KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Andre Anura Anuar (pic) soared to a personal best of 7.90m to give himself the perfect warm-up for the Philippines SEA Games which begins at the end of the month.
The 20-year-old Sabahan was in sizzling form as he set the mark in his first jump at the low-key Berwang Open Athletics Championships at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.
His effort was better than the national record of 7.78m set by fellow Sabahan Josbert Tinus in the Thailand Open in 2007 but it does not count as a record because there was a tailwind of more than 2.0m/s.
Andre’s previous best was the 7.72m he did in the Malaysian Grand Prix in Bukit Jalil in March.
National chief coach Mohd Manshahar Abdul Jalil said they were delighted with Andre’s efforts.
“It cannot be ratified as a national record because the jump yesterday (Wednesday) was wind-assisted but it will remain Andre’s personal best, ” said Manshahar.
“I am impressed with his performance. He is only 20 and has shown steady progress in competitions this year.
“I believe he will make a memorable debut in the SEA Games. Andre is ranked second in the region behind Indonesia’s Sapwaturrahman, who has a personal best of 8.09m.
“I am optimistic he will give the Indonesian athlete a run for his money in the SEA Games, ” said Manshahar.
Sapwaturrahman was the bronze medallist in the Asian Games in Jakarta last year with an effort of 8.09m.
Andre, the only Malaysian in the men’s long jump event at the SEA Games, was thrilled to bits with his efforts.
“Since I failed to break the national record this time, I will try to do so at the SEA Games.
“My aim in the SEA Games is to do another personal best and finish on the podium, ” said Andre, who was a finalist in the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in April.
His leap of 7.58m saw him finish eighth in the qualifying. In the final, he managed 6.78m to finish 11th out of 12 athletes.
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