KUALA LUMPUR: National triple jumper Muhd Hakimi Ismail (pic) wants to train in the United States to scale greater heights at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.
The 27-year-old Hakimi, together with his coach Victor Sotnikov, will choose to be based in either Florida or California for six weeks.
“Top US triple jumpers train at these two centres. I’ll benefit by learning new techniques and it’ll help to improve my personal best,” said Hakimi.
“I’ll be up against the best triple jumpers in Gold Coast. I want to go through a high-level of training to qualify for the final and finish in a good position at the Commonwealth Games.”
The Perak athlete did exceptionally well at last year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games when he broke his own Games record by recording 16.77m at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil to retain the gold medal.
He improved his mark by one centimetre (16.76m), which he set at the Singapore SEA Games in 2015.
Hakimi has beaten the Commonwealth Games qualifying mark of 16.26m but he does not want to be a mere passenger in Australia.
“I won’t be content with my performance in the SEA Games. I want to prove that I can perform much better in the major competitions,” he said.
Last year, Hakimi had a one-month stint in Kazakhstan as part of his preparations for the KL SEA Games.
To give unwavering focus on the Commonwealth Games and also the Asian Games in Indonesia in August, Hakimi has decided to skip his university studies again this year.
“I’ll defer my studies for the third time to fully focus on the upcoming Games,” said Hakimi, who is pursuing a physical education degree at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) since 2011.