Newsflash: Hakeem breaks 110m hurdles record, and this time it should be the real deal

My contact at the Perak Open tells me that hurdler Abdul Hakeem Abdul Halim has finally done it – he has broken the national men’s 110m hurdles record, the oldest national mark left in Singapore athletics.

It seems Hakeem clocked 14.49sec in the heats – 0.27sec faster than Osman Merican’s 14.76sec mark which was set in 1966. Hakeem finished second in the final eventually in a slower time.

I hear that Hakeem’s time has a strong chance of being ratified as the new national record as there was a wind gauge at the meet, recording a wind speed of +1.0 m/s.

Apparently, there was no wind gauge present at the Asean University Games back in December when Hakeem first went under the national mark with a time of 14.45sec.

As a result, the Singapore Athletics Association was not able to ratify the time and confirm it as the new national record. Apparently, the SAA wrote to the organisers of the Asean University Games to ask them for the windspeed but they have not replied. Amazing.

That was also why Osman’s time was still in the record books when the SAA released the updated list of national marks at the start of this year.

My heartiest congratulations to Hakeem.

What a great job by the young man, and I hope this will help to spur him on to qualify for the SEA Games.

It is probably not going to be easy as the qualifying mark is 14.00sec but let’s hope Hakeem puts in a string of consistently improving times from now on so as to strengthen his case for being nominated for the Games even if he doesn’t qualify outright in the end.

I hear too that Stefan Tseng won the triple jump at the Perak Open with a 15.56m effort. It’s way below his national mark of 16.04m and the SEA Games qualifying mark of 16.07m but then again, it’s his first competitive meet since recovering from a heel injury.

Also, national long jumper Matthew Goh, who set a new national mark of 7.53m and qualified for the SEA Games back in June, showed consistency as he finished second in the long jump final at the Perak Open.

His six jumps included two 7.44m efforts. That’s a good sign. I hear he lost the gold by 1cm.

Back to Hakeem: well done, and here’s wishing you all the best in your quest to set new standards in the hurdles.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

17 December 2008 – Hakeem breaks Singapore’s oldest track record

23 February 2009 – Hakeem’s national 110m hurdles record not recognised by SAA

26 April 2009 – Newsflash: Singapore’s athletes break five national records at Negri Sembilan Open

6 June 2009 – Newsflash: Matthew breaks national long jump record, qualifies for SEA Games

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