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Sunday May 19, 2013
By AFTAR SINGH
KUANTAN: Sarawak have produced good national athletes like Watson Nyambek (sprinter), Mohd Jironi Riduan (middle distance) and James Wong (hammer) among others.
And they now have another talented athlete in Mohd Rizzua Haizad, who won four gold medals – 110m hurdles, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m – in the Little Athletic Championships in Singapore last September.
Rizzua, who joined the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in January, will be gunning for his third consecutive gold medal in the National Schools Athletics Championships (MSSM) starting here today.
Rizzua won the gold in 110m hurdles in 2011 and last in the boys’ Under-15 category. This year, he will feature in the Under-18 category.
Rizzua, who has a personal best of 14.67 in 110m hurdles, said that “although I am only 16, I will go all out to outdo the older athletes for a place on the podium”.
“I’m in good shape – mentally and physically – to give the other hurdlers a run for their money in the MSSM,” said Rizzua, who will also be competing in the 4x100m and 4x400m. “I have a good technique in clearing hurdles and the speed to become a top hurdler in my state and country.”
National hurdles coach Ithnin Mahadi was full of prasei for Rizzua, saying the athlete “not only trains hard but always gives his best in competitions”.
Sarawak will start as the favourites to become the overall champions in the five-day MSSM meet for the second consecutive time.
A total of 84 gold medals are at stake in the boys’ and girls’ Under-12, Under-15 and Under-18 categories.
A total of 612 boys and 563 girls from all 14 states will feature in the meet.
Sarawak have won the overall MSSM championships since 1997, with the exception of 2011 when they finished third in Perak.
They bounced back last year in Kangar to win the championship with a haulf of 15 golds, 20 silvers and eight bronzes.
This will be the first time that the MSSM meet will not be held in the morning. It will, instead, be held in the afternoon and evening.
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