KUALA LUMPUR, National sprint coach Mohd Poad Md Kassim has posed a challenge to new athletes to cause surprises at the 2024 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Sarawak.

He urged young athletes to clock a time of at least 10.5 seconds (s) in order to become a part of the existing sprinter lineup.

“This is because current sprinters like Jonathan Nyepa are already 27 years old, Khairul Hafiz Jantan is 26 years old, we hope there are newbies who can record times of 10.4s or 10.5s.

“At the moment, we still rely on Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi but he is in the United States. So we need replacements to achieve such times for them to be fielded and as backups to existing athletes,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

As for the national 4×100 metres quartet, Mohd Poad said he is still scouting for the top four sprinters to carry Malaysia’s challenge at the upcoming championship.

At the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Azeem, Khairul Hafiz, Muhammad Arsyad Md. Saat and Jonathan formed the the 4x100m quartet, while another runner,
Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi, suffered a hamstring injury at that time.

However, Muhammad Haiqal made a comeback at the Kuala Lumpur Allcomers Championship and proved he was not ready to be written off just yet, clinching the silver medal in the men’s 100m event with a time of 10.59 s in early March.

Meanwhile, Mohd Poad added that the national sprint squad will be competing in six Super Series Championships, which will commence in Johor Bahru on April 6.

He said that the national sprint squad will also compete in the Hong Kong Open Athletics Championship in May and the Malaysia Open Athletics Championship in June.

“I think as far as the Super Series schedule, it’s sufficient but perhaps athletes need two or three more international competitions. I hope the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) can increase the number of international competitions for our athletes,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency