Kelantan the biggest winners on dull opener at junior meet


BY AFTAR SINGH

WINNER: A. Thiruselvam of Selangor en route to winning the 800m in a time of 1:56.58.

KUALA LUMPUR: The national junior athletics championships at the National Sports Council (NSC) training track in Bukit Jalil here began on a dull note and no new mark was recorded yesterday. 

However, Kelantan surged to the fore, winning three of the 10 gold medals at stake yesterday through Goh Xiao Hua (boys' 10km walk, 52:40.60); Shahadan Jamaluddin (boys' 400m hurdles, 54.31).; and Siti Sapura Ismail (girls' triple jump, 11.45m). 

For Shahadan, the time he recorded yesterday was way off his personal best of 53.44, which he clocked to win the gold medal in Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Kota Kinabalu last year. 

Selangor's A. Thiruselvam, a bronze medallist in Sukma, won the boys' 800m race in 1:56.58, which was also way off the mark of 1:55.13, which he recorded in Kota Kinabalu last year. 

But the 19-year-old Thiruselvam, who was the silver medallist in the last national junior meet in Malacca in 2001, said he was satisfied with his performance. 

“My aim is to qualify for the Vietnam SEA Games and I will continue to compete in local meets. I will compete in Pahang Open next week (July 18-20) and I hope to clock a personal best,” said Thiruselvam. 

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who opened the championships yesterday, said that the NSC training track would be made a permanent training base for athletics. 

WATER HAZARD: Kuala Lumpur's S. Sanggetha struggling to climb out of the water jump during the women's 2,000m steeplechase event at the national junior athletics championships on Thursday. She went on to win by 8:46.81 in the event introduced at the national level for the first time. - STARpic by S.S. Kanesan

“The training track will become athletics' centre of excellence. The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) should move their office at the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) building in Kuala Lumpur to the NSC training track,'' said Hishammuddin. 

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