KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Firdaus Salim was the toast of the Malaysian team in the Philippines Open athletics championships last week. He improved his personal best in the men's triple jump event en route to winning the gold medal at the Palayan City Stadium.
The Kedah lad made a leap of 15.78m which was better than his previous best of 15.50m.
It was a great achievement for Ahmad Firdaus who made up for his failure in the Manila SEA Games last year. Then, he only managed 15.48m and finished in fourth placing.
Besides Ahmad Firdaus, three other athletes also won the golds in the three-day meet.
Mohd Zabidi Ghazali surprised the Koreans, Thailand and Taiwanese sprinters to bag the gold in the men's 100m with a time of 10.71.
The other golds were won by Mohd Zafril Zuslaini (pic) in the men's 400m with a time of 48.12 while Vally Michael won the women's 800m race in 2:14.99.
The Malaysian athletes comprising six men and four women also won four silvers.
High jumper Ahmad Najwan Aqra won the silver with a height of 2.00m, which was way off his personal best 2.14m.
Sukma gold medallist Noor Akma Abadul Fatah bagged the silver in the women's pole vault with a jump of 3.40m.
The other silver medals were delivered by Azizah Ibrahim in the women's 100m hurdles (14.74) and Siti Zubaidah Adabi in the women's long jump event (5.68m).
SEA Games silver medallist Syahrul Amri Suhaimi, meanwhile, was a letdown in the meet, as he only managed a poor 7.29m in the men's long jump event to finish fifth. His effort was way off his personal best of 7.69m.
Sukma gold medallist S. Narendran, meanwhile, did not compete in the 100m and 200m events due to fever.
Team manager Hamid Barkat said that they were satisfied with the athletes' performance despite strong winds and humid weather at the new stadium.
Our athletes were up against the Koreans, Thais and Taiwanese and they did well to bag four golds and four silvers.
I am also happy with the performance of Ahmad Firdaus, who improved his personal best.