Sprint king Nazmizan gets chance to train with world champ Michael Johnson


BY AFTAR SINGH

Nazmizan: Bids to qualify for the Athens Olympics.

KUALA LUMPUR: SEA Games double gold medallist Nazmizan Mohamed has been given a chance to train with world 200m record holder and 400m legend Michael Johnson in the US as the Malaysian bids to qualify for the Athens Olympics in August. 

The Johnson carrot is just one of two offers the 23-year-old Nazmizan, who became the first Malaysian sprinter in 37 years to bag golds in both the 100m and 200m in the SEA Games last month, has received. 

The other offer is from Daniel St Hilaire, the former coach of national record holder Watson Nyambek, who wants Nazmizan in Montreal. 

But the more mouth-watering offer is the chance to train with 400m Olympic champion Johnson in California. 

The Terengganu lad, who surprised everyone including himself in Hanoi by bagging the two gold medals, was obviously leaning towards Johnson and California. 

“It will be worth training under Johnson, who was the best 200m runner in the world. He holds the world 200m record of 19.32. 

“I will also benefit training in America as they have world class sprinters. Training with them will definitely help me improve my time,'' said Nazmizan, who clocked an unimpressive time of 10.47 in 100m and 21.05 in 200m in Vietnam en route to his historic success. 

The time Nazmizan has to beat to earn a place in Olympics is 10.28 in 100m and 20.75 in the 200m. 

The sprinter, however, said that it would be up to the National Sports Council (NSC) to decide on where he would train. 

“If they want me to train in Canada, I will have no problem with that.  

“I have only about six months left to beat the qualifying mark. I hope the NSC will make the decision fast,'' said Nazmizan, who will be leaving for Iran on Tuesday to compete in the inaugural Asian Indoor Championship from Feb 6-8. 

This will be Nazmizan's first international meet since his success in Vietnam. It will also his first indoor meet. 

Nazmizan will be competing in the 60m, but he is not setting any targets. 

“I don't have a time in 60m as I have never competed in the category before. However, I will use the meet to improve my time in 100m,'' said Nazmizan. 

The other national athletes who will take part in Teheran are walker Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman (5km walk), Mohd Syahrul Amri Suhaimi, Mohd Hazuan Zainal Abidin (long jump), Mohd Robani Hassan (60m) and Ahmad Najwan Aqra (high jump). 

The women's athletes are Moh Siew Wei (60m), Shabana Khanum (high jump) and Roslinda Samsu (pole vault). 

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