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Khairul Hafiz conquers Southeast Asia with 100m gold

23 Août 2017

In 10.38 seconds last night, Malaysian sprinter Khairul Hafiz Jantan ended his country's 14-year wait for another men's 100m gold.

The last time Malaysia bagged the gold in the blue ribband event was at the 2003 Vietnam Games when Nazmizan Muhammad emerged the victor.

When the starting gun for the men's 100m final went off, their cheers reached a crescendo and peaked as their hero, arms raised, crossed the finish line first.

The race was not particularly fast - Khairul Hafiz's time of 10.38 seconds was enough to edge out previous champion, Eric Shauwn Cray of Philippines, who ran 10.43.

He took a tumble on the track but got up nearly immediately, after which he was instantly surrounded by photographers as he embraced his coach Poad Kassim, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Malaysia's Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin.

The 19-year-old, from Melaka, became the first Malaysian man since Nazmizan Muhammad in 2003 to win the blue riband athletic event at the Games.

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Earlier, Zainatul Husniah Zulkifli won silver in the women's 100m sprint.

But Khairul Hafiz, who holds the national record of 10.18, will be remembered for the colour of his medal, not the time on the scoreboard.

He will be competing in the 200m and 4x100m relay today.

"I thank Allah for Khairul's victory".

"I am grateful because it is my first time at the SEA Games and I won gold for Malaysia, in Malaysia, with all my friends here".

"I want to go to the Olympics", he declared.

Khairul Hafiz conquers Southeast Asia with 100m gold