National Olympians Ak Hafiy
Tajuddin Pg Rositi (L) and
Maziah Mahusin (R) are set
to compete at the 89th
Malaysia Open Athletics
Championships in Kuala
Lumpur from Oct 19-20.
Pictures: BT/ Yee Chun
The national athletics team are set for the 89th Malaysia Open Athletics Championships to be held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 19-20.
London 2012 Olympians Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi and Maziah Mahusin will take to the two-day event as they participate in their respective 400 metre events, with the annual Malaysian tournament seen as a tune up for the national squad ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
Centralised training began on Monday and both are looking to put up some good times at the University of Malaya's Sport Arena.
Ak Hafiy's last outing was at the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia last month where he clocked a time of 49.94 seconds in the men's 400m heat.
Despite not progressing out of the heats, Ak Hafiy whose best time is 48.67s felt that it was still a positive result.
"It was still a good result for me because I managed to go under 50 seconds," said Ak Hafiy in an interview with The Brunei Times during a training session at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas on Tuesday.
"I'm hoping that I can get to a time where I can enter the final at the SEA Games or at least produce a new best," said the 22-year-old, who set the 48.67s record at the 2012 London Olympics.
Maziah suffered a hamstring injury while competing at the 5th Borneo Games in Labuan last month but the 20-year-old is not letting that deter her from working hard at the tracks where she trains twice a day from Monday to Saturday.
"We have to continue training hard as usual despite the slight pain," she said.
"The Malaysia Open which is part of our training programme is up next, and I want to see where we stand now," said Maziah, who ran her first ever sub-60s at the London Olympics with a time of 59.28s.
"I feel that I've been improving and that is a good sign. I just hope that I will be able to put up a much better performance when the tournament comes," added Maziah.
National athletics coach Isidro del Prado feels that everything is falling into place and that they should be fully prepared when the SEA Games arrive.
"Both of them are continuing with their training and I want them to maintain their times," said del Prado.
"But improving on their personal bests and producing a better time would be the best.
"They are getting better and should be at peak performance for the SEA Games," concluded the Filipino.