Sprinter Azeem wins first 100m race in the US

KUALA LUMPUR: Sprinter Azeem Fahmi got off to a good start in his first 100m race in the United States (US) last Friday.

The Auburn University student hit the tape in 10.32s to win the blue riband event in the FSU Relays in Mike Long Track Tallahassee, Florida.

Andre Ewers clocked 10.49s for bronze, while Trei Thorogood finished third in 10.51s.

Azeem's effort, however, was way off his national record of 10.09s he set in the World Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia last August.

Azeem's last 100m race before heading to the US was the Malaysia Games in Bukit Jalil in September last year. He clocked 10.25s to win gold.

Azeem is trained by coach Ken Harnden and supervised by former Olympic champion Leroy Burrell.

Azeem's former coach Amir Izwan said the sprinter was probably satisfied with his effort on Friday.

"It was his first 100m race since he arrived in the US on Jan 4. It is a good start for Azeem. However, he has to maintain consistent times.

"I believe he will do much better in his next event," said Amir, who was Azeem's coach at SMK Gunung Rapat in Ipoh.

Azeem has smashed the national 60m record twice in the US. He clocked 6.65s at the Texas Tech Invite in Lubbock in January to erase the previous record of 6.66s set by Watson Nyambek at the World Championships in Maebashi, Japan in 1999.

A few weeks later, in the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, he bettered the national mark by clocking 6.62s to finish in fifth in the final.

Azeem's goal is to dip below 10s to qualify for the World Championships in Budapest from Aug 19 to 27.

The world meet's qualifying mark is 10s flat.

Azeem, who will turn 19 on April 29, is pursuing a degree in exercise physiology and kinesiology at Auburn University.

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