HE has just been crowned the fastest man in Southeast Asia and he couldn’t have chosen a better venue, right here at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in front of estatic Malaysian spectators.
Although Khairul has clocked faster runs, like his national record of 10.18s, the fact that a Malaysian had wrested the gold in the 100m sprint for the first time since 2003 sent the crowds wild.
As the live coverage continued with cameras zooming in on Khairul, a funny spectacle was observed.
Photojournalists were caught on live broadcast frantically chasing the jubilant gold medallist as he did his victory lap.
Several of them gestured to Khairul to slow down so they could catch a good shot of him but the athlete just kept on running.
Bernama photographer Iskandar Aisyah shared the breathless pursuit on his Facebook later.
“I was running out of breath just chasing him down but he just kept on going,” Iskandar recalled.
“I asked him to stop but he didn’t listen.”
Utusan Malaysia journalist Syahril A. Kadir totally identified with the difficult task faced by the photographers assigned to the task of catching Southeast Asia’s fastest man.
Syahril later posted on Facebook how sports photojournalists unlike reporters have to carry heavy equipment while always on the lookout for the best angle and having to catch the best shot even while the athlete is on the move.
Although the photographers eventually managed to corner Khairul momentarily for a good victory shot to be splashed all over sports headlines the next day, the recording of the photographers chasing him down has gone viral. -mD