KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s high jumper, Nauraj Singh Randhawa received a morale booster ahead of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August after he renewed his own national record at the 79th Singapore Open Track and Field Championship at Singapore National Stadium, today.
The 25-year-old Johor-born athlete cleared the bar at 2.30m to renew his own national record of 2.29m which he set at the same meet last year.
Today’s feat helped Nauraj to win a ticket to compete at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships to be held in London, England from August 4-13.
Asked about the feat, Nauraj said he never expects to surpass 2.30m, which is the qualifying mark for the World Championships, as he used the Singapore meet as build up for two athletics tournaments in Japan next month.
“With this result, I look forward to give a stiff competition to some of the world’s best high jumpers at Shizuoka Grand Prix and also the Kawasaki World Challenge in Japan,” he told Bernama via Whatsapp.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk Karim Ibrahim was delighted with the sizzling feat by Nauraj and was confident he would win the gold medal at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
“For his feat, we will give Nauraj a special incentive of RM5,000. Hopefully, this will boost his confidence to win the SEA Games gold medal on home soil.
“The MAF also hopes this success will be a stepping stone for other athletes under our umbrella to emulate the feat by Nauraj in other competitions in the future,” said Karim.
The MAF sent 27 athletes, including two national paralympic athletes – Abdul Latif Romly and Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, to take part in the Singapore meet.
Abdul Latif and Muhammad Ziyad, who won gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, had expressed their interest to compete in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, but they must qualify with merit just like normal athletes. – BERNAMA