PETALING JAYA – It looks like SEA Games sprint king Khairul Hafiz Jantan may have to put off his plan to train with young Japanese sprinter Abd Hakim Sani Brown as the national 100m record holder is scheduled to undergo training in Mannheim, Germany in February.
His coach, Mohd Poad Md Kassim said the month-long stint was as preparation for the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham from March 1 to 4 as he wanted Khairul to make an impressive debut at the international meet.
“For me, whatever major championships Khairul participates, I want him to achieve his target time. As he has just recovered from his hamstring injury and we are just focusing regular training, not on improving time currently.
“We are also looking at the plan to proceed to Australia straight after Birmingham to prepare for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast but it has not been finalised,” he told reporters at the presentation of incentives from 100 Plus here today.
Mohd Poad said it would be same place where Khairul and Badrul Hisyam Abdul Manap (100m), Mohd Rizzua Haizad (110m hurdles) as well as R. Kirthana (triple jump) prepared for the World Junior Championships in Poland as well as Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Sarawak last year which saw Khairul cracked the national 100m record in 10.18s in Sukma.
The Malaysian Athletics Federation ( MAF) had earlier requested Mohd Poad to review his plan to bring the SEA Games gold medalist to train in Japan due to the time constraint and the high cost.
Mohd Poad also hoped the men’s 4x100m relay team would also be given the opportunity to train with Khairul in Germany for a better performance at the Commonwealth Games in April and the Asian Games in August next year.
Meanwhile, Khairul Hafiz said he could be facing a different challenge in his maiden appearance at the World Indoor Championships as he would only be involved in the 60m sprint compared to regular track events such as 100m and 200m.
“I know it will be a major exposure for me. Initially I want to go to Japan to run against Abd Hakim as he also a sensational sprinter and he is just one year younger than me,” he said.
The 18-year-old sprinter of Japanese-Ghanaian heritage has a personal best of 10.05s in 100m and 20.32s in 200m compared to Khairul’s 10.18s and 20.90s.
Earlier, Khairul and women’s singles badminton player Goh Jin Wei who are both 100 Plus ambassadors received RM10,000 each as incentive from the istonic drink company, even though Jin Wei was not present as she was participating in the World Junior Badminton Championships in Yogyajarta, Indonesia.
Marketing manager of 100 Plus, Leong Wain Yin said the incentive was aimed at motivating the two brand ambassadors for their gold medal victories and ending the country’s 14-year wait in their respective events. – BERNAMA