KUALA LUMPUR: Three months ago, national triple jumper R. Kirthana could not see her athletic career going anywhere.
Her failing eyesight had become worse and her contact lenses were not working. And there were even calls for the national champion to focus on para sports to keep her athletics career alive.
But all the worries over her future are now over, as the 23-year-old Kirthana returned with new contact lens and a new resolve to start training at the National Sports Council track in Bukit Jalil two weeks ago.
A rejuvenated Kirthana has now vowed to earn a ticket to her fourth SEA Games in Hanoi next year as she wants to break the national record.
Kirthana has been bogged down by blurred vision since 2017 and it affected her performance at the Philippines SEA Games last year.
“Yes, I admit I did poorly at the Games. I could only see the jumping board vaguely and ended up seventh.
“Some coaches even said that I should focus on para sports but I’m not taking that route yet.
“My vision is better now. I’m the national champion and I have goals to achieve.
“I want to be the first Malaysian woman to hit the 14m mark in competitions next year and also break the national record of 13.90m.”
The record was set by Perak’s Noor Amirah Nafiah in the Malaysian Open in 2012.
Kirthana’s personal best is only 13.48m but she believes nothing is impossible if she works hard at it.
“Many may think it’s a tough target to achieve but I’m very much motivated to do it,” added Kirthana, who made her SEA Games debut in Singapore in 2015.
“I’ve started jogging but I will go full swing from next week.”
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