Caption: Mohd Fakhri Ismail (L) running along side Le Trong Hinh of Vietnam during Heat 2 of the men's 100m event for the 28th SEA Games at the National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub, where he set the national record on June 9, 2015. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NATIONAL top sprinter Mohd Fakhri Ismail is hoping to improve his personal record at tomorrow’s 6th Brunei Open Track and Field Championship at the Tutong Sports Complex.
The country’s Rio Olympian will be competing in the 100m and 4x100m events at the annual tournament, which is also one of the country’s biggest athletics’ championships on the calendar.
He feels ready for the March 18-19 tournament having gone through a good preparation period.
“We have been training continuously since last year and were only given rest for a week at the end of December. Since then we have been training non-stop,” said Fakhri in an interview with BruSports recently.
“Our new season training started in January under coaches Isidro del Prado and Azmize Abdul Rahman and everything has been good for me in terms of preparation.
“I hope to improve my time at this tournament and if I managed to win some medals in the events, it will be great and it is definitely going to be a bonus for me,” added the 26-year-old.
Brunei will be competing against athletes from the Asian region including India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal and the Philippines.
Fakhri expects it to be a difficult outing at the two-day event.
“This tournament is quite tough and competitive because we will welcome strong competitors from all over Asia so I expect a strong challenge from the other countries,” continued Fakhri, who boasts the national record of 10.59 seconds, which he registered at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore in 2015.
“But I hope that competing on home ground will give me the advantage over other competitors as I am already familiar with the tournament track and used to the weather.
“I will also be competing in front of our local supporters, and they have always been very supportive of me to do well,” he added.
“This tournament is a very good platform for us to gauge our level against the other competitors in the Asian region and this is definitely a very good exposure for us,” he concluded.
Fakhri posted a time of 10.92 seconds as one of the eight fastest sprinters in the preliminary round at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
He then finished in ninth place recording a time of 10.95 seconds in the next round.