KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 – National high jumper Lee Hup Wei has boosted his chances of securing a berth at the Tokyo Olympics after winning the Qosanov Memorial Track and Field Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan today.
The 34-year-old clinched gold after climbing 2.10m (m), well below his personal best of 2.29m set in 2019.
This was a slight improvement from his season record of 2.05m set at the Malaysian Open Athletics Grand Prix (GP) in April, despite a sprained ankle today.
Timur Rakhmatullaev of Uzbekistan won the silver medal in the countdown after he and Alexandr Timoshin of Kazakhstan both cleared 2.08m.
Meanwhile, sprinters Jonathan Nyepa and Muhammad Ilham Suhaimi took silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 200m.
Jonathan, who also won silver in the 100m yesterday, clocked 21.76 seconds while Muhammad Ilham finished in 21.92 seconds. Kazakh Vitaliy Zems won gold in 21.19 seconds.
In the men’s triple jump, Muhammad Hakimi Ismail missed the podium by just 0.19 centimeters after jumping 15.62m.
Iranian Hamid Reza Kia (16.18m) won gold, Uzbekistan Ivan Denisov (16.10m) silver and Islam Sibagatullin (15.81m) bronze.
National team director Datuk Wan Hisham Wan Salleh said the meeting had served its purpose by providing much-needed tournament exposure to the athletes, who have gone without international competition for more than a year due to the pandemic of COVID-19.
“Overall it has been a good show for the athletes but they need more international level competition and continued support from all parties. Hup Wei managed to earn extra points for his world ranking (towards Olympic qualification).
“After that we have to deal with the injuries sustained by (long jumper) Andre Anura Anuar, Hup Wei and Hakimi. Hup Wei should be fine in a week or two, Hakimi has suffered from a bone spur while Andre is suffering from a recurrent hamstring injury, ”he said when contacted.
Yesterday Connie Chu Kang Ni won gold in the women’s discus while Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian took bronze in the men’s 110m hurdles. – Bernama