KUALA LUMPUR – An athletics great has challenged Malaysian sprinters to break the 49 year-old 200 metres national record at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) next month.
The challenge comes from none other than former national sprinter Dr M. Jegathesan ( Tan Sri) , the holder of the 200m national record.
Jegathesan, 73, or the ‘The Flying Doctor’ to sports fans, set the 200m national record of 20.92 seconds while representing Malaysia at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.
“I want to see the long standing 200 metres record broken. I believe that the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games is the best time to do it. Seeing the record broken will be a dream come true,” he told Bernama today.
The sprint legend said the guidance of coach Mohd Poad Md Kassim had benefited the national sprinters who have the potential to regain Malaysia’s dominance in athletics at KL2017.
“I follow the development of national sports and know that there is a group of men and women sprinters who have the ability to bring Malaysia glory in athletics,” said the 1966 Sportsman of the Year.
Badrul Hisham Manap thought that he had smashed the record when he clocked 20.88 seconds in the 4th Unimap Open Sports Championship in October 2015 but it was not recognised due to the wind.
Khairul Hafiz Jantan who blazed the track to win the 100m in 10.18 seconds in the 2016 Malaysia Games (Sukma) is the most likely person to smash the 200m national record.
The last time Malaysia won the gold medal in the SEA Games sprint event was when Nazmizan Muhammad won the 100m and 200m dash in Vietnam in 2003. – BERNAMA