KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time SEA Games gold medallist Nauraj Singh Randhawa will get the chance to train with world-class high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim in Qatar next year.
Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk Karim Ibrahim said Nauraj would be sent for a three-month training stint with Mutaz in March.
“Nauraj is the top high jumper in the South-East Asia region and he needs to train with the world-class athletes like Mutaz to help him improve his personal best. We are preparing Nauraj for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta,” said Karim.
“I have contacted officials of the Qatar Athletics Federation and they are willing to allow Nauraj to train with Mutaz. Even the National Sports Council (NSC) supported the idea to send Nauraj to Doha to train and compete with the world’s leading high jumpers,” he added.
Qatari Mutaz is the Asian record holder with his 2.43m mark, which he cleared at the Brussels Diamond League in Belgium in September. The 24-year-old Mutaz’s personal best is just 2cm short of the world record of 2.45m set by Cuban Javier Sotomayor in Salamanca, Spain, in 1993.
Mutaz also won the bronze at the 2012 London Olympics with a height of 2.29m and a silver with his 2.38m clearance at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013.
The 23-year-old Nauraj is looking forward to his stint with the 1.92m tall Mutaz.
“It’s a dream come true. I hope to learn new techniques from Mutaz to help me improve my jump,” said Nauraj, who recorded a personal best of 2.22m at the Canberra Open in Australia in March.
Before his stint with Mutaz, Nauraj will compete in the Asian Indoor Championships in Doha from Feb 19-21.
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