Hakimi can jump farther – with help from ex-world champion Tamgho

  • Athletics
  • Wednesday, 08 Apr 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Triple jumper Mohd Hakimi Ismail turns 29 today. He will have only one wish when he blows his birthday candles – that he can make his debut in the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The Perak athlete is doing all he can to make his wish come true. And he has a fairy godfather in former world triple jump champion Teddy Tamgho of France.

Hakimi has been getting tips online from Tamgho, the world indoor record holder, since last October.

“I had been trying to get Tamgho services online for some time now and I finally got him last October,” said the father-of-two. “I send my training and competition videos to Tamgho and he helps me improve my technique after watching my videos.

“He gave me good advice on the take off and landing methods. With his advice, I managed to do a season’s best jump of 16.68m in the Philippines SEA Games last December to defend my gold.

“I am optimistic that with his tips and motivation, I will be able to to make more progress and qualify for the Olympics,” said Hakimi, who finished eighth in the Asian Championships in Doha last year with an effort of 15.83m.

Tamgho won gold in the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 by doing a personal best of 18.04m. He set his indoor record of 17.92m at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in 2011.

Hakimi, on the other hand, has a personal best of 16.77m but needs to clear 17.14m to qualify for Tokyo. He can still qualify for the Olympics if he is ranked among top 32 in the world by end of June next year.

Hakimi, a three-time SEA Games gold medallist Hakimi, is one person who is glad that the Olympics have been postponed by a year.

“The postponement has given me more chances to qualify,” said Hakimi, who is also trained by Mohd Firdaus Salim here.

“Tamgho guided Burkino Faso triple jumper (Hugues Fabrice Zango) to win bronze in the World Championship (in Doha, Qatar last September).

“Hugues became the first Burkino Faso athlete to win a medal in the meet and also broke the African continental record.

“I am using my own money to pay Tamgho RM1,500 every month. I have asked the National Sports Council (NSC) for financial assistance to help me pay Tamgho. I hope they will help me,” he said.

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