(L-R) National athletics coach Isidro del Prado, national athletes Md Faizul Abdullah, Md Fakhri Ismail, Md Asy Syafi'e Md Bohari, Maziah Mahusin and Md Wa'iz Rusyaidi Md Shahrun at the Brunei International Airport before leaving for the Singapore Open Track & Field Championships 2016 yesterday. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong
FIVE national athletes will be looking to better their personal bests at this weekend’s 78th Singapore Open Track & Field Championships 2016.
The trio of Md Fakhri Ismail, Md Asy Syafi’e Md Bohari and Md Faizul Abdullah will compete in the men’s 100m event while the sultanate’s first female Olympian Maziah Mahusin will see action in the women’s 100m and 200m events. Middle distance runner Mohd Wa’iz Rusyaidi Md Shahrun is set to run in the men’s 800m and 1500m events during the April 28-29 tournament at the National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub.
Md Fakhri is back to the same venue he set the national record of 10.59s in the heats at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games last June and is hoping he will be able to put up another good performance in the Lion City. “Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good time. This is a good track and hopefully I’ll at least get a time close to my record,” said Md Fakhri in an interview before the team’s departure at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
“Preparations were okay and I will just try my best,” added the 25-year-old, who last competed at the Philippine National Open in Pasig City, Manila, earlier this month and produced a time of 10.75s. Md Asy Syafi’e also set his personal best at last year’s SEA Games after running 10.67s in the heats. He is in a positive mood, especially after setting some good times in training.
“I hope to be able to break my personal best, and setting a new national record would be a bonus,” said Md Asy Syafi’e. “My times in training have been good and hopefully training pays off,” he added. Md Faizul may be the slowest of the three with his best time of 11.13s, but he is looking to top it despite this being his first tournament of the year.
“This is my first competition of the year and I’m aiming for a new time. I’m feeling confident to do it,” said the 20-year-old. Maziah, who bagged a bronze medal in the women’s 200m event at the Philippine National Open with a time of 25.96s, is aiming to get back to her best. Her fastest time for the event is 25.44s. Alinawati Ali Bakar holds the national record of 25.22s set at the 2011 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
“I don’t know what to expect. My focus is on the 200m event and the 100m (best time of 12.58s) is more of a warm up event for me,” said Maziah. “Hopefully I will be able to get a new personal best as my main aim is the 200m event. I hope to go below 25.96s and get back to my best time,” added the 23-year-old.
“The competitors here are going to be much stronger. I will give my best, and if I get a medal it will be a bonus. “It will be my first time running at the Sports Hub and hopefully the fast track can help me,” continued Maziah. Targets have been set for Md Wa’iz by his coach and he hopes that he will be able to deliver the goods.
It will be the first time for him competing in the 800m event, while his best time for the 1500m event is 4min 45s set during the 5th Brunei Open in October. “My coach (national long distance running coach Suleiman Nyambui) wants me to set a new time for the 800m, and as for the 1500m, my coach wants me to go under 4min 45s, said Md Wa’iz.
“He believes in me, so why not?” asked the 19-year-old. National athletics coach Isidro del Prado is travelling together with the athletes and is hoping for a good showing from his charges. “We are aiming to improve on our personal bests,” he said. “Our training is in the specific period and we have adjusted to this competition. We’re looking for some good performances.”