Khairul caps brilliant Asian junior athletics meet with a silver

Khairul Hafiz Jantan is set to be drafted into the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games squad after his performance in last month’s World Youth Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia.

PETALING JAYA: Khairul Hafiz Jantan’s hopes of winning a grand double in the sprints have been dashed.

Khairul, who won the boys’ 100m gold in a personal best of 10.36 on Saturday, could only bag the silver in the 200m in 21.15 in the 17th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Vietnam on Monday.

Yang Chun of Taiwan clocked 20.73 to win the gold in and Japan’s Inuzuka Wataru won the bronze in 21.16.

Khairul’s effort was way off his personal best of 21.01, which he did in the semi-finals on Sunday at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.

Noor Eewan Syafiqah Mohd Sabri also did well to clock a personal best of 24.50 to win the bronze in the girls’ 200m.

Overall, this has been splendid outing for the 18-year-old Khairul, who completed the four-day meet with a gold and two silvers. His other silver came in the 4x100m.

Khairul has also qualified for both the sprint events in the Under-20 IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on July 19-24.

“My goal in the final was to dip below 21 seconds, but I failed to do it. Still, it was the best achievement in my career at a high-level meet,” said Khairul.

“I have proved that I am a top 100m sprinter in Asia. I need to compete in higher-level competitions to keep on improving.

“My mission now is to try and break both the 100m and 200m national records.”

Khairul’s 100m time of 10.36 is just 0.06 of a second slower than Watson Nyambek’s national record of 10.30 set in 1998.

The oldest national record is the 200m time of 20.92 set by Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

In the girls’ 200m final, Vietnam’s Le Tu Chinh clinched gold in 23.94 while Poolkred Supanich of Thailand took silver in 24.41.

Shereen Samson Vallabouy finished fourth in 24.73.

Jiyaudeen Asif Rahman finished fifth in the boys’ 800m final by clocking a personal best of 1:53.70 while Savinder Kaur also came out fifth in the girls’ 800m with a personal best time of 2:11.95.

In the boys' 400m hurdles, Quek Lee Yong finished fourth in 53.53.

Malaysia ended the four-day meet with a haul of three golds, three silvers and one bronze, making it the country’s best outing in the biennial Under-19 meet since its inception in 1986.

Two years ago, Malaysia won just one gold – through Siti Noor Atiqah Abdul Razak in the girls' 400m – in Taipei.

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