Jamaica's Usain Bolt (L) gestures to a camera before the 100m heats as Md Fakhri (R) looks on. AP
Brunei's Md Fakhri Ismail (R) in the heats of the men's 100m at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing on Saturday. AFP
A 2102 file photo of national athletics coach Isidro del Prado. BT file
NATIONAL athletics coach Isidro del Prado is proud of Mohd Fakhri Ismail's performance at the World Athletics Championships.
Mohd Fakhri created history after becoming the first Bruneian to qualify for the 100m heats at the world meet after finishing third with a time of 10.73s in the preliminary round at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing on Saturday.
"I was not in Beijing but I am very happy he passed the first round. That just showed how competitive he is," said del Pedro in an interview with The Brunei Times at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex on Tuesday.
"I am very proud of him and I thanked him for giving his best to qualify for the heats. I know it is not easy for him but he gave his best and is doing it (improving) little by little," he added. Despite his progress to the heats, Mohd Fakhri failed to break his best personal - and the national record - of 10.59s after finishing with 10.72s.
Del Prado, though, believes that the 24-year-old still has room for improvement. "Running is different from any other sport. It is hard to elaborate, it is like food... If you want good food, you need to have good ingredients. It is the same like running, we need to get everything right," said del Prado.
Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt, who ran in the same heats with Mohd Fakri, won the race after he crossed the finish line in 9.96s. The double Olympic gold medallist and world record holder went on to win Sunday's thrilling final after clocking 9.79s, edging American Justin Gatlin who took silver with 9.80s.
American Trayvon Bromell and Canadian Andre de Grassse shared bronze after both ran 9.92s.
Md Fakhri broke into the national team when he beat a national runner in the 200m event at the 2012 Inter-Ministry Sports Festival, and since then, has represented the country in some regional tournaments.
Del Prado thinks that the national sprinter could have improved more had they met earlier. "Before this Fakhri only played football and had no proper training. But he is now with the national team, and as a coach, I will try my best to help him improve.
"We are currently preparing for the Brunei Open in October, so all the athletes have been working very hard," added the Filipino. In 2013, Fakhri won the 200m race at the Borneo Games in Labuan with a time of 22.23s.
He is also the holder of the old national record of 10.61s which he set at the Perak Open Athletics Championships in May. He set the current national record of 10.59s at Singapore's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in June.