Triple jumper Hakimi a fraction off in Universiade

PETALING JAYA: National triple jumper Mohd Hakimi Ismail deserves a pat on the back despite missing out on a podium finish at the World University Games (Universiade) in Gwangju, South Korea.

The 24-year-old SEA Games champion made his best leap of 16.59m on his fifth attempt to finish a commendable fourth at the Universiade Main Stadium on Thursday.

Dmitrii Sorokin of Russia won the gold medal with a personal best jump of 17.29m. Hugues Zango of Burkina Faso and China’s Xu Xiaolong  both jumped 16.76m but the former won the silver while the latter took bronze on countback.

Hakimi’s mark was not far from his own SEA Games record of 16.76m, set in Singapore last month.

But it’s certainly good enough to put him on the right path ahead of the World Championships in Beijing from Aug 22-30, where he’ll be looking to beat the Rio De Janeiro Olympic qualifying mark of 16.90m.

In the men’s football, not even a 19th minute opener by Thamil Arasu could inspire Malaysia as they fell 3-1 to Mexico in the 9th-16th classification match.

Malaysia face Canada in another playoff match on Friday.

So far, Malaysia have only one medal - a bronze in the mixed team badminton event.