KANGAR: National pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi needed a return to the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Kangar to confirm his place in the SEA Games in Singapore next June.
The 20-year-old broke the national record with a 5.15m jump during the Malaysia Games (Sukma) at the same stadium on June 1. Despite eclipsing the SEA Games qualifying mark of 5.10m, Iskandar’s effort was not counted as the qualifying period for the 2015 SEA Games only began on June 5.
On Thursday, Iskandar was back in Kangar for the 91st Malaysian Open athletics championships and promptly booked his SEA Games spot with a 5.10m gold medal-winning effort.
After securing qualification, Iskandar surprisingly chose not to raise the bar to attempt either a new national record or break the 5.30m meet record.
“My only target in the Malaysian Open was to jump 5.10m, which was my silver medal jump in the Myanmar SEA Games last year. I am glad to get it right a second time in Kangar.
“I opted not to raise the bar as I was exhausted competing in the extremely hot midday condition here. I felt that I should leave the national record alone for another day,” said Iskandar, who will be competing in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next month.
Muhammad Afiq Alham of Johor cleared 4.60m for the silver medal while Omar Iqbal Kamal, also from Johor settled for the bronze medal with the height of 4.40m.