BY NG WEI LOONweiloon@thestar.com.myPhotos by GLENN GUAN
TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Nur Hafizah Najehah Md Ali from SK Taman Setiawangsa stole the show at the Kuala Lumpur Schools Sports Council (MSSKL) Keramat Zone Athletics Championships that concluded at the National Stadium last week.
The pint-sized sprinter, better known as “Apache,” clocked 13.7 seconds in the girls’ Under-12 100m to better the MSSKL record of 13.8 seconds and broke the previous meet record of 14.24.
In the 200m, she erased the old mark of 31.42 seconds with a new meet record of 29.5 seconds. In addition, she won a bronze with her school’s 4x200m quartet.
“I am happy with my performance. I have been training regularly since last year. My next aim is to improve on my personal best at the state meet,” said Hafizah, who is the third of five siblings.
Hafizah’s feat was a vast improvement on her performance at the zone meet last year, when she managed only a gold medal in the 200m.
“Since identifying her talent at our school sports, we have been grooming her over the past two years,” said SK Taman Setiawangsa chief coach Nazri Ariffin.
Nazri, at helm as the school’s athletics coach for the third consecutive year, had more reasons to be overjoyed. In the past 15 years of participation in the meet, the school’s best achievement was clinching one gold and six silver medals.
SK Taman Setiawangsa collected six gold, one silver and three bronze medals to capture the primary schools' overall title for the first time.
“It took us two years to shape the team. This is a great achievement in the school’s history. Our students are committed to attaining the goal and the parents gave their full backing,” he said, crediting school headmaster Ruslan Madon’s support for the success.
Besides Hafizah’s double gold, the school also won gold medals in the girls’ high jump, boys’ high jump and boys’ 80m hurdles.
“I picked up the high jumping technique during the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Association (MAAU) Level 1 coaching course and managed to impart the knowledge to our jumpers. We dominated the high jump event through Nur Hafizah Faroze Khan and Alif Ahmad in the girls’ and boys’ categories, respectively,” added Nazri, who was assisted by Hanizu Husin and Jailani Mat Desa.
About 1,000 students from 33 primary and 22 secondary schools took part in the four-day meet.
In view of the heavy downpour during the afternoon session before the closing ceremony, Federal Territory Education Department director Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim decided to call off the meet’s final two races – the girls’ and boys’ 4x400m relays.
“The students' safety is our main priority. When I was on my way to the stadium, the thunderstorm and lightning was dreadful. We were aware that the students were looking forward to witnessing the senior relays as the grand finale but we were not prepared to compromise their well-being for a perfect conclusion to the meet. The two races will be re-scheduled for another day next week at the SMK Seri Permaisuri track,” said Noor Rezan.
The outcome of the two relays would have made no difference to the overall results, however, as SMK Setapak Tinggi took an unassailable lead in the standings with 16 gold, six silver and one bronze medals. SMK Puteri Ampang came second (11-7-9), followed by SMK Convent Bukit Nanas in third (8-8-6).
Having lost the secondary overall crown to SMK Puteri Ampang last year on difference in silver medals, SMK Setapak Tinggi, represented by 22 athletes, worked hard to wrest the secondary overall crown back.
“We have been training five days a week, two hours per session, since last year. We are pleased that our students have shown their willingness to train. We exposed our Form 1 and Form 2 students to multi-athletics disciplines such as jumping, throwing and running start them on specialised training only when they are in Form 3,” said SMK Setapak Tinggi chief coach Tajudin Abdullah.
A total of 20 records were shattered in five categories – all except the girls’ Under-18 category. The boys’ Under-18 category alone registered six new meet records.
“We are impressed with the increase in records broken, especially in the boys’ Under-18,” said Tajudin, who is also the Keramat zone secondary school athletics technical chairman.
The MSSKL state-level meet was held at the SMK Seri Permaisuri track yesterday and it will be followed by a three-day meet at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil from April 17 to 19.
“Our zone meet conducted just a week prior to the MSSKL state meet serves as a warm-up for the athletes. We hope that they can maintain their form leading up to the state meet,” said Tajudin.
Last year, Keramat zone finished last of four zones behind Bangsar, Pudu and Sentul.
“We do not really know the strength of the other zones. We are not putting any pressure on our athletes to deliver, but we want to avoid finishing last again this year,” Tajudin added.
Primary: 1. SK Taman Setiawangsa (5-1-3), 2. SK Setapak Indah 3. SK Jalan Gurney 1 (2-3-3)
Secondary: 1. SMK Setapak Tinggi (16-6-1), 2. SMK Puteri Ampang (11-7-9), 3. SMK Convent Bukit Nanas (8-8-6)
Under-12: Nur Hafizah Najehah Md Ali (SK Taman Setiawangsa)
Under-15: Shamal Jeanne Chandra (SMK Wangsa Maju)
Under-18: Irina Marsilla Nasaruddin (SMK Convent Bukit Nanas)
Under-12: Ihlam Hambali (SK Setapak Indah)
Under-15: Helmi Shukri (SMK Setapak Tinggi)
Under-18: Yuhanis Hidayat Masri Anwar (SMK Setapak Tinggi)
EVENT NAME SCHOOL OLD NEW
100m Nur Hafizah Najehah Md Ali SK Taman Setiawangsa 14.24s 13.7s
200m Nur Hafizah Najehah Md Ali SK Taman Setiawangsa 31.42s 29.68s
Long Jump Fateen Azleen Daud SK Danau Kota 4.11m 4.41m
100m Hurdles Jamilah Hayatun MK Convent Bukit Nanas 20.91s 19.6s
400m Noryusniza SMK Puteri Ampang 74.11s 73.8s
Discus Fifin Rufika Mat Irsar SMK Padang Tembak 18.80m 19.15m
4x400m SMK Puteri Ampang 5:21.20min 5:09.3min
100m Ilham Hambali SK Setapak Indah 13.21s 13.0s
200m Mohd Naquiddin Bahaman SK Desa Tun Husein Onn 28.21s 27.9s
4x200m SK Setapak Indah 1:58.75min 1:56.1min
100m Helmi Shukri SMK Setapak Tinggi 11.54s 11.76s
200m Helmi Shukri SMK Setapak Tinggi 24.50 23.46
800m Mohd Faizs SMK Seri Ampang 2:21.44min 2:21.40min
4x100m SMK Setapak Tinggi 48.20min 47.1min
200m Muhd Akmal SMK Setapak Tinggi 23.80s 23.2s
800m Abd Hadi SMK Wangsa Melawati 2:18.68min 2:16.2min
1500m Surenthiran SMK St John 4:53.13min 4:34min
5000m Surenthiran SMK St John 18:57.2min 18.25min
110 Hurdles Akmal SMK Setapak Tinggi 17.58s 16.2s
High Jump Yuhanis Hidayat Masri Anwar SMK Setapak Tinggi 1.73m 1.83m