SEPANG – After a credible performance at the Korean Open Athletics Championships, national athlete Jonathan Nyepa is optimistic the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) will select him for the 100-metres sprint event at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.
“Now, all Malaysian sprinters are working hard to be in the list for the individual events. Based on my time at the Korean Open Athletics Championship, I am in second place behind Hafiz (Khairul Hafiz Jantan),” said the 21-year-old athlete from Belaga, Sarawak, at the KL International Airport 2 here late last night upon his return from South Korea .
Khairul Hafiz is the 100m national record holder with a time of 10.18s.
Jonathan said his record time at the championship in Jeongseon, South Korea, was not his “peak”.
“I did not expect to record a time of below 10.30s. However, the success in Korea was not the peak. I want to reach the peak at the SEA Games,” said Jonathan, who was trained by former national sprinter Watson Nyambek at the initial stage of his involvement in athletics.
Jonathan won the silver medal at the Korean meet with a time of 10.28s, while fellow Malaysian athlete Nixson Kennedy finished on 10.43s.
The gold medal was won by host sprinter Kim Kok Young who set a new Korean national record of 10.07s.
“Actually, I did not expect to record my best time at the championship. It was very competitive. The Korean Olympic athlete (Kim) qualified for the World Athletics Championship,” he said.
Jonathan said he wanted to focus on the 100m and 4x100m events at the upcoming SEA Games.
He will be competing in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championship to be held in Bhubaneswar, India, from July 6 to 9 where he will be grouped for the first time with Khairul Hafiz, Nixson and Badrul Hisham Manap in the 4x100m event. – BERNAMA