'Ironman' Irfan comes up short again in Paris Olympic bid

KUALA LUMPUR: Irfan Shamsuddin's throw of 56.68m was enough to win him the men's discus silver medal on Sunday in Osaka but not a Paris Olympics ticket.

The 28-year-old's effort fell more than five metres short of his national record (62.55m) at the Kinami Michitaka Memorial Athletics Championships.

Japan's Yuji Tsutsumi won gold with 58.04m, while compatriot Shinichi Yukinagawith (55.92m) bagged the bronze.

Irfan, a six-time Sea Games champion, however, has to do better to qualify for the Paris Olympics in July on merit.

His coach, Frantisek Petrovic, was not pleased with Irfan's performance.

"His throw was nowhere near his personal best. He needs to throw 66 metres and beyond to seal his Olympic spot," said Petrovic.

Irfan, who will compete in the Pahang Open this weekend, has until the end of next month to earn his Paris berth.

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