Hangzhou: The national record holder in the 100-meter (m) sprint, Muhammad Azeem Fahmi, fulfilled his promise to bring home a medal for his country by clinching bronze in the blue-ribbon event at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Azeem ended the medal drought in this event, which had last been won by Datuk Rabuan Pit, who secured gold at the New Delhi Asian Games in 1982.
The 19-year-old runner from Perak clocked a time of 10.11 seconds to finish in third place, trailing behind China’s Xie Zhenye, who clinched gold with a time of 9.97 seconds.
The silver medal went to Boonson Puripol from Thailand, the gold medalist at the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games, who recorded a time of 10.02 seconds.
When interviewed, Azeem expressed his surprise at stepping onto the podium because all the successful finalists had achieved their personal best (PB) and season’s best (SB) times in the race.
“This is my first international medal. Even though I am the national record holder with a time of 10.09 seconds, I have never won at the international level. Although it’s only a bronze, it means a lot. This medal is for my parents. I promised them that I would bring home a medal in the final championship, and I have fulfilled that promise.
“Alhamdulillah, this success is also the result of the prayers of the entire Malaysian population, my parents, and my friends,” he said.
Previously, it was the second bronze medal for the national sports contingent, with Shereen Samson Vallabouy claiming one in the 400m event.
Shereen finished the race with a time of 52.58 seconds, while Bahrain’s Mujidat Adekonya secured gold (50.66 seconds), and fellow Malaysian Salwa Eid Naser took home silver with a time of 50.92 seconds.
The last time the sports squad won medals was through Roslinda Samsu, who claimed silver in the pole vault event, and Noraseela Khalid, who clinched gold in the 400m hurdles at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.