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Sunday, December 15, 2013

National coach Isidro del Prado is hoping that the experience his two star runners gained running at the 2012 London Olympics will put them in good stead at the SEA Games today.

Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi and Maziah Mahusin will take to the Wunna Theikdi Stadium today morning in the 400m heats, looking to break the best times they set in London more than a year ago.

The numbers to beat will be 48.67s and 59.28s respectively, with del Prado sounding optimistic they would be able to break their records in the first day of the athletics competition.

"They have their own confidence for the SEA Games because they already have experience competing in the Olympics with elite and world-class athletes," he said yesterday.

"They will be aiming to beat their personal bests and I hope they can make it.

"I asked them this morning how they were feeling and they said they are alright.

"The track is a bit different from what we're used to in Brunei. It's a hard track but it has the right pace and distribution.

"We've only trained at the warm-up area and we'll be looking to try out the track before the race tomorrow morning," he added.

The Philippines' Edgardo Alejan is a hot favourite to win the men's 400m after setting a region-best 46.95s at September's Thailand Open Athletics Championships.

Among others to look out for are Thailand's Srikharin Wannassa and Indonesia's Heiu Astriyanto, both who have run sub-47 seconds.

Thailand's Aktawat Sakulchan is the men's 400m record holder after clocking 46.05 at the 1995 Games in Chiang Mai while Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Tnh holds the women's record of 51.83 which she recorded at Hanoi's 2003 Games.

Abdul Haqim Hj Yahya, Brunei's only other entry in athletics at this year's Games, will see action on Wednesday in the high jump.

Brunei did not compete in athletics at the last edition of the Games in Indonesia two years ago.

Regional athletics powerhouse Thailand were at the top of the 2011 medal tally after racking up 14 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze in Palembang.

Hosts Indonesia were second with 13 gold, 12 silver and 11 bronze medals while Vietnam were third with nine gold, nine silver and 14 bronze medals.

Courtesy from Brunei Times