KUALA LUMPUR: It has not even been a month since national sprinter Jonathan Nyepa started his training stint in the United States but it has already reaped success.
The Sarawakian, who left for Atlanta on an eight-month stint in February, has qualified for the Philippines SEA Games after clocking 10.42 to finish fifth in the 100m in the Florida track meet on Saturday.
It was his first competition in the US and his time surpassed the SEA Games qualifying mark of 10.43.
Jonathan, who clocked 10.49 in the Perak All-Comers on Feb 17 just before his US stint, was pleased with his season’s best time.
“It’s a good start in my first competition. I’m slowly making my presence felt here,” said Jonathan in a telephone interview yesterday.
“My next meet is in Los Angeles on April 18. I believe with the intense training here, I’ll clock faster times.”
National coach M. Balamurugan said it would take Jonathan another two months before he would be in his best form.
“He has done well running against American sprinters, who are doing 10.10,” said Balamurugan.
“I want him to improve on his personal best of 10.28, which he did at the South Korean Open in 2017.”
Meanwhile, national woman sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli did not compete in the tournament as she was unwell.