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Post SEA Games Interview – Izwan Firdaus, “Running is my passion, I’m always hungry for more”
  • January 1st, 2010

National women discus thrower Wan Lay Chi was featured a few days back in our post SEA Games interview, who shared her plans to capture her SEA Games medal in Indonesia, 2011.

And today we highlight local sprinter Izwan Firdaus who was part of the 4x100m team that went to Laos, although the coach opted to slot-in another runner for the silver medal winning quartet, young Izwan is unfazed by the non-selection and says his time will come soon enough.

Photos courtesy of Elfi Mustapa

Izwan Firdaus

Izwan Firdaus enjoying his moment at the Sea Games

Izwan Firdaus enjoying his moment at the Sea Games

Gender: Male


Affiliation: Swift Athletics Club, ITE

Coach: Hamkah Afik

Post SEA Games result: 4x100m Reserve

So the SEA Games is over, what are you doing currently.

Well basically I’m just enjoying the holidays before I start my off-season training in January.

Going into the SEA Games Laos what were your goals, and expectations.

I was hoping to run at the Sea Games, and my goal is to get a medal and breaking the national record.

What was your normal daily routine when you were at Laos.

We spend time bonding with the team, played computer games, supporting other teammates in action. Plus we went to watch soccer at the main stadium.

How was the SEA Games village?

The Games village wasn’t too bad like we expected. It was very clean and somehow the place kinda bring the team closer together. The food was not bad as we were given variety of halal food.

I read you were replaced late into the competition with Amirudin. You were agonizingly close to run your SEA Games debut, how did it felt after finding out you won’t be running? What was the rationale behind the change. What do you think would be the outcome of the race, if you were to run instead?

Well as this is a team event, everyone will set one goal to get the gold medal and breaking the national record. And to do so, top four runners will be chosen. I’m proud that my team has done it. Well, everyone spirit were very high during the competition and so was mine. So if I were to run in the relay, I would say its gonna be the same outcome.

Tell us about your coach, Hamkah Afik, who happens to be your uncle.

Hamkah Afik coach to Izwan Firdaus, who happens to be his uncle too

Hamkah Afik coach to Izwan Firdaus, who happens to be his uncle too

Well my coach won the silver medal in the Sea games 1993 edition for the 200m event. And he was once the fastest 200m man in South-east Asia. He also won a couple of silver and bronze medal in the relay.

Share with us the relationship you have with your coach.

Well he’s my uncle. And I look up to him. Trusting him that someday, he can make my dream come true.

How has your coach helped to develop you all these years.

I started training under Hamkah again only in January this year. He is very careful with me because of my knee injury which is very fragile now. And barely 10 months training under him, I broke my personal best three times this year from 10.89 seconds to 10.86, 10.77 and now 10.73 seconds.

Share with us some of the sacrifices made by your coach.

My coach is a family man. He sacrificed a lot of time for his athletes. And sometime his family time would be on the track rather than with his family.

Tell us of your own sacrifices. What do you think you’re missing out compared to an average Singaporean dude, being a full-time student and juggling with training/competitions. Do you even feel that you’re missing out on anything, or the sports itself is your own self-gratification.

It’s definitely hard juggling everything at one go. But running is my passion and I do enjoy running and seeing the results. It is very satisfying. Every time I achieved good results, I’m always hungry for more.

During competition period, on a weekly basis how often do you train. Share with us some of the stuff you do during training.

I train six times a week. Monday to Saturday. Well on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I will train at ITE Simei. Wednesday and Saturday I will join the national team for relay training at Gombak stadium.

What are your plans for the next season.

Izwan Firdaus leads the pack, hoping that 2010 will be his year

Izwan Firdaus leads the pack, hoping that 2010 will be his year

My plan next season is to run a personal best in both 100m and 200m. And I wish to run in the individual event at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

This Sea Games is like a stepping stone for me, I know that I can bring myself to another higher level.

Goals and expectations for the next SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia? Will you still be around sprinting?

Yes if God is willing, I will still be around sprinting. My target for next Sea Games is to win something in both individual and team event.

If there anything in your current pursuit for gold that needs changes or more support.

If there were changes to be done, I definitely need sponsor for equipments and my daily nutrition. At this point, my parents were the one sponsoring me with all this despite the family facing financially tight times.

Overseas training camp would be nice so that we will be exposed to higher class athletes and we will definitely learn something new.

But I’m glad that this year, we were given many opportunities for overseas competition. And this is also one of the reason we broke the relay record.

What do you think can be done to improve the state of local athletics.

The reason why other countries such as Thailand can produce world class athletes is because they are given 100 per cent support from the government.

They are paid to run and even after retiring, they already have their future path laid. Working with the government as army officers, navy, police etc.

But in Singapore, it’s different. We run for the love of the sport and it’s more or less like a hobby.

Education still our number one priority because without education, even if you’re a gold medal winner in local context, your future is still uncertain.

What are your opinion on the SSC/MCYS vs SAA spat and war of words.

I think that both party should work together to help the athletes. Because we are the one running, and from my point of view, I think SAA technical director, Mr Veramani and his team had done a wonderful job in helping us in a way or another.

They sacrificed their time to assist us at training even if it’s way past their working hour. Therefore, I would like to thank them on behalf of my relay team.

Thank you Izwan for your participation.

Please contact me using the below form if there’s any individual or corporate entity who wishes sponsor and be part of Izwan Firdaus sporting journey.

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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