No medals no problem, personal bests will do just fine

THE target is simple – forget about medals, beat your national records.

Sarawak duo Jackie Wong and Grace Wong have a golden opportunity to achieve personal bests as they will be pushed to excel from world-class competitors in the hammer throw at the Alexander Stadium today.

While Jackie headed straight into the 13-man final, Grace earned her spot from the qualifiers on Thursday.

In the quality field, medals are beyond their reach.

Jackie’s record is 68.22m and with 12 other competitors led by England’s Nick Miller, who has a personal best of 80.26m, it will provide the right competition for Jackie to surpass the 70m mark.

Grace, standing at only 1.58m tall, has a best throw of 62.48m and will try to turn her Games debut into something to remember.

“Jackie and Grace are both hardworking and they must make use of the opportunity to produce something special competing with some of the best athletes in the world,” said athletics team manager M. Iyaru.

“This is the biggest Games for them and it will give them a chance to gauge themselves against the best..

“They should give their best shot and break their national marks.”

Meanwhile, five-time SEA Games champion Irfan Shamsuddin concluded his campaign after finishing ninth in the discus on Thursday.

Irfan, who was the first Malaysian athlete to reach the final through the qualifying rounds, recorded 59.53m, way off his national record of 62.55m.

Australia’s Matthew Denny (67.26m) took gold while England’s Lawrence Okoye (64.99m) and Traves Smikle of Jamaica (64.58m) claimed silver and bronze respectively.

“Coming through the qualifiers and making the final is a very good achievement for Irfan. This experience will put him in good stead for future competitions,” added Iyaru.

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