Rayzam forgets Tokyo, sets sights on Hanoi

  • Athletics
  • Saturday, 18 Jan 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time SEA Games gold medallist Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian has been the national 110m hurdler for the last 13 years but his hopes of qualifying for the Olympics will remain as a dream.

The Sabahan has a personal best of 13.67 which he did in Weinheim, Germany, in 2017 but the qualifying mark for the Olympics is 13.32.

At 32, age is not on his side, either.

Rayzam, who has featured in two World Championships in Berlin in 2009 and Moscow in 2013, said he can forget about qualifying for the Olympic Games.

“I have never featured in the Olympics and I doubt I will get a chance as the qualifying mark is so tough, ” said the father of one.

“I could not come close to my personal best in competitions last year and I doubt I will be able to do it this year.

“I am ranked 104th in the world. You have to be among the top 42 in the world by end of June to earn a place in the Olympics.

“I can only hope for a wild card based on my 13 years of representing Malaysia, ” said Rayzam, who bagged silver in the Philippines SEA Games with a time of 13.97 last month.

Rayzam, who does not have a coach and trains on his own in Kota Kinabalu, will compete in the Asian Indoor Championships in Hangzhou, China, on Feb 12-13.

Rayzam, who will be featuring for the third time in the indoor meet, said he hopes to clock a personal best of 7.94 in the 60m hurdles event.

“I have not competed in an indoor meet for the last few years but I am optimistic I will be able to do a personal best in Hangzhou, ” said Rayzam, who featured in the Asian Indoor in Doha twice – in 2008 and 2016.

“My only fear is injury. I broke my right wrist after I hit a hurdle in the final of the Malaysian Closed (in Bukit Jalil last March). And I was out of action for two months and also missed the chance to compete in the Asian Championships (in Doha, Qatar, last April).

“I pray I will not suffer any injury this year. The Olympics are out but I will continue to compete and hope to make my seventh SEA Games appearance in Hanoi next year.”

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