KUALA LUMPUR: National discus thrower Muhd Irfan Shamsuddin (pic) has set new goals after recovering from injuries.
The 22-year-old burly Asian Championships silver medallist struggled with back and ankle injuries for eight months last year.
But he’s back on his feet and wants to get cracking again on the international scene starting with the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15 and the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, from Aug 18-Sept 2.
But firstly, the Podium Programme athlete aims to stay injury free.
“Now that I’m free from injuries, I’m motivated toperform better,” said Irfan.
Despite injuries, Irfan had a good season last year when he broke the national record three times during his six-week training stint in Europe in May. He also bagged the silver medal in the Asian Championships in India last July.
He also holds the national record of 62.55m, which he set in competition in Linz, Austria, last year.
Irfan skipped the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow four years ago as it clashed with the World Junior Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States, but he aims to make his presence felt this time.
“I hope to qualify for the final although I’ll be up against the Games’ best athletes. I need to throw about 62 metres,” said Irfan, who will feature in two competitions in Australia in March to prepare for the Games.
As for his Asiad preparation, Irfan will go to Europe in May.
“The Asian Games is my main target. I want a podium finish,” added Irfan, who trains under Fero Petrovic of Slovakia.
Irfan is among 18 track and field athletes comprising 14 men and four women, who have been recommended by the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The others are SEA Games 100m gold medallist Khairul Hafiz Jantan (100m, 4x100m), Jonathan Nyepa (200m), Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manaf (4x100m), Muhd Haiqal Hanafi (4x100m), Nixson Kennedy (4x100m), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (110m hurdles), Nauraj Singh Randhawa (high jump), Lee Hup Wei (high jump), Muhd Hakimi Ismail (triple jump), Iskandar Alwi (pole vault), Luqman Hakim Ramlan (triple jump), Jackie Wong Siew Cheer (hammer), Lo Choon Sieng (20km walk), Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (100m), Grace Wong Xiu Mei (hammer), Norliyana Kamaruddin (hammer) and Chua Yu Tian (pole vault).