(Above) national runner Ak
Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi (C)
posing for picture with
Association (BAA) president
Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman
Hj Mohiddin (L) and
vice-president Kifli Hj
Jaafar prior to leaving for
the World Championships in
Moscow. (Right) Ak Hafiy at
a previous meet. Pictures:
It wasn't the best of races for Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi at the World Championships last week.
The 22-year-old national runner clocked a time of 49.98s in Heat 3 of the men's 400 metres at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday, the result well short of his best time of 48.67s which he set at the 2012 London Olympics.
Hafiy placed last out of seven of the competitors in his heat and 31st overall out of 35 runners, with American LaShawn Merritt, also from Heat 3, the fastest of the day with his time of 44.92s.
Naturally, Ak Hafiy was not satisfied with his performance.
"Alhamdulilah, I managed to maintain my entry time of 49 seconds in this tournament,"said Ak Hafiy in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"However, I'm not satisfied because I couldn't run under 48 seconds.
"I need to work on my start especially on the first bend because it is quite slow.
"I will work on my weaknesses before the upcoming SEA Games.
"My main target is to run under the 48 second barrier at the event," he continued.
Prior to departure, Brunei Athletics Association (BAA) president Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Mohiddin said he was hoping Ak Hafiy would better his best time, especially since it would give him a good chance at gaining a berth at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
However, the Bruneian might get another shot as he is eyeing the Islamic Solidarity Games that run from September 22 to October 1 in Palembang, Indonesia.
National athletics coach, Isidro del Prado, had previously told The Brunei Times that there was a dip in training during Ramadhan - though he is still counting on Ak Hafiy to be ready for next month's race.
"We can count on this as a warm up since we are preparing for the upcoming Islamic Solidarity Games," said del Prado.
"We are hoping he can do his best despite a decline in his training due to the fasting month.
"I know that Ak Hafiy is determined... And this experience will make him better because he will be competing against world class athletes," continued the Filipino.
The IAAF set the entry at 45.28s for the A standard and 45.60s for the B standard for the men's 400m event.
Although Ak Hafiy's time didn't meet the required standard, the IAAF allows each country to send one unqualified male or female athlete to participate in one individual event except for the 10,000m, 3,000m, steeplechase and the combined events.