By Luqman Hakim
A new sprint sensation has emerged in the form of Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi, 15, who is being acclaimed as the world’s fastest 200m sprinter in the Under-16 category.
This is based on a statement by a member of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, Jad Adrian Washif who described Azeem’s achievement as one of the best in the world of all time.
Azeem expressed his desire to join the high-performance training programme only after completion of his SPM examination in another two years’ time.
A former student of a full-boarding school, Azeem wants to remain and train in Ipoh although he has been offered the facilities in Bukit Jalil and abroad.
Azeem has no desire to change his current training schedule and environment which have helped him clock the fastest 200m for his age category.
“I don’t plan to train abroad for the moment, as I want to complete my studies first. Doing well in my SPM examination is my aim. A good education will ensure a better future. Moreover, I can’t be running all my life,” he told Ipoh Echo when met recently.
Azeem stunned the crowd with a new record in the below-15 male 200m event at the recent Malaysia Schools Sports Council (MSSM) meet in Johor in April. He breasted the tape in 21.24 seconds. He also smashed the 100m and long jump records.
The Ipoh lad won the blue riband event at an athletics championship in the Philippines in March with a record time of 10.69 seconds.
Azeem’s feats enabled him to be absorbed into the national training programme for budding athletes.