Hakimi all pumped up with the arrival of new MAF technical director

KUALA LUMPUR: Triple jumper Mohd Hakimi Ismail (pic) has a renewed vigour as he aims to qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The two-time SEA Games gold medallist said he is in upbeat mood with the arrival of Dwayne Miller, the new Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) technical director.

“Miller said he will help me clear the 17m barrier. This is very encouraging news and I can’t wait to learn from him, ” said Hakimi, who has a personal best of 16.77m.

Miller has trained some of the world’s best athletes including LaShawn Merritt (2008 Olympic and 2009 World Championship 400m gold medallist), LaTasha Colander Clark (2000 Olympic gold medallist in the 4x400m relay) and Rachelle Boone-Smith (2005 World Championship 200m silver medallist).

The 28-year-old from Taiping needs to clear 17.14m to earn a ticket for the Olympics.

Hakimi added that he would continue to train under national coach Firdaus Salim and would also get help from Miller.

“I have featured in the World Championships before but not the Olympics. And I will do whatever it takes to cross the 17m mark first before thinking of qualifying for the Olympics, ” added Hakimi, who is eyeing a third gold at the Philippines SEA Games.

Hakimi, who did a season best 16.47m to grab gold at the Queensland Track Classic in Brisbane in March, will feature in the pre-SEA Games meet at the New Clark City Stadium next month.

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