Azeem powers up for Cali championships

KUALA LUMPUR: Sprinter Azeem Fahmi is in smashing form for the World Junior Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia, from Aug 2 to 7.

He clocked a personal best of 20.89 seconds to break the 200m meet record at the Sarawak Junior Open at Sarawak Stadium today.

The 18-year-old Perak athlete erased the previous mark of 22.65 set by Asly Chua of Sarawak in 2015. He also shattered the national junior record of 20.90 set by Khairul Hafiz Jantan at the Malaysian Open in 2017.

Azeem, who has earlier qualified for the 100m of the World Junior, will also compete in the 200m in Cali, having surpassed the qualifying mark of 21.40.

Azeem, whose previous best was 21.04 which he did in 2019, said: "I am so thrilled as I could only clock a slow time of 22.05 in the heats. But in the final, I ran as fast as I could, and I could not believe that I dipped below 21 seconds.

"This is the best race of my life in the 200m, and I am so happy to be competing in both the sprint events in the World Junior meet," said Azeem who has a personal best of 10.28 for the 100m, which he clocked at the Perak Open last month.

Elvin Yap, who will also go to the World Junior Championships, broke the boys' 110m hurdles record with a time of of 14.13 against the old mark of 14.70 set by Reymar Manuel Tabari of Sarawak in 2017. But Elvin's time was way off his personal best of 14.02 set at the Johor Junior Open in May.

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