R. Kirthana intends to make it to the Youth Olympic Games by finishing in the top two of the triple jump at the Asian Area Qualifying championships.
KUALA LUMPUR: R. Kirthana only took up the triple jump a year ago, but the Perak girl is already making good progress, having twice improved her personal best in competitions in the past month.
The Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Form Five student achieved a personal best of 12.80m en route to winning the gold in the Federal Territory Pre-Malaysia Games (Sukma) meet in Bukit Jalil from March 22-23.
And last week in Ipoh, she further improved the mark by two centimetres to break the Perak Sports Schools meet record of 12.70m.
Kirthana, who featured in the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing last August to finish fourth with a jump of 12.23m, is now eyeing a place in the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games, also in Nanjing, from Aug 16-24.
To qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, Kirthana will have to finish in the top two of the event at the Asian Area Qualifying championships, to be held at the Thammasat University Sports Complex in Bangkok from May 21-22.
Kirthana believes she is ready physically and mentally to win a place at the Youth Olympic Games.
“I have improved my personal best twice in one month and will be going all out to better my mark to finish in the top two,” said Kirthana, who will also compete in the long jump event in Bangkok.
Kirthana, who has a personal best of 5.94m in long jump, said that she actually started her career in sports as a sprinter before joining the BJSS.
“I joined BJSS three years ago, when I was in Form Two, and I am glad that I switched to the jump events as I have made steady progress.
“Nothing is impossible. I just need to stay focused and execute my jumps well to be the first girl from athletics to qualify for the Games,” said Kirthana, who has a hectic schedule next month.
She will feature in the National Sports School (MSSM) in Alor Setar from May 3-7 before going to Bangkok for the qualifiers.
She will also compete in Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Perlis from May 24-June 4.
A total of 15 Malaysian athletes, comprising 10 boys and five girls, will also compete in the qualifying meet in Bangkok.
The boys are Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap (100m), Mohd Rizzua Haizad Muhammad (110m hurdles), Putra Azrul Syazwan Azman (800m), Syed Mohd Nazrul Izzuddin Habib Yahya (2,000m steeplechase), Ahmad Muhammad Hamizan (2,000m steeplechase), Mohd Ashraf Abu Muhammad (javelin), R. Maveeqheen (shot putt), Norshafiee Mohd Shah (high jump), Mohd Syazwan Ahmad (high jump) and Mohd Afiq Ahmad Alham (pole vault).
Besides Kirthana, the other girl athletes are Savinder Kaur (800m), Munirah Ali (2,000m steeplechase), Shahirah Sazali (high jump) and Chin Poh Kuan (shot putt, discus).