KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asian fastest man Khairul Hafiz Jantan ran a ‘slow’ 100m race and finished outside the podium in the Malaysian Open Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
Khairul clocked 10.64s to finish fifth while teammate Jonathan Nyepa took silver in 10.40s while defending champion Haiqal Hanafi won bronze in 10.58s
Vinoj Suranjaya won the race in 10.27s, but it was not enough for the Sri Lankan sprinter to qualify for the Indonesia Asian Games in August.
The qualifying mark for the Asian Games is 10.26s.
Going by Khairul’s poor form, it will likely be a struggle for the Malaysian to make the Asian Games cut under Category A.
The 100m race started after the rain, and Khairul claimed that Vinoj should have been disqualified for a false start.
“I am upset and disappointed as Vinoj on lane five should have been thrown out of the race. I thought the referee would stop the race and disqualify the Sri Lankan but that did not happen.
"So, I blasted off the blocks late and could not catch up with the others. It was also a difficult race as the tracks were wet,” said Khairul.
Khairul will compete run in the 200m on Saturday.
In the women’s 100m final, Zaidatul Husniah clocked 11.65s to win the gold ahead of Sri Lanka’s silver medallist R M Rumeskhika Rathnayake (11.76s).
Malaysia’s S. Komalam Shally took bronze in 11.91s.