#SEAGames: Rayzam Shah is Malaysia’s hope for gold in athletics

Who is Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian? 

This 29-year-old from Sabah is Malaysia’s track and field athlete, who has competed in multifarious world and Asian championships.

Rayzam came in second in the 110 m hurdles event at the 2015 SEA Games held in Singapore. He lost to Thailand’s Jamras Rittidet, who beat him by setting a brand new record at the 2015 SEA Games. Rittidet registered an impressive 13.69 seconds on the clock, although Rayzam came in second and very close at 13.97 seconds.

But Rayzam is determined to turn things around this year. Come August, he will be competing in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, where he aims to bag a gold medal for Malaysia.

Who will Rayzam have to defeat in order to bag gold? 

Apart from diligent training, Rayzam’s new-found confidence also stemmed for rumours that his arch-nemesis, Jamras Rittidet might be retiring this year. Although nothing is certain, it certainly breathes some hope into securing one more potential gold medal for Malaysia.

“I don’t want to get my hopes up although rumour has it that Jamras is currently struggling with a back injury he sustained, and he’s also having problems with his coach.” Rayzam told Harian Metro.

“But whether Jamras is competing in the SEA Games or not, that shouldn’t be my main focus. There are rumours, however, that he has already retired, while some sources say he’s already gone into coaching. But those are not reliable sources, so nothing is confirmed.”

“What I’m going to do is continue with my training and do my best at the SEA Games.” said Rayzam, whose personal best record is registering 13.81 seconds at the Melbourne Albert Park in 2012.

The training goes on…  

Rayzam, who also competed at the Asian Indoor Championships in Doha last year, will be spending a lot of time in South Africa for his SEA Games preparations. Together with his coach, Jan May, Rayzam is bent on making the best out of his training and doing the nation proud in August.