NATIONAL young sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi (picture) will be fielded in the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Columbia from Aug 1 to 6 as the fourth fastest youth in Asia in 100m and 200m events.
His coach, Muhammad Amir Izwan Tan Abdullah said that based on the records of the 2022 season, Japan’s Hiroki Yanagita, 19, is the fastest with a time of 10.16 seconds (s) while Puripol Boonson, 16, of Thailand is second with a record of 10.19s.
The third fastest is China’s Wang Shuang with 10.23s and Muhammad Azeem, 18, in the fourth place with a record of 10.28s set at the Perak All-Comers Athletics Championship last month.
In the 200m event, Booson is fastest after clocking 20.19s followed by South Korea’s Son Ji-won, 19 (20.80s), Yan Haibin, 19 of China (20.88s) and Muhammad Azeem in 20.89s which was recorded at Sarawak Junior Athletics Championships in Kuching this month.
Muhammad Amir said Muhammad Azeem’s target in the 100m and 200m in Cali is to advance into the 100m final and to qualify, the finalists need to clock under 10.30s.
He said with the 10.28s record achieved, Muhammad Azeem could create more shock waves including cracking the national record in Cali.
“On reaching the final, a win or a new record would be considered a bonus. The nearest target is to qualify for the final and it is not impossible for him,” he said when met here today.
Nonetheless, Muhammad Azeem is now peaking up well and Muhammad Amir said all depended on the condition of his charge after going through the long journey.
“There may be jet lag as he would be travelling about 48 hours, and I am worried about his recovery from jet lag,” he said.
He said in Cali, the focus in the 100m is on Letsile Tebogo, 19, of Botswana who emerged as the only junior sprinter to run under 10s this season after having clocked 9.94s. Muhammad Azeem is ranked 30th fastest youth in the world.
Apart from Muhammad Azeem, three more national youth athletes performing in Cali are men’s 110m hurdler, Elvin Yap, Jonah Chang (men’s discus) and Muhammad Shah Sholihin in the triple jump. – Bernama