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Hakimi won’t rest on laurels after triple thrill in last two months

KUALA LUMPUR: The last two months have been the best times in national triple jumper Muhd Hakimi Ismail’s life.
On July 24, his wife gave birth to their first child – a baby boy. “I named my son Muhammad Ayden Matiian,” said the proud dad.
Then, last month, the 26-year-old Perak athlete ended his last competition of the year – the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games – by defending his gold medal and breaking his own Games record with a jump of 16.77m.
It bettered his own previous Games mark of 16.76m set at the Singapore Games in 2015.
There was further good news for Hakimi as his SEA Games mark surpassed the sixth-placing qualifying mark for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games from April 4-15.
The qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games is 16.26m, but Hakimi’s SEA Games record is even better than the bronze-medal effort of India’s Arpinder Singh (16.63m).
As satisfied as he is with how things have panned out, Hakimi is not one to rest on his laurels.
In fact, he has set himself a goal for next year: break the 17-metre mark in triple jump.
“I had some anxious moments when I suffered a right ankle injury in training in April. It affected my performance. But I’m glad that I recovered in time to give my best in the SEA Games,” said Hakimi, who is pursuing a degree in education at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
“I’ve had the best two months of my life. My wife gave birth to our first child and then I won the SEA Games gold medal with a new record.
“I’m done with competitions this year, but I will start my training next week as I still need to improve on my endurance and jumping techniques.
“I believe that I have the ability to jump further. I also want to make an impact at the Commonwealth Games as well as at the (Jakarta) Asian Games (from Aug 18-Sept 2, 2018),” said Hakimi, who has been training under Russian coach Victor Sotnikov since 2009.
Hakimi had also featured in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, finishing sixth with 16.29m.
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