It’s a long walk to Hanoi but walker Nurul’s game for it

KUALA LUMPUR: Nurul Alyahaziqah Kamaruzaman (pic) hopes to walk her way into the national athletics squad at the Hanoi SEA Games next year.

The 18-year-old Nurul from Kuala Krai, Kelantan, was drafted into the back-up squad in 2018 and is determined to make it on merit to the senior squad.

To do that, she has to win a least a bronze medal in Hanoi.

In her first international outing at the Philippines SEA Games last December, she clocked 57:28.10 in the 10,000m walk event to finish seventh and last in the race.

National champion Elena Goh Ling Yin bagged the bronze in the Philippines in 53:38.71.

Nurul, who is the youngest among seven siblings, said that she was disappointed with her effort in the Games.

“I qualified for the Philippines SEA Games by clocking 55:42.44 in the Kuala Lumpur Open last July and was ranked third in the region. And expectation was high on me to finish on the podium but I ended up last,” said Nurul, who bagged gold in the 10,000m walk in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Ipoh in 2018.

“If I don’t get the chance to make it to the senior squad this year, I will try to achieve it by qualifying for next year’s SEA Games and winning a medal to earn my place.

“I also want to improve my personal best in competitions this year. But then, there may not be any competitions this year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I’m now in Kuala Krai and doing home training under a programme given by coach Teoh Boon Lim. I sometimes walk around my house to maintain my fitness,” said Nurul, who is pursuing pre-university studies at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).

Nurul said that she is not sure when she would be back to Bukit Jalil to train due to the pandemic.

“The next walk race is scheduled for the Malaysia Open in Bukit Jalil (from Sept 4-7). If the Malaysia Open is postponed, then there are no more competitions for me in the second part of the year,” said Nurul, won gold in the 5,000m walk by clocking 27:15.16 in the Perak All-Comers 1 in Ipoh in February.

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