Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Brunei’s sprint duo eliminated in 100m semis
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BRUNEI Darussalam’s national athlete Md Fakhri Ismail fell short of a place in the Men’s 100m finals after managing a time of 10.75s in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium yesterday.

The national record holder was not able to best his personal best of 10.59s where he set at the same stage in Singapore two years ago.

In all fairness, Md Fakhri had a tough-looking field in the second semi-final and at best may have been the fifth candidate expected to plot a top three finish or one of the quickest times.

Four other runners have set quicker times in past years with gold medal favourite Malaysian’s Khairul Hafiz bin Jantan headlining the quartet.

The other three included two that have boasted podium finishes in previous editions with Indonesia’s Iswandi claiming silver in the 100m in 2013, which was won by Thailand’s Jirapong Meenapra.

Singapore’s Timothee Yap also boasted considerable sprinting experience in the region.

Md Fakhri had a big task reaching back-to-back finals which would have been in itself a fine achievement should one of the aforementioned names missed out of the showpiece.

Despite having SEA Games experience under their belt, Jirapong and Iswandi were expected to play the role of nearest challengers to outshine the Malaysian star who is widely tipped for glory.

And by the time the pistol was fired, defending champion Eric Shauwn Cray was already comfortably through to the finals as his showdown with the Malaysian ace beckoned.

The athletes had to walk back to the starting line-up after a suspected warning though a green card was flashed indicating that there was nothing malicious and untoward.

Thailand’s Jirapong, eager to make an immediate warning of his intent on regaining the title, had a good start but was not unable to hold into the lead as Khairul Hafiz assumed the role of gold medal favourite.

Khairul, who was looking comfortable, even had energy in his reserve as he controlled his speed while Iswandi battled to grab hold of third place.

On the sidelines of the race, Md Fakhri ended in fifth place in the second semi-final just holding off his Singaporean rival Timothee Yap.

Only the top three advanced to the 100m finals and all will be fancying their chances of winning gold.

The trio was joined in the finals by Philippines Eric Shauwn Cray, Indonesia’s Yaspi Boby, Malaysia’s Jonathan Nyepa, Thailand’s Kritsada Namsuwun and Singapore’s Calvin Kang Li Loong.

Eric, eying to retain his title as Southeast Asia’s fastest man, controlled the race from start to finish no doubt in a move designed to fire towards glory in the finals.

Meanwhile, national sprinter Md Asy Syafi’e Md Bohari recorded a time of 11.06s in the first semi-final to finish in 7th place and 14th overall.

Malaysia’s Jonathan Nyepa had a good start but he was blew out of the waters by Cray who strolled to the finishing line.

But the energy-saving tactic did not make any difference as Khairul Hafiz made history after winning the 100m finals in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

The Malaysian star posted a time of 10.38s, leaving nearest rival Cray trailing in his wake with a time of 10.43s who shared the same time with Kritsada.

Brunei’s Md Fakhri and Md Asy Syafi’e are scheduled to return to the track for the 4x100m relay, which national coach Isidro Del Prado has harboured hopes on.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin