Umar aims to break men’s national 400m record again

JOHOR BAHRU – National athlete Umar Osman is still not satisfied despite springing a surprise at the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games and is determined to break the national men’s 400-metre (m) record again.

Umar clocked 46.34 seconds (s) at the biennial Games to erase the almost 22-year-old mark of 46.41s set by Mohd Zaiful Zainal Abidin at the Asian Junior Championships in Brunei in July 2001.

The 20-year-old said that making his debut in the biennial Games as an underdog drove him to make a name for himself and made him even more determined to bring home the gold medal for the country.

“Of course, I was shocked that I broke the record, but because I came into the Games as an underdog, it felt very magical and miraculous.

“It felt satisfying, but I cannot become complacent and I am targeting the gold again as well as setting a new record. For me, records are made to be broken, so I intend to do it again and remain consistent,” he said when met at the Ibrahim Sultan Polytechnic (PIS) 25 Years of Excellence Programme and Hari Raya celebration, here, today.

Umar, who also bagged a bronze in the men’s 4x100m event at the Cambodia SEA Games, said his next assignment will be in September when he competes in the 2023 World University Games and Asian Games.

“Training (for these two Games) has not been drawn up in detail yet, but I am ready and am already training at the PIS field and, on weekends, I train at EduCity and Mount Austin as well as in Singapore,” he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to his coach of two years, Simon Lau Ching Meng, and former Olympian Nordin Mohamed Jadi for always encouraging him.

“Nordin often inspires and motivates me. Although he never trained me, the faith he has in me and the guidance from my coach is enough to help me move forward,” he said.

In Cambodia, the Johor Bahru-born Umar clinched the 400m gold medal by finishing ahead of Filipinos Umajesty Wesley Lachicha Williams (46.52s) and Frederick Cabatu Ramirez (46.63s) – Bernama