There’s a renewed sense of excitement within the Malaysian track and field contingent ahead of the KL SEA Games this year, and it’s due in no small part to the presence of local sprinter Khairul Hafiz.
Having shattered Watson Nyambek’s national 100m record just over year ago, Khairul went on a bit of a dry spell, though his recent resurgence culminated in a triumph at the Thailand Open Track and Field Championships last month.
But things are bound to get trickier when the SEA Games gets underway, as reigning 100m gold medalist, Eric Cray, has confirmed his participation. And while Khairul recognizes that the Filipino sprinter will be the favourite to win again, he is determined to spring a surprise at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
“I admit it will be a close battle because the previous winner will be competing this year as well. But I’ll be doing everything in my power to make my beloved country proud,” he told Arena Metro.
“Even my coach [Mohd Poad] consistently reminds me to not let fear take over my head. At the end of the day, all of us have emotions. The only thing that will differentiate us is our mental strength,” he added.
To better prepare himself for the SEA Games, Khairul Hafiz will be competing at the Asian Track and Field Championships in Bhubaneswar, India this week, where he is likely to face tougher competitors from sprinters outside Southeast Asia.
“As far as India is concerned, I have my own mission. I want to improve my recent timings and going up against sprinters from Thailand and China will help me push harder,” he added.
The SEA Games will officially get underway on the 19th of August, and tickets are now officially on sale, as per the story attached below.