The Melaka-born sprinter said he had to work hard from now to make his debut at the three major championships, namely the 2018 World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham, England on March 1 to 4, 2018, the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia (April 4 – 15, 2018) and the 2018 Asia Games in Jakarta, Indonesia (Aug 18 to Sept 2).
“Alhamdulillah, I have fully recovered from the thigh muscle strains which I sustained at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) and I thank the National Sports Institute (ISN), National Sports Council and coaches for the support and motivation rendered while I was recuperating from the injury,” he told Bernama here recently.
The winner of the gold medal in the men’s 100-metre event at KL2017 said he was determined to do his level best at the three championships.
“If I cannot win any medal, I hope at least I can break my best personal record of 10.38s recorded at KL2017 and 10.18s at the Malaysia Games in 2016,” he said.
Khairul Hafiz said the World Athletics Championship, Commonwealth Games and Asia Games were important for him to show to the world that Malaysian athletes could also be tough competitors.
“I believe many of the best athletes in the world will participate in the three championships but it will not deter me from performing my best for the country,” he said.
He is scheduled to undergo a one-month training in Germany from February 2018 and to proceed to Birmingham to take part in the world championship in March.
For the record, at KL2017, Khairul Hafiz ended Malaysia’s 14-year drought for the gold medal in the men’s 100 metres by beating defending champion, Eric Cray from the Philippines by clocking 10.38 seconds.
The last time Malaysia won the medal was through Nazmizan Muhammad at the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam.
The national sprint champion also demonstrated an extraordinary performance when he recorded 10.18 seconds at the 2016 Malaysia Games in Sarawak and broke the national record of 10.30 seconds by Watson Nyambek, 18 years ago.