MAAU plan to send Rayzam for overseas training
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) have big plans for 19-year-old hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian.
Rayzam, who was a surprise winner in the Korat SEA Games, is not in any of the National Sports Council’s (NSC) project squads.
The Sabahan made a golden debut by winning the 110m hurdles at the biennial Games. En route to victory he clocked a personal best of 13.91 to break the Games record of 13.92 set by Thailand’s Susphan Wongsrisphuck in Hanoi in 2003.
MAAU coaching and development committee chairman Karim Ibrahim said that Rayzam has a bright future and they are making arrangements to send him for overseas training.
“He has shown tremendous improvement despite not being in the national project squad. Furthermore, he trains in Kota Kinabalu under his personal coach Raymie (A. Bakar) and has established himself as the best 110m hurdler in the South-east Asian region.
“He is capable of becoming the top hurdler in Asia and we have plans to send him either to the United States or England for training,” said Karim.
Karim added that they have written to the University of Illinois in the US to include Rayzam in their training programmes.
“All the world’s top hurdlers train there and it will definitely benefit him by running against the best,” said Karim
He added that MAAU have also talked to a few coaches to base Rayzam in England.
“We are waiting for replies from the coaches. We also hope the OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) will help Rayzam get an IOC (International Olympic Committee) Solidarity Scholarship so that he can train overseas,” said Karim.
He added that by training overseas, Rayzam would be able to achieve his dream of not only breaking the national record of 13.73 (set by Nur Herman Majid in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games) but also qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
The qualifying mark under category A is 13.55 while for category B it is 13.72.
Karim added that they would send Rayzam to the Asian Indoor meet in Doha in February.
“It will be a good opportunity for him to assess his form against the best in Asia,” said Karim.