National 100m record holder Md Fakhri Ismail during a training session at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. Picture: Courtesy of Md Fakhri Ismail
National 100m record holder Md Fakhri Ismail during a training session at the Tasek Lama Recreational Park in Bandar Seri Begawan. Picture: Courtesy of Md Fakhri Ismail
NATIONAL 100m record holder Md Fakhri Ismail is hoping to break his record at next month’s 2016 Philippine National Open Athletics tournament.
Md Fakhri was due to compete in the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, US, last weekend – where the national sprinter would have made his debut in the 60m event. However, he was forced to withdraw due to a lack of funds – and he now has his sights set on the Philippine Open in Manila from April 7-9.
“It was disappointing that I missed out on the World Indoor Championships as I was planning to clock a new record then,” said Md Fakhri yesterday. “However, these things happen and I have to move on from that. “I will focus on setting a new national record in the Philippine Open instead, and this will be a good preparation for the Rio Olympics this summer,” Md Fakhri said.
He broke the national 100m record when he ran 10.59s in the heats at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games last June in Singapore. Md Fakhri became the first Bruneian to ever qualify for the heats of the 100m event at a world meet after he finished his preliminary round race with a time of 10.73s at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing last August.
During the heats, Md Fakhri - who was running alongside Jamaica’s six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt - finished with a time of 10.72s. “I’m aware of my achievements for the country, but I’m far from done,” said the 25-year-old. “As a runner in the 100m, we have to be prepared mentally and physically. A slight mistake can lead to clocking a slower time and every millisecond counts.
“We train just as hard as any athlete in any sport because we want to be careful of picking any injuries which will set us back. “Getting a consistent time in my runs is one of my primary targets but also my biggest challenge - it's not as easy as it looks.
“With support from the national coach, Isidro del Prado, my family and friends, the sky is the limit. “But for now, we have to take it one step at a time.” Md Fakhri was one of the three Bruneian athletes awarded Rio 2016 Olympics scholarships by the International Olympic Council (IOC) through the Olympic Solidarity Programme last November.
The US$1,000 monthly grant is meant to help with his training ahead of August’s Olympics.