Irfan frets as he has yet to see action in the US


  • Athletics
  • Saturday, 21 Mar 2020

Muhammad Irfan Shamsudin

KUALA LUMPUR: Discus thrower Mohd Irfan Shamsudin was all smiles when he left for the United States on March 1 in his bid to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Now, everything is in shambles as his stint in the US has been affected by Covid-19.

And a worried Irfan is now unsure whether he can make the cut for the Tokyo Games from July 25-Aug 9.

The burly Negri Sembilan athlete is slated to be in the US for two months of training-cum-competitions in a bid to beat the Olympic qualifying mark of 66 metres.

Irfan, who has a personal best of 62.55m, can secure a place if he is ranked among the top 32 in the world by June 30.

But his ranking has dropped from 42 last month to 67 on March 17 as he has not competed in any competitions this year.

Irfan, who is currently training at the Olympic Training Centre in San Diego for the last three weeks, is unhappy that he has been left in the lurch.

“I was supposed to compete in four meets here but the situation is getting worse with the Covid-19 outbreak, ” said Irfan.

More than 13,000 people have been tested positive with with the virus in the United States with 200 deaths to date.

The 24-year-old Irfan said that one of the meets this weekend in San Diego has been cancelled.

“I am not sure whether I will get to compete in any competitions but I am still training despite the pandemic, ” he said.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed that the situation will improve so that I will be able to compete in one or two meets to beat the qualifying mark, ” added Irfan, who won the silver medal in the Asian Champion-ships in Bhubaneswar, India with an effort of 60.96m in 2017.Irfan was also supposed to go for competitions in Europe after the US stint but looking at the current situation in Europe, that too is unlikely to happen.

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