Bukit Jalil Sports Schools (BJSS) student Abdul Azlan Samsuddin passed his multi-lateral tests with flying colours when he took part in the Tunas Cemerlang Hextathlon Championships recently.
The 14-year-old lad from Dungun, Terengganu, performed well in the 100m hurdles, 100m, 800m, long jump and high jump events at the National Sports Council (NSC) training centre in Bukit Jalil.
Azlan scored 5,023 points to win the boys’ 13 to 14 year-old age group. He caught everyone by surprise when he clocked 2:11 in the 800m.
The shot put was the only event that he failed to do well as he only managed a distance of 10.13m.
NSC junior development coach for athletics Ishtiaq Mobarak said he was pleased by Azlan’s performance.
“Azlan ran like a 800m specialist even though he did not have a strong endurance background. However, the result he achieved in the shot put has indicated that he needs to build up his upper body strength.
“The score was a benchmark of the progress he has made,” said Ishtiaq.
About 200 athletes from 14 Tunas Cemerlang, six Bakat Khas, four state training centres and an invitation school under the NSC athletics training programme participated in the championships.
The participants were required to compete in six events – 100m hurdles (80m hurdles for 13 to 14 years age group), 100m, 800m, shot put, long jump and high jump.
The championships had two age groups – 13 to 14 years and 15 years.
“The training centres are the nurseries to develop talents. We need a broad base at the entry level in order to have a bigger pool of talents to produce results at international level,” said Ishtiaq.
“We are not performing miracles. We are just nurturing talents through multi-lateral training and allowing them to develop naturally.”
Kee Siew Lian, the girls’ 13 to 14 year-old champion, said it was tough to compete in six events over two days.
For her first attempt, the 13-year-old lass prepared for the past one and-a-half months at the SMK Chung Hua training centre in Miri.
“I enjoyed the experience competing in several events,” said Kee, who bagged the Malaysia Schools Sports Council (MSSM) girls’ Under-12 sprint double in the 100m and 200m last year.
For the relays, the six runners in each team comprised three athletes from two age groups. Each team, represented by three girls and three boys, ran two 200m, two 400m and two 800m.
In the first heat, BJSS set the pace with a time of 8:00.4. BJSS won the relay when no other team managed to surpass that time in the three heats that followed.
SJK (C) Chi Wen, Bahau, (8:08.6) and Bandar Penawar Sports School (8:10.9) finished second and third respectively.
Defending champions SMK Chung Hua, Miri, shared the overall title with BJSS this year. Both teams were declared joint champions.
SMK Sacred Heart, Sibu, and Bandar Penawar Sports School were tied for third place.
National Sports Council (NSC) development director Md Ghazali Hasan said he was disappointed by the performances of several training centres.
“The mediocre performances by the athletes from these centres reveal the weaknesses in their selection process.
“The athletes were not up to mark when they competed in six disciplines.
“Athletes should not be selected merely because of their interests. The selection process should also take into account the athletes’ physique and athletic abilities,” Ghazali added.
SMK Chung Hua, Miri coach Albert Ong said the championships provided an opportunity for coaches to discuss the latest developments taking place in track and field at the grassroots.
13 to 14 years: 1. Kee Siew Lian (SMK Chung Hua, Miri) 5,195 points, 2. Norliyana Kamaruddin (BJSS) 4,961 pts, 3. P. Shalini (BJSS) 4,956 pts
15 years: 1. Nurul Syafaini Che Ishak (BPSS) 5,344 points, 2. Tan Sin Yee (SJK (C) Chi Wen, Bahau 4,711 pts, 3. Normasturah Yusoff (BPSS) 4,668 pts
13 to 14 years: 1. Abdul Azlan Samsuddin (BJSS) 5,023 points, 2. Chan Chen Nam (SMK Chung Hua, Miri) 4,219 pts, 3. Mohd Akmal Arif A Ghani (SMK Tunku Anum) 4,152 pts
15 years: 1. Abdul Hadi Hassan (BJSS) 4,701 points, 2. Ismail Shafie (SMK Mergong) 4,617 pts, 3. Aidie Faiz Firdaus Razali (BJSS) 4,547 pts
Relay: 1. BJSS 8:00.4, 2. SJK (C) Chi Wen, Bahau 8:08.6, 3. BPSS 8:10.9
1. BJSS, SMK Chung Hua, Miri, 3. SMK Sacred Heart, Sibu, BPSS