She’s a class above

On the right track: Savinder Kaur is hoping to clock a better time in the SEA Games in the Philippines.

KUALA LUMPUR: National middle distance runner Savinder Kaur was on cloud nine after improving on her personal best by more than six seconds to win gold in the women’s 1,500m with 4:27.45 in the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Athletics Championships.

It is a good boost for the Selangor runner ahead of the Philippines SEA Games as her previous best was 4:33.80, which she did at the Malaysian Closed also in Bukit Jalil in August.

Puspa Letchumy of Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) clocked 4:58.59 to finish second while S. Geetha of Pahang Sports School clocked 5:03.45 to finish third.

The 22-year-old Savinder, who trained in Kenya for five weeks in February, was delighted with her latest effort.

“I hardly faced any challenge from the other athletes in the race but it feels nice to improve my personal best by six seconds.

“I am on the right track for the SEA Games and I’m hoping to clock a better time in Philippines, said Savinder, who will be competing under Category B as she failed to beat the qualifying time of 4:30.68 in August.

Under category B, Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) will pay for the athlete’s participation but the association will be reimbursed if the athlete wins a medal.

Mohd Haiqal Hanafi upstaged national champion Jonathan Nyepa to win the men’s 100m final by posting 10.44.

Jonathan, who will be featuring in the blue riband event in the SEA Games, clocked 10.52.

Pint-sized Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli bagged the women’s 100m gold in 11.82.

Meanwhile, in the Penang Open Athletics Championships at the City Stadium, women discus thrower Queenie Ting Kung Ni’s birthday wish to upstage national champion Choo Kang Ni for the second time in a competition failed to materialise.

Queenie, who turned 22 yesterday, won the silver with a throw of 45.10m while SEA Games silver medallist Kang Ni bagged gold with an effort of 46.72m.

Yap Jeng Tzan bagged the bronze with a throw of 43.30m.

Queenie was not too pleased with her efforts as it was more than a metre shorter than her personal best of 46.51m, which she did at the Malaysian Closed in August to beat Kang Ni for gold.

“I hope I can peak during the SEA Games and make a decent throw to finish on the podium, ” said Queenie, who is pursuing a degree in physical education at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

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