Azeem gets another American offer

KUALA LUMPUR: Sprint sensation Azeem Fahmi has got another offer to study and train in the United States.

Auburn University in Alabama is the second American university to offer the Perak athlete a place. The other is the University of Minnesota.

Coach Amir Izwan said he received a phone call from an Auburn University official last week after Azeem's stellar performance at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia.

"I am pleased with the offer for Azeem. This is the second American university to do so.

"Azeem got the offer from Auburn University after he clocked a personal best of 10.09 seconds in Cali," said Amir.

At the world junior meet, Azeem ran 10.09 in the heats to set a national record. He posted 10.19 in the semi-finals after finishing second, and in the final he clocked 10.14 to finish fifth.

Azeem, 18, is the fifth fastest junior sprinter in the world based on his 10.09.

In the 200m heat, Azeem recorded a personal best of 20.83 to finish first. He broke his own national junior record of 20.89 in the process. In the semis, he clocked 20.97 to finish fourth.

The National Sports Council have also listed two other American universities for Azeem: the University of Houston and the University of Oregon.

"Azeem has been in high spirits since returning from Cali and he wants to continue proving himself in competitions," said Amir.

He said Azeem will have a few days' break before resuming his training on Monday at Teluk Intan for next month's Malaysia Games.

The coach said he wants the speedster to maintain his time of 10.10 at the Malaysia Games.

"Now that he has smashed the national 100m record, I want him to also break the 200m record of 20.77 (set by Russel Alexander Nasir Taib in 2019)," added Amir.

Azeem, who was warmly welcomed by fans at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday upon his arrival from Cali, said he felt honoured to receive such a reception.

"I thank all Malaysians for their support and I hope to make them proud with my achievements in competitions," said Azeem.

Among those at KLIA to welcome Azeem was his proud SMK Gunung Rapat headmaster Ahmad Haridan Mohamed.

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