KUALA LUMPUR: Decathlete Malik Tobias will get another long-term training stint in Germany as he prepares for two international meets this year.
The 22-year-old Malik, who holds the national record in the decathlon, will go to Halle in Germany next month. He trained at the same centre for seven months last year.
But he is expecting a longer stint this time, although he will be back for the Asian Track and Field in Manila in July and the Vietnam SEA Games in December.
The lanky Malik has a personal best of 7,007 points, set in a competition in Halle. His national record of 6,989 points was set in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games, when he won the gold. He only took part in the long jump at the 2001 KL SEA Games because he was recovering from a knee operation. He finished fourth.
Malik is confident he can better his personal best with another training stint in Halle.
Last year, I managed to improve on my personal best but it was not recognised because the competition was not a sanctioned one.
Besides Malik, another three athletes have also been selected for training stints in Germany. They are 400m runner Mohamed Zaiful Zainal Abidin, 100m hurdler Moh Siew Wei and 400m hurdler Noraseela Khalid.
Malik is among 70 athletes called up for four-day SEA Games orientation in Bukit Jalil.
Malik said his main target this year would be to do well in his first Asian Track and Field (ATF) championships. I was selected for the ATF championships in Sri Lanka last year but withdrew because of a hamstring injury.
I hope to be in an excellent shape for Manila after my stay in Halle, said Malik who is also looking to break the SEA Games record of 7,300 points.
I not only want to win the gold medal in Vietnam but also want to break the SEA Games record. My weakest events are the 400m and 1,500m. I hope that with proper training in Halle, I will be able to improve on both these track events.