KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s discus throw champion Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (picture) is now craving to win his maiden medal of the Asian Games at the Hangzhou Games in China, scheduled to take place in September next year.
Muhammad Irfan said it was time for him to make a name for himself on the Asian stage after often “rocking” the SEA Games following his success of winning gold four times in a row starting from the 2013 edition in Myanmar until the 2019 Philippine Games.
Even though winning a medal at the Asian Games is his main mission next year, the athlete from Negeri Sembilan said that he is still determined to defend the SEA Games gold at the next Games in Hanoi in May.
“Of course I want to defend the gold medal and do my best at the SEA Games because it is part of the journey to become an Asian Games medallist,” he told Bernama when met recently.
Meanwhile, the national record holder with a throw of 62.55 metres (m) set at the Austrian Top Meeting 2017 athletics championship urged the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) to seek funds from large companies for the survival of athletes.
He said MAF should play an important role in finding its own funds following the National Sports Council (MSN) facing budget cuts next year.
“I mean MSN has to take care of a lot of athletes, if they (MSN) don’t have the budget then MAF needs to do a little bit of work to find sponsors,” he added.
Muhammad Irfan also hoped that MAF and MSN can reach an agreement to help him return to his old coach, Frantisek Petrovic, after the latter’s contract was terminated in 2019.
It is understood that Petrovic is currently coaching Sarawak athletes.