KUALA LUMPUR – Sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi (picture) broke the national 100 metre (m) record with 10.09 seconds (s) at the Under-20 World Athletics Championships at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Cali, Colombia, early today Malaysia time.
The 18-year-old runner erased the old record of 10.18s set by former Southeast Asia’s sprint champion Khairul Hafiz Jantan at the 2016 Malaysian Games (Sukma) in Kuching, Sarawak.
Muhammad Azeem’s record of 10.09s in heat eight saw him emerging the first runner to cross the finishing line, surprising 19-year-old Japanese athlete Hiroki Yanagita, who finished second with a time of 10.24s.
Muhammad Azeem and Yanagita each confirmed their spot in the semi-finals scheduled to take place tomorrow.
Meanwhile, only 19-year-old Botswana Letsile Tebogo, who ran in heat three, recorded a faster time than Muhamamd Azeem after breaking the championship record with a time of 10s.
Meanwhile, the 100m and 200m gold medalist at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Puripol Boonson from Thailand won in heat six with a time of 10.20s to confirm his place in the semi-finals.
Muhammad Azeem is fielded in the U-20 World Athletics Championships as the fourth fastest youth in Asia in 100 metres (m) and 200m events based on his records until last July.
Based on the records of the 2022 season, Yanagita is the fastest with a time of 10.16 seconds (s), followed by Boonson (10.19s), Wang Shuang of China (10.23s) and Muhammad Azeem, in the fourth place with a record of 10.28s which was recorded at the Perak All-Comers Athletics Championship last June.
In the 200m event, Booson is the 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 Azeem will also take part in the 200m in Cali with the event scheduled to start on Aug 3 (Augt 4 in Malaysia).
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu praised Muhammad Azeem on his succes.
“An incredible achievement from Colombian soil!!!. Continue the momentum of this success Azeem,” he said in a tweet on Twitter. – Bernama