KUALA LUMPUR: A switch from long jump to 400m hurdles three years ago has turned out to be a good move for Mandy Goh Li (pic). With success and experience on her side, Mandy has set a new goal – to become only the second Malaysian woman hurdler to dip below 60 seconds. The first is former national ace Noraseela Khalid, who holds the national record of 56.02.
And she hopes to do so at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Johor next year.
“I want to keep improving on my personal best, I aim to dip below 60 seconds in competitions, beginning with the Sukma,” said Mandy, who posted her best time of 62.81 en route to winning gold at the Kuala Lumpur Open in Bukit Jalil in March.
“I also want to go one step better in my second Sukma. I clocked 63.68 in Ipoh two years ago and took a silver medal.”
Mandy said she was indebted to her former coach Abang Pasani for advising her to change from the field to track event.
“I started my athletics career by taking up long jump five years ago but I failed to make any progress,” said Mandy.
“My coach then advised me to change. The hurdles is a highly technical event but I managed to adapt.
“I’m happy that in less than three years I’ve managed to produce results in competitions,” added Mandy, who bagged silver in the Vietnam Open in Ho Chi Minh City last year.
Last year, Mandy also bagged gold in the Malaysian Grand Prix by clocking 64.91 in Bukit Jalil.
Mandy, who is pursuing her pre-university studies at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), is now under the charge of coach Hisham Mustaza Ibrahim, who has been training her since 2018.
“She has the potential to be the number one 400m hurdler in the country,” said Hisham.
“She definitely has shown improvement in competitions since 2018. To break the 60 seconds barrier is going to be a challenge but it’s not impossible. Several other woman athletes have tried it but failed, it can take a few years.”
The other 400m women hurdlers in the country are Nurul Faizah Asma Mazlan and Zaimah Atifah Zainuddin.
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