Going under 10s

Azeem Fahmi is hungry for more and aims to become the greatest Malaysian sprinter of all time.

And his coach Amir Izwan believes the Perak-born will be the first Malaysian to dip below 10 seconds in the 100m.

The 18-year-old has been impressive of late with personal-best marks achieved in the 100m (10.28s) at the Perak Open on June 18 and the 200m (20.89s) at the Sarawak Junior Open yesterday.

His 200m mark erased the national junior record of 20.90 set by Khairul Hafiz Jantan in the 2017 Malaysian Open.

And Azeem now hopes to break the event's national record of 20.77 set by Russel Alexander Nasir Taib in Brisbane in 2019.

Amir said: "Based on his outstanding performances in the last two meets, I believe he has a bright future. He has the ability to become Malaysia's greatest sprinter.

"If everything goes to plan, I believe he will be the first Malaysian sprinter to dip below 10 seconds in the blue riband event. The target is to achieve it in two years.

"I am also confident Azeem will clock 20.10 or 20.20 in the 200m by 2024.

"Azeem is a dedicated athlete, and he will do his best to achieve his goals," said Amir.

Azeem, meanwhile, hopes to meet his coach's targets.

"There is no limit in achieving your dreams. I will go all out to achieve these targets to become the greatest Malaysian sprinter.

"It is not easy to dip below 10 seconds in the 100m. I definitely have to train harder to achieve it by 2024.

"Things are great for me in the domestic competitions, but it is time for me to shine in international meets."

Meanwhile, Azeem hopes to turn heads in both the 100m and 200m events at the World Junior Championships in Colombia from Aug 2-7.

Amir said the world junior meet will be a perfect platform to make an impression and claim the "best Malaysian sprinter" tag.

"Azeem has a chance of qualifying for the 100m final in Colombia if he can achieve or dip below his PB of 10.28," said Amir.

In the last world junior meet in Kenya, Poland's Oliwer Wdowik, who clocked 10.37, was the last qualifier to reach the 100m final.

"However, it would be tough to reach the 200m final as the Kenya edition saw all eight finalists clocking 20.70.

"Azeem will focus on improving his endurance and leg muscles ahead of the world junior meet," Azim added.

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