National sprinter Md Asy Syafi’e Md Bohari (3rd R) hands over the baton to teammate Abdul Rahim Abdullah during the men’s 4x100m relay at the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub on June 12, 2015. The duo will be among the five athletes competing at today’s 93rd Malaysia Open Athletics Championship in Kuala Lumpur. Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong
MD Fakhri Ismail is looking to use his experience at the 2016 Rio Olympics to help him at the 93rd Malaysia Open Athletics Championship in Kuala Lumpur.
The national 100m record holder, whose time stands at 10.59 seconds he set in the heat of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore last year, expects yet another tough outing at the Sept 30–Oct 2 tournament. He will be competing against compatriots Md Asy Syafi’e Md Bohari, Md Faaizul Abdullah and Abdul Rahim Abdullah in the 100m event while Md Nur Firdaus Ar-Rasyid Hj Idris will contest the 200m event.
They will team up for the 4x100m event, and Fakhri hopes they will be able to set a new national record. Fakhri (pic) took a two-week break from training after returning from Brazil last month but feels that he is ready for the competition at the Sports Science Stadium of Universiti Malaya.
“I feel less pressure having experienced competing on a bigger stage,” said Fakhri in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday. “It’s going to be a difficult race because there are a lot of competitors from different countries, making it difficult to qualify for the finals.
“But that is expected because no competition is ever easy. If it is, then it wouldn’t be called a competition. “I’m targeting a good time in the 100m and want to be at least close to my personal best. But to set a new time… I don’t think now is the time yet,” added the 25-year-old.
Fakhri, Md Asy Syafi’e, Abdul Rahim and Md Rachmat Safar set the current national record of 40.95s, also at last year’s SEA Games, and Md Asy Syafi’e hopes they will be able to go faster in the Malaysian capital. “Our target is to set a new national record. We will certainly try our best and hope that our intense preparation during the last few weeks will bear fruit,” he said.
“We are expecting to run against top sprinters from around the region, especially from Malaysia and other countries - with the SEA Games next year as their main target. “It will be a tough race but we will give them a good challenge,” Md Asy Syafi’e added.
The 20-year-old, who clinched gold in the 100m at the 63rd Sabah Open Track and Field Championships with a time of 10.85s earlier this month, hopes he can beat that time. “My target for the 100m is to improve the time I set during the Sabah Open. The race will be even more competitive this time, so I’m really looking forward to a good race and to set a new personal best time (10.67s),” said Md Asy Syafi’e.
“I’ve been training hard since Sabah, and I feel good and am confident of a better performance here. “I’m mentally and physically prepared, and entering the final would be an achievement here,” he added. When asked on the competition against the other Bruneian runners, Md Asy Syafi’e replied: “We look forward to racing each other in a healthy manner.
“We respect each other. It’s going to be like ‘Hunger Games’. The best and most prepared will go through, and we are looking forward to that,” he concluded.
The team is accompanied by athletics coach Azmize Abd Rahman.