KUALA LUMPUR: He’s only 16 but Mohd Azeem Mohd Fahmi is out to challenge the national sprinters in the two-day Perak All-Comers 1 Athletics Championships, which has attracted more than 1,000 athletes to the Perak Stadium in Ipoh this weekend.
Ipoh boy Azeem has a personal best of 10.57 in the 100m and his coach Mohd Amir Izwan Tan Abdullah wants his prodigy to clock at least 10.60 against the senior sprinters to win a medal.
“National sprinter Mohd Zulfiqar (Ismail) will be taking part and I will be happy if Azeem can give him a challenge to finish on the podium.
“Azeem has already qualified for the World Junior Athletics meet in Nairobi, Kenya (from July 7-12) by beating the mark of 10.58 in the Bukit Jalil Athletics Open meet last December. The Perak meet will be a good preparation for world meet, ” said Mohd Amir.
Meanwhile, Perak Athletics Association president Datuk Karim Ibrahim said that 1,050 athletes, 640 males and 410 females, have confirmed their participation.
“This is the first time in the history of the competition that we have more than 1,000 local athletes taking part, ” said Karim.
“The number is also high because many athletics competitions at junior and senior levels around the world have been cancelled or postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Some national athletes like long jumper Andrea (Anura Anuar) will also be competing in the meet to qualify for the Olympics.
“We are happy to have a large number of participants but it is going to be a challenge to have so many athletes competing in so many events in two days, ” said Karim.Andrea, from Sabah, has a personal best of 8.02m, which he did in the Philippines SEA Games to win silver but he needs to clear 8.22m to qualify for the Olympics.
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