: National triple jumper R. Kirthana was unhappy with her jump of 13.18 metres under the scorching sun despite winning the gold medal at the 94th Malaysian Open Athletics Championship at Bukit Jalil National Stadium here, today.
The 20-year-old Perakian was disappointed for unable to surpass her personal best of 13.48m set at the G. Kosanov Memorial Tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan, last month.
“The lack of challenge due to lower number of participants in the event is another reason for the poor performance,” said the 2016 Malaysian Games (Sukma) silver medallist in long jump and triple jump.
Only five athletes participated in the triple jump.
Kirthana aims to jump over 13.70 at the SEA Games for a chance to win the gold medal on home turf.
“The weather was too hot and we became tired very fast.The jumping events are not suitable to be held under hot sun.
“Holding them in the morning and late evening is better as it will not be so hot. I hope for the SEA Games, the jumping events are not held in the afternoon.
“Besides the heat, my main rivals in the SEA Games from Vietnam and Thailand are not here. Only the jumpers from Indonesia and Laos participated. I have to push harder to do better in the SEA Games,” she told reporters after the prize giving ceremony here, today.
Laenly Phouthavong of Laos won the silver medal (12.09m) while Riska Nuliananda of Indonesia (11.29m) took home the bronze medal.
Kirthana’s dream is to break the national record of 13.90m set by Noor Amirah Nafiah at the 2012 Malaysia Open Championships.
Tomorrow, she will compete in the women’s long jump together with her rival and best friend, Noor Shahidatun Nadia Zuki of Kedah.
“For the long jump, I hope to do reach the 6 metre mark compared to my personal best of 5.94m. I will try to win a medal in the long jump in the SEA Games although my favourite event is the triple jump,” she said.