KANGAR: Sixteen-year-old Siti Nur Afiqah Abdul Razak of Terengganu made a memorable debut at Sukma as she ran the race of her life to smash a 10-year-old women’s 400m Games record with a personal best time of 54.47.
Her effort on Friday at Stadium Utama erased the previous mark of 54.89 set by Perak’s Fauziah Abdul Razak in Negri Sembilan in 2004.
Siti was thrilled to improve her previous best of 56.84 by more than two seconds.
“It was the best achievement of my life. All my hard work in training has paid off,” said Siti.
“However, I never expected to improve my personal best by more than two seconds to break the Sukma record.
“I will continue to train harder as my aim is to break the national record of 52.56 (held by the late Rabia Abdul Salam of Penang at the Manila SEA Games),” said the Form Four student of SMK Sultan Omar in Dungun.
In the women’s 100m, Penang’s Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli retained the gold medal with a time of 12.15.
Although her time was way off her personal best of 11.91, Husniah, 21, was in tears after she won the gold medal in the blue riband event.
“It was my fourth and last Sukma and I am thrilled to retain the gold. I am also happy that my twin sister Husna bagged the bronze in the event.
“At the last Sukma in Pahang two years ago, she pulled her hamstring in the semi-finals and could not race in the final.
“As for me, I will be gunning for my second double in the 200m event on Sunday,” said Husniah, who also won the 200m in Pahang.
Meanwhile in the men’s athletics events, sprinter Harith Ammar Mohd Sobri of Terengganu overcame a slow start from the blocks to retain the men’s 100m event with a personal best time of 10.61.
The 20-year-old Harith said he was more than pleased to win after a slow start off the blocks.
“Despite the slow start, I ran as fast as I could before I caught up with the other sprinters at the 50m mark.
“I knew before the race I would retain the gold. Not even the headwind could stop me from clocking a personal best time,” said Harith, whose previous best was 10.66, which he achieved at the Asean Schools meet in Surabaya in 2012.
Harith is confident of making it a double by winning the 200m on Sunday. He won the silver in the 200m at the Myanmar SEA Games last December with a personal best time of 21.46.