On track for a bright future

Sukma 2004Negri Sembilan May 28 - June 6 

TWO national and 12 meet records were broken in the athletics competition, making it the best-ever results achieved by athletes in the Sukma series. 

The previous best was achieved at the last Games in Sabah - two national and four meet records. 

In the 10th Games at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Ngew Sin Mei rewrote her national and Sukma record in the triple jump with a distance of 13.51m. Her old mark was 13.20m, which she set in the Thum Open in Germany last year. Her Games record was 12.86m. 

It was the sixth time since 2002 that Sin Mei had broken the national record. Her effort in Seremban was also better than the SEA Games record of 13.46m, set in 1999 and last year by Thais Sunisa Kawrungwan and Wacharee Rittiwat respectively. 

SOARING HIGHER: Sin Mei broke the national triple jump record and was denied another new mark in the long jump because of a strong tailwind.

In the long jump, Sin Mei leapt to a distance of 6.25m, which beat her national record of 6.20m, which she set at the last Sukma. But the mark will not be ratified because there was a tailwind of more than 2.4mph. 

Sin Mei's performance in the long jump will certainly raise her hopes of bettering the SEA Games mark of 6.52m set by Elma Muros of the Philippines in 1989. 

The other national record set at the Negri Games was in the girls' 3,000m steeplechase by Vally Michael of Malacca. 

In the event making its debut in the Games, Vally clocked 11:43.79 to erase the old record of 12:19.49 set by Norlida Ismail of Terengganu in the national championships last year. 

Vally also broke two other meet records - in the 800m (2:12.89) and 1,500m (4:47.32). 

OUTSTANDING: Fauziah, a 16-year-old Form Four student, upstaged older rivals in the girls' 400m to win the gold medal in new Sukma record time.

The outstanding athlete of the Games was 16-year-old Fauziah Abdul Razak of Perak. The Form Four student of Gunung Rapat Secondary School upstaged her older rivals to win the 400m in a meet record of 54.89, erasing the old mark of 56.22 set by N. Manimagaly of Pahang in Kuantan in 1996. 

Among the other young athletes who broke meet records were Lai Jin Sze of Sarawak (5,000m and 10,000m walk); Siti Nurulian (shot putt); Ho Sin Hui (javelin); and Sazari Sahar (decathlon). 

The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) coaching chairman, J.V. Jayan, said the number of records broken showed that there was a bright future for athletics in the country. 

“This is the best-ever athletics performance in Sukma. Some of the younger athletes - Fauziah, Siti, Sin Hui and Sazari - did extremely well to upstage the much older athletes to break the Games records,” he said. 

“We can look forward to seeing them carry a strong challenge for us in the 2007 SEA Games.” 

Jayan added that they were also happy with the performances of Sin Mei. 

“It was just unlucky that she did not get two national records to her name here,” he said. 

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