger-built athletes in Myanmar for the gold.
“Athletes are usually nervous when they make their international debut ... but not me. I’m excited and fired up to achieve a personal best and win the gold medal.
“Many say it will be tough for me to win a medal because of my average height and weight.
“But don’t be fooled by that ... former national hammer thrower Tan Song Hwa is of average height but still won the SEA Games gold medal twice (in Laos in 2009 and Palembang in 2011).”
Gu Yuan, the 2002 Busan Asian Games gold medallist, said that she had been pushing Fazira hard in training and “it’s good to know that she has shown tremendous progress”.
“She has a good technique in throwing the hammer and I’m confident she can win a gold medal in Myanmar. I also won’t be surprised if Malaysia achieve a 1-2 finish in the women’s hammer throw,” said Gu Yuan.
Tags / Keywords:
SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw, Myanmar, hammer, athletics
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