Athletics: Firdaus sprints to new 200m national record

Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh

NATIONAL sprinter Md Noor Firdaus Ar-Rasyid Hj Mohd Idris broke the national record in the men’s 200m event at the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Firdaus made his debut clocking the country's latest record of 21.39s to finish second, just 0.10 seconds behind winner Jirapong Meenapra of Thailand in semi-final 1 of the 200m event.

In the final, Firdaus then crossed the line on 21.45s to finish fifth at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium which meant that he twice broke the his previous national record of 21.64s at the Malaysian Open in October last year.

The Philippines' T Anthony Beram bagged the gold medal with a time of 20.84s followed by Jirapong on 21.22s.

Thevar Gunasegaran of Malaysia won the bronze clocking a time of 21.26s just edging compatriot and 100m winner Khairul Hafiz Jantan.

Firdaus had a great feeling entering the race and was all smiles.

“It was a great night for me, I broke my previous national record twice and finished the 200m so well with an unexpected result,” said Firdaus in an interview with BruSports News after the race.

“I was confident from the start that I can run well, because I could just feel it, and I couldn't stop smiling at the camera.

“When the Singapore athlete (Timothee Yap Jine Wei) from lane 8 overtook me during the semi-final, I started to pick up my speed and ran as fast as possible to be able to make it through to the final.

“I'm very happy and it was beyond my expectations. I feel very good this time around,” he added.

“I am still young and I believe in myself that nobody can stop me from reaching my dream. I believe I can achieve higher than this,” continued the 21-year-old.

Firdaus also competed at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in United Kingdom earlier this month where he recorded a time of 22.36 seconds to finish at the end of Heat 7 at the London Stadium.

The national team will now focus their attention on the 4x100m event.

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