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Monday October 8, 2012
By Aftar Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Komalam Shally Selvaratnam is officially the country’s new sprint queen.
On Saturday, the 23-year-old Perak athlete beat Iran’s Maryam Toosi to the 100m title in a photo-finish in the Malaysian Open athletics championships at the National Sports Council (NSC) training track in Bukit Jalil.
Yesterday, they were both locked in another exciting clash in the 200m final. And, again, Komalam came out tops – and again it was close.
Komalam clocked a personal best time of 24.71 to finish just inches ahead of Maryam, who clocked 24.78.
Farzane Fasihi, also of Iran, clocked 25.53 to finish third – just as she had in the 100m dash.
Komalam was clearly delighted with her first-ever sprint double.
“It wasn’t easy to win the double as the Iranian sprinter came very close to beating me in the 100m,” said the Armed Forces sprinter, whose previous best in the 200m was 25.05.
“I came into this meet planning to achieve personal bests in both the sprint events but I only managed to achieve it in the 200m. Still, I am happy with my achievements here.”
Komalam has pledged to continue training harder and improve on her personal best of 11.93 in the 100m which she did in the Armed Forces meet last week.
“I am now the national sprint queen and I hope to compete in international meets and keep improving on my times,” said Komalam, who will run in the Thailand Open next month.
It was a day of double delight for the Armed Forces when Mohd Noor Imran Hadi equalled Komalam’s feat by bagging the double in the men’s sprint event as well.
Having won the 100m in 10.61 on Saturday, Imran then captured the 200m gold medal in 21.69 yesterday.
Hisyam Alias of Federal Territory clocked 22.00 to take the silver while Mohd Azam Masri of Malacca was third in 22.56.
The 27-year-old Imran claimed that he failed to clock a personal best in the 200m due to the lack of stiff competition.
“Five Thai sprinters ran in the 200m semi-finals but they surprisingly withdrew from the final. There weren’t any good sprinters to take me on in the final,” he said.
“I am not surprised to win the double because of the absence of foreign sprinters.”
SEA Games silver medallist Adi Aliffudin Hussin was a big letdown in the men’s shot putt as he could only manage 16.18m for the bronze. It was more than a metre less than his personal best of 17.53m.
And the 24-year Armed Forces man had the cheek to blame his own shortcomings on the organisers “for holding the event at 8am”.
“It’s really difficult to throw well in the morning because the body is not warmed up properly. In international meets, the event is held either in the afternoons or evening as you will have enough time to warm up your body,” said Adi, who will feature in the Asean University Games in Laos in December.
National hammer thrower Jackie Wong too failed to impress after finishing second with an effort of 54.93m – more than 3m short of his personal best of 58.30m.
The 20-year-old Sarawakian said he knew he would not be able to come anywhere near his personal best as he had just recovered from a shoulder injury.
Only one national record was broken in the two-day meet. Noor Amira Mohd Nafiah shattered the women’s triple jump record when she cleared 13.90m. The previous mark of 13.74m was set by Ngew Sin Mei in 2004.
Out of the 45 medals at stake, Armed Forces were declared the overall champions with a haul of 17-12-10, followed by Kuwait 5-1-2 and Taiwan 4-1-1.
200m: 1. Mohd Noor Imran Hadi (ATM)
21.69, Hisyam Alias (FT) 22.00, 3. Mohd
Azam Masri (Mal) 22.56.
1,500m: 1. Mohd Jironi Ridzuan (Swk)
4:00.30, 2. Tseng Chiu-chin (Tpe) 4:01.50, 3.
Soh Hua Qun (Sin) 4:03.57.
3,000m steeplechase: 1. Ahmad Luth
Hamizan (Nse) 9:30.99, 2. J. Karthik (ATM)
9:32.42, 3. P. Janathan (ATM) 9:48.84.
10,000m: 1. R. Venugopal (FT) 33:19.87,
2. Nik Fakaruddin Ismail (ATM) 33:58.30, 3. S.
Sivamanogaran (ATM) 34:29.07.
400m hurdles: 1. Fawaz Al-Shammari
(Kuw) 50.97, 2. Firdaus Mazalan (ATM) 53.17,
3. Jasem Al-Mas (Kuw) 54.06.
4x400m: 1. Armed Forces 3:16.83, 2. Perak
3:20.27, 3. Sabah 3:21.98.
Hammer: 1. Tseng Hao-chang (Tpe)
58.27m, 2. Jackie Wong (Swk) 54.93m, 3.
Mohd Nizam Zuki (ATM) 45.35m.
Triple jump: 1. Abdullah Al-Youha (Kuw)
15.13m, 2. Talal Salem (Kuw) 14.81m, 3.
Mohd Syazwan Zakaria (Joh) 14.28m.
Shot putt: 1. Ahmad Gholoum (Kuw)
18.23m, 2. Chatchawal Polyiam (Tha) 16.24m,
3. Adi Aliffudin Hussin (ATM) 16.18m.
200m: 1. Komalam Shally Selvaratnam
(ATM) 24.71, 2. Maryam Toosi (Irn) 24.78, 3.
Farzane Fasihi (Irn) 25.53.
1,500m: 1. K. Ganthimathi (ATM) 4:40.76,
2. Noor Amelia Musa (FT) 4:50.08, 3. Fahime
Kaihor (Irn) 4:56.24.
400m hurdles: 1. Noor Haswanie Norizan
(ATM) 64.94, 2. Leong Ann Gie (Sel) 66.35, 3.
Mahiga Khan Bashi (Irn) 67.56.
3,000m steeplechase: 1. Nur Aisyah
Akmat (Swk) 12:12.80, 2. Maryati Mohamed
(ATM) 12:38.75, 3. Lung Kye Chin (FT)
4x400m: 1. Armed Forces 4:02.39, 2. Iran
4:11.11, 3. Sabah 4:15.15.
Discus: 1. Wan Lay Chi (Sin) 47.89m, 2.
Yap Jeng Tzan (ATM) 42.90m, 3. Choo Kang
Ni (Joh) 38.41m.
Javelin: 1. Chang Ya-ching (Tpe) 47.14m,
2. Suryanisi Kembar (ATM) 42.75m, 3. Siti
Nur Nadiah Osman (Joh) 39.42m.
Long jump: 1. Siti Zubaidah Adabi (ATM)
6.02m, 2. Noor Amira Mohd Nafiah (ATM)
5.95m, 3. Kee Siew Lian (Swk) 5.54m.
Pole vault: 1. Chuah Yu Tan (Prk), Valerie
Tan Ee Leen (Mal) both 3.20m, 3. Nur Nadira
Natalia (Sel) 2.50m.
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