National Sprinter Muhammad Azeem Set Sights for Hangzhou Asian Games Win

Pictures from Bernama

National Sprinter Muhammad Azeem Set Sights for Hangzhou Asian Games Win

BY: Michelle Liew

National sprint star, Muhammad Azeem Mohd. Fahmi now holds the status of the fifth best runner in Asia.

In the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, Azeem, 19, displayed an energetic run with a time of 10.25 seconds to claim fifth position in the 100 meters final at the Supachalasai National Stadium yesterday.

The Perak native is now setting his sights on breaking the national 100m record of 10.09s he previously set last year at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary from 19 to 27 August.

"It's a pretty high benchmark for me to go to the World Championships, and the Asian Games later. Although I didn't accomplish the time I wanted, I am very happy," he said.

The 100m gold medal was won by Japanese runner, Hiroki Yanagita with a time record of 10.02s, while the silver went to Abdullah Abkar Mohamed from Saudi Arabia (10.19s) and the bronze went to the Iranian athlete, Hassan Taftian (10.23).

Azeem missed out on fourth place through a photo-finish with Qatar's sprint king, Femi Ogunode who once held the Asian record with a record of 9.91s.

The success saw Azeem, who is currently based at Auburn University in Alabama, United States, become the best prospect for the national contingent to win a medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games in China next September.

The last time the country's representative reached the 100m final of the Asian Championships was through Khairul Hafiz Jantan in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar, India but his participation was cancelled due to a false start.

For the record, athletics legend Watson Nyambek remains the only national sprinter to win a medal at the Asian Championships after winning silver in the 1998 edition in Fukuoka, Japan.