KUALA LUMPUR: Khairul Hafiz Jantan is not only the fastest junior sprinter in Asia. He is also a devoted son.
The first thing he did after receiving the RM12,500 incentive from the National Sports Council (NSC) – for winning a gold and two silvers in the 17th Asian Junior Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, last month – was to hand it over to his parents.
His dad, Jantan Ramli, works as a security guard in Malacca while his mother, Nurlizah Mohamed, is a housewife. Khairul also has two other siblings – an elder brother and a younger sister, who are both still studying.
“I have given the incentive I received to my parents so that we can enjoy Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
“I’m also happy to have made my parents and the country proud with my achievement in Vietnam.
“It has inspired me to train harder in preparation for the World Junior meet (in Bydgoszcz, Poland, from July 19-24),” said Khairul, who will be competing in the 100m event in Poland.
Khairul, who became the first Malaysian sprinter to win the gold in blue riband event in the Asian Junior meet, will begin his pre-university studies at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in Johor next month.
But, for now, there will be no break for Khairul – not even for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
He will continue to train as usual on the first day of Hari Raya at the Bukit Serendit Stadium in Malacca. He will leave for Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday for a two-week training stint in preparation for Under-20 World Junior meet.
Khairul, who will turn 18 on July 22, said that he did not get to celebrate Hari Raya with his family last year as he was in Cali, Colombia, for the IAAF Under-17 World Youth meet, where he did well to qualify for the semi-finals in 100m and 200m events.
“Although there’s no break from me during Hari Raya, I’m not complaining ... my goal in Poland is to achieve my personal best and to qualify for the 100m final.
“I’m looking forward to my first overseas training stint in Germany as I need to be in top form for the world junior meet,” said Khairul.
Three other junior athletes – Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap (100m), Mohd Rizzua Haizad (110m hurdles) and R. Kirthana (triple jump) – will be also be going for the stint in Germany and the world junior meet.