National sprinter Maizurah Abdul Rahim posing for a photo at the Rio Olympics. She was just short of a new personal best in the women’s 200m event at the Rio Olympics after clocking 28.02 seconds in Heat 8 yesterday. Picture: Courtesy of Maizurah Abdul Rahim
MAIZURAH Abdul Rahim was just short of a new personal best in the women’s 200m event at the Rio Olympics after crossing the line on 28.02 seconds in Heat 8 yesterday — bringing to an end Brunei’s participation in Rio.
The 17-year-old Maizurah, the youngest athlete the sultanate has ever sent to the Olympics, finished at the end of the 72-participant field at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It was always going to be a tall order for Maizurah considering that she was participating under the universality place which the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has opened to countries with no qualified athletes.
Her event started out from the first round, where the entry mark for the event was 23.20s — well ahead of her personal best of 27.85s which she set at the Philippines Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Philippine Open in April. Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was the fastest on 22.31s heading into the semi-finals.
The American pair of Deajah Stevens and Tori Bowie followed on 22.45s and 22.47s respectively. Maizurah is the second female Bruneian to compete at the Olympics after Maziah Mahusin’s headline grabbing debut in London four years ago.
Maizurah’s race concludes Brunei’s participation at the Aug 5-21 Olympics with sprinter Md Fakhri Ismail and shuttler Jaspar Yu Woon Chai also having completed their events. Yu started out the sultanate’s campaign with a 21-16, 21-15 loss to World No 12 Hu Yun of Hong Kong in their Group D men’s singles event on Saturday.
The 27-year-old then fell to a 21-12, 21-10 defeat at the hands of World No 34 and reigning European Games champion Pablo Abian of Spain the next day. Md Fakhri Ismail started off strongly but finished third in Heat 3 of preliminary round of the men’s 100m event with a time of 10.92s on Saturday.
It was enough for him to progress to the first round placing eighth overall out of 22 competitors. The 25-year-old then clocked 10.95s in Heat 1 of the tournament proper.
Fakhri’s best time remains the national record of 10.59s which he set at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore in June last year.