Wednesday March 13, 2013
Iskandar aims to be Asiaís best pole vaulter
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Teenager Iskandar Alwi has set his sights on becoming Asiaís top menís pole vaulter after breaking the national record at the FTAA All-Comers Athletics Championships at the National Sports Council (NSC) Training Track in Bukit Jalil last Saturday.
The 19-year-old Kluang-born athlete leapt to a personal best height of 5.01m to erase the 11-year-old record of 5.00m set by his coach Teh Weng Chang in 2002.
He has also qualified for Myanmar SEA Games by surpassing the qualifying mark of 5.00m, which is the silver medal winning mark of the previous Games.
Iskandar left for Taiwan on Monday to participate in the Taiwan International Indoor Pole Vault championships this weekend with the hope of finishing on the podium.
Iskandar, who took up the event only four years ago, said that he not only wants to return home with a medal but also wants to keep improving.
ďMy mission this year is to win a medal in the SEA Games and to achieve that I need to clear 5.20m. It will be really great if I can win the gold in the Games and then proceed to be the best pole vaulter in Asia,Ē said Iskandar.
Iskandar, who also holds the Sukma (Malaysia Games) record of 4.80m, which he set in Kuantan last year, said that hopes to earn a berth to the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olymics.
ďMy childhood dream is compete in the Olympics and to achieve that I have to clear at least 5.60m,Ē said Iskandar, who is doing his pre-university studies at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
Besides Iskandar, two other women pole vaulters Valerie Tan Ee Leen and Chuah Yu Tian, will also feature in the Taiwan meet.
Valerie won gold in the FTAAA All-Comers meet by clearing 3.40m while Yu Tian bagged the silver with a height of 3.20m.
Valerie, who is waiting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination results, won the gold in the Asian School Championships in Surabaya by clearing 3.40m last year.
The two women pole vaulters are slated to take over from four-time SEA Games gold medallist Roslinda Samsu, who retired two months ago.