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Azeem shows potential to excel
Published on: Friday, August 05, 2022
By: Bernama
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Azeem (left) competes in the 200m semi-final in Cali, Colombia.
Kuala Lumpur: The country’s latest sprint sensation Muhammad Azeem Fahmi may have failed to win a medal at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia but he has every reason to walk with his head held high.

Just like an unpolished diamond, Azeem at just 18 now, has a world of opportunities to excel on the international stage since he has already explored the depth of his potential at the very stage where potential world champions excel.

It was indeed a proud moment for the entire nation when Azeem ran a blistering 10.09s to shatter the national 100m record of 10.18s set by Khairul Hafiz Jantan in 2016.

The Perak-born sprinter is the first Malaysian to qualify for the sprint final in the meet.

Never mind the fact that he had finished fifth in the final with a time of 10.14s and ended his 200m debut in the semi-finals, what was important is that he can only get better if given the right approach, coaching, mentoring and support.

Azeem who clocked 20.83s in the 200m heats at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium, failed to get past the semi-finals – which were delayed for 2 hours due to bad weather – finishing in fourth place with a time of 20.97s.

“Got delayed for two hours and ran in bad conditions but Alhamdulillah I made it through until the finishing line. Nothing to be ashamed and I’m so proud of myself to be this far. Running on the world stage is really something and I learned a lot.

“Thanks, everyone for supporting me over the past few days, I promise you will see the first Malaysian run sub 10 seconds very soon,” wrote Muhammad Azeem in his Instagram posting, Thursday.

His coach Muhammad Amir Izwan Tan Abdullah said though Azeem did not make it to the 200m final, he had tried his best.

“I cannot complain or be disappointed because Azeem maintained his form throughout the championships. He gave his best. Clocking 20.83s in his debut of the 200m is a positive sign because the race was after he had run three 100m races in 2 days,” said Amir when contacted on Thursday.

In the 200m semi-finals, Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, winner of the 100m title, clocked 20.23s to win ahead of Anthony Smith from Turkey (20.83s) and Australia’s Aidan Murphy 20.84s.

Only the top two from each of the three semi-finals and the two fastest finishers in the three semi-finals qualify for the final.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Amir said upon his return to Malaysia next week, Azeem will continue his training regime to prepare for the Sukma in September.

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