The national record for the 100m event which was held by Watson Nyambek for 17 years was broken by Badrul Hisham Abdul Manap on the first day of the Asean Schools meet in Brunei, yesterday.
The 18-year-old Malacca-born athlete, who was the defending champion in the event, recorded a time of 10.29 seconds to demolish Watson's record of 10.30 seconds which was set at the Malaysian Open Athletics Championship in 1998.
Second place went to another national athlete, Asnawi Hashim, who clocked 10.71s while Worawutsalabal of Thailand finished in 10.87s to claim third spot at the Tutong Sport Complex.
In the meantime, the national contingent added two more gold medals via Muhammad Adil Taufek in the men's shot putt with a throw of 15.21m and Quek Lee Yong who clocked 52.18s in the men's 400m hurdles.
Earlier, Malaysia added two gold medals from swimming to keep pace with leader Indonesia with five gold medals, three silver and one bronze medal.
Indonesia reigned supreme on the first day with seven gold medals, six silver medals and one bronze while Vietnam was third with four gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
For the record, Malaysia emerged overall champions in the annual sporting event in 2010 which was held in Kuala Lumpur and last year in the Philippines.
Watson: Badrul's achievement extraordinary at his age
Meanwhile, Watson said Badrul Hisham’s achievement was extraordinary at his age.
“I congratulate him for creating a new 100m national record. He can go far and I believe he can run in a world class time of below 10.00s to match Olympics or world record holders, with proper training,” he told Bernama in Miri today.
Watson, who set the national sprint record in 1998, said Badrol needs proper training, better supplements for his body and coaches who understand the science of sprinting.
The 39-year old Watson said Badrul’s achievement would be a big boost for athletics, especially in next year’s Malaysia Games (Sukma) that will be held in Sarawak.
“His achievement will attract crowds as well as provide a challenge to all young and upcoming athletes in the country,” he said.
Watson said he met Badrol for the first time in Sibu in September at an athletics meet and was amazed by Badrol’s humble attitude.
The Sarawakian, who is now coaching young athletes in the Flying Dayak Club that he had set up in September, meanwhile, pleaded to the state government to give more recognition to Sarawak-born athletes who had excelled in sports at the national and international level.
“Even I was not given recognition by the state government after I retired, I am disappointed until today,” he said.
He said if the trend continues, then sports development in the state will not be fully developed because the state government refusing to take care of the welfare of athletes and former athletes.