Hurdler Rayzam Shah hopes new Sabah govt will develop sports facilities

The flurry of events ahead of the Sabah election that was held last Saturday failed to distract Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian from his daily training routine.

The national athlete, who trains in Kota Kinabalu, did not bump into any politician during the campaigning period.

But he hopes that the new state government leaders will pay some attention to sports.

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, which comprises Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), won 38 seats, Warisan Plus obtained 32 seats while three seats were won by independents in the 16th state election.

“I really hope the new government will develop the state, especially sports,” said Rayzam who holds the national 110m hurdles record of 13.67s.

“I hope there would be an upgraded gym in Kota Kinabalu. And it should be strictly for the athletes.

“Right now the Likas Sports Complex here is being used as a Covid-19 quarantine centre and this has disrupted my gym training.”

Sabah has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases since Sept 1 after recording over 1,000 cases. This has forced the government to impose the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna.

“I’m glad my training at the track has not been disrupted. I’m gearing up for next year’s SEA Games and my goal is to win the gold medal.”

Rayzam hopes to reclaim his title of being the fastest hurdler in Southeast Asia after winning the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur but managing only the silver in the 2019 edition in Manila.

It was a close call for Rayzam in the Philippines after he and Filipino track star Clinton Kingsley Bautista clocked 13.97s in the 110m hurdles final. Clinton was named winner but the Malaysian side protested and filed an appeal.

Following a review by the organisers, the appeal was rejected because the medal presentation had concluded and the photo finish showed Bautista crossing the line first.

Rayzam also hoped that the sporting amenities in his hometown Keningau will also be upgraded.

“We need a track there … I believe there’s one being constructed but I’m not sure if it’s completed. We need a proper gym in Keningau too.

“I also hope that the roads in Keningau be widened. There are many vehicles in Keningau these days,” he added.