KANGAR: The hot weather took its toll on the athletes on the second day of the National Schools Athletics Championships (MSSM) at Stadium Utama here yesterday.
But the conditions failed to stop high jumper M. Shandyiani of Selangor and pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi of Johor from strutting their stuff en route to breaking records in their events.
Shandyiani set a new record of 1.72m in the girls’ Under-18 high jump event, erasing Johorean Wong Boon Syian’s 1.71m mark set in 2004.
Iskandar, meanwhile, rewrote Mohd Fahme Zamzam Mehamad’s record of 4.56m set in 2009 by clearing 4.73m in the boys’ Open pole vault. An elated Iskandar said he was focused on getting a result although he had no competition from the other pole vaulters.
“This is my first gold medal in the MSSM since I picked up the sport when I was in Form Two,” said Iskandar, who also bettered his personal best of 4.72m.
“I just focused on my own performance.”
The other events, including the blue ribbon – the 100m final, were a huge letdown as none of the athletes came close to breaking the meet records due to the searing heat.
The organisers’ decision to schedule the 1,500m event late in the morning ended up with all the runners in the girls’ Under-15 race collapsing in exhaustion after crossing the finish line.
Kelantan’s Nik Norzilawati Nik Wil, who won the 1,500m in the girls’ Under-18 category, said the intense heat affected her performance. Nik Norzilawati, a Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) student, could only set a personal best of 4:53.83 for the gold medal. She failed to shatter the previous record 4:52.92 set by K. Ganthimanthi in 2005.
Defending champions Sarawak continued to dominate the 54th edition of the MSSM with nine golds, nine silvers and two bronzes to lead the medal standings. Perak surged to second spot with a 5-4-5 haul while Johor are third with 5-2-3.