MALAYSIA finally won a medal in SEA Games marathon, thanks to Muhaizar Mohamad.
The 32-year-old Armed Forces personnel made a memorable debut when he clocked a personal best of 2’31:52 to clinch the bronze in Putrajaya yesterday.
His time was more than four minutes better than his previous best 2’35:55 set at the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon in May.
Fifteen athletes took part in the race and Singapore’s Guillaume Soh Rui Yong retained the gold in 2’29:27.
Indonesia’s Agus Prayogo clocked 2’31:20 to take the silver.
Malaysia’s Tan Huong Leong, who holds the national record of 2’28:19 which he set in the Tokyo Marathon in February, finished fourth in 2’32:11.
Muhaizar, a three-time local category winner of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, was delighted to end Malaysia’s medal drought.
“I was fourth with 5km to go but I did not give up and pushed myself to overtake Thailand’s Boonthung Srisung. From then on, I just maintained my pace until the finish line,” said Muhaizar.
“It feels nice to win the bronze as this is my first SEA Games. It’s a dream come true for me as I only got the release from the Armed Forces a month ago to train full-time at the National Sport Council.
“I’m also glad I made my country and the army proud by winning the first medal in athletics in the KL Games,” said the sergeant, who is based at the Sungai Udang camp in Melaka.
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