National jumping coach Joseph Kameni (R) in a group photo with six national junior athletes on the last day of the 11th SEA Youth Athletics Championships 2016 in Thailand last weekend. Picture: Courtesy of Joseph Kameni
NATIONAL jumping coach Joseph Kameni praised his athletes’ efforts at the 11th Southeast Asian (SEA) Youth Athletics Championships 2016 in Thailand last weekend after they improved their personal bests.
National jumpers Muhd Wafiq Kifli and Muhd Nurfirdaus Abdullah Muhd Faizal participated in the long jump event and both set new records at the two-day annual event. Wafiq improved his record to 6.01m from 5.98m while Muhd Nurfirdaus bettered his previous record of 5.32m to 5.58m at the Thammasat University Sports Complex in Bangkok.
“Overall I’m satisfied with my athletes’ performances - especially since they were up against one of the toughest nations in athletics in the region in hosts Thailand,” Kameni told The Brunei Times yesterday. “At the moment, these events are just platforms for these young athletes to gain confidence and exposure in preparation for the 16th Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) Games in Kuching, Malaysia in July.
“It is crucial for these athletes to improve their personal bests at any tournament or event - no matter how slow it may seem because their development depends on it. “Medals will come later, naturally, but for now we need to focus on their techniques and proper training.
“I can’t stress that enough.” Four junior national athletes also made their appearance in the tournament. National thrower Ernie Sahrina Abd Fattah improved her personal best in the shot-put event to 9.12m from 8.66m.
Maizurah Abdul Rahim – one of the three national athletes awarded Rio 2016 Olympics training scholarships by the International Olympic Committee last year – competed in the 200m event and recorded a time of 28.19s. The time was 0.34s short of her personal best of 27.85 which she set during the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Philippine Open three weeks ago. “It was disappointing,” said Maizurah.
“However, I learned a lot in the tournament and I will use this as a lesson to prepare for the Olympics. “I have my eyes set on the next tournament before the Olympics, the 17th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in June in Vietnam, so I have a lot of work to do,” she added. National middle distant runner Muhd Ammar Safwan Hj Zaidin fell short in the men’s 400m event clocking 52.03s - 0.96s shy of his personal best of 51.07s.
Muhd Luqman Wadihan Ramlan, who competed in the 800m event, recorded a time of 2.41.20 - 21.20s short of his personal best time of 2.20.00.