KUALA LUMPUR: Triple jumper Mohd Hakimi Ismail has finally completed his degree – after nine long years.The Taiping-born athlete was offered a place to do physical education at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in 2011. It was a four-year course but he has had to hop, skip and jump past a few semesters to focus on training and competitions.
The 29-year-old father-of-two will finally land his degree in September.
The three-times SEA Games gold medallist admitted that nine years was too long to obtain a degree.
“I feel relieved that I will finally obtain my paper qualification, which I can use after I retire from competitions,” said Hakimi, who competed in the World Championships in Beijing in 2015.
“I hope to be a coach as I have more than 10 years of experience as a triple jumper,”
“I am still the country’s top triple jumper and I want to continue representing Malaysia in competitions for the next four to five years.
“My main goal next year is to qualify for my first Olympics and I need to compete in five to six high level competitions to win a place in the Games,” said Hakimi, who has a personal best of 16.77m. The Olympic qualifying mark for men’s triple jump is 17.14m.
Hakimi said it was going to be a real challenge to hit the mark but felt nothing was impossible.
“I have to keep believing that I can do it,” said the world No. 57 Hakimi.
If he fails to beat the mark, Hakimi can still qualify if he can finish among top 32 jumpers in the world by the end of June next year.
He is hoping the track and field athletes will be allowed to train again at the National Sports Council (NSC) Training Track in Bukit Jalil.
“The triple jump is a technical event and I need to start training to get back my form. I have not taken part in competitions since winning gold at the Philippines SEA Games last December.
“The Olympics qualifying competitions begin on Dec 1 and I need to train for a few months to be ready,” said Hakimi, who finished seventh in the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018 with an effort of 16.15m.