SINGAPORE, June 9 — Malaysia’s Muhammad Hakimi Ismail not only ended an 18-year wait for the gold medal in the SEA Games triple jump event but also earned himself a name in the history books when he smashed the Games Record as well.
He recorded a jump of 16.76 metres in the final en route to the gold medal at the National Stadium here today. The last time Malaysia won the gold medal in this event was at the 1997 SEA Games when Mohd Zaki Sadri jumped 16.05m.
Muhammad Hakimi, 24, from Felda Rentam, Pahang, erased the old record of 16.67m set by Nguyen Van Hung of Vietnam at the last edition of the Games in Myanmar two years ago.
The silver went to Kongnil Varunyoo of Thailand who did 16.20m while Van Hung had to be satisfied with the silver after managing only 15.92m.
Muhammad Hakimi, however, said that he was still not satisfied with the result as his coach Victor Sotnikov from Russia had set the target at 16.90m in order for him to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil next year and the World Championships in Athletics 2015 in Beijing in August.
“I am thankful that I did better than two years ago but I must find a way to overcome my shortcomings if I want to go far in the triple jump.
“Alhamdulillah (Thank God) because I finally get to hold the gold medal even though I was under great pressure during the last jump,” the silver medallist at the Myanmar Games told reporters afterwards.
He added that his two-month intensive training in Australia in preparing for this 25th edition of the SEA Games in Singapore had clearly paid dividends.
Meanwhile, national pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi had to be satisfied with the bronze after posting a best of 5.05 metres.
The gold medal was won by Purahong Porranot of Thailand who did 5.30m. The 19-year-old’s feat also erased the old Games Record of 5.21m set by compatriot Sintawacheewa Kreete at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.
The bronze was won by Obiena Ernest John of the Philippines (5.25m).
In the women’s 100m final, national sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli had to settle for fourth place after clocking 11.93s.
The gold was won by Richardson Kayla Anise from the Philippines (11.76s); the silver by Wannakit Tassaporn of Thailand (11.76s) while Pereira Veronica Shanti of Singapore took the bronze 11.88s. — Bernama