Limbang schoolboy hurdler strikes Aussie gold

Maxxius (with the medals) receives a hero’s welcome upon his return to Limbang yesterday. Pelepius is seen on front row standing (fourth left).

LIMBANG: 15-year-old schoolboy Maxxius Philip did Sarawak proud when he won the gold medal in the 100m hurdles (13.16sec) and a silver in the 300m hurdles (40.75sec) at the Little Athletics Western Australia Track & Field Championships held in Perth, Australia from March 2-4.

The annual international meet of the ‘Little Athletics’ movement serves to promote athletics among the young. Conventionally, track & field competitions feature the 110, 200 and 400m hurdles.

Coach Pelebius John was thrilled with the result and was quick to highlight the difficulties that his protege faced.

“To me it is a success despite all the odds including having to adapt to cold climate and also change in diet and also lack of rest for Maxxius,” he told The Borneo Post.

Maxxius, a Form Three student of SMK Seri Patiambun, Limbang is a young man in a hurry.

He is training and competing amidst a hectic schedule.

He clocked two personal best times of 14.70 and 25.40sec in the 110m and 200m hurdles at the Limbang Division Inter-School Championships on Feb 21 – 23. He also won the 100m sprint.

Maxxius then had only a day’s rest and flew to Bukit Jalil to join the Malaysia squad for a brief training stint before they left for Perth.

Pelebius said he now has to put the young hurdler straight into training after his return from Perth. Their next big assignment will be the selection trials for the Sarawak team at Sarawak Sports School SMK Tabuan Jaya, Kuching from March 26-28.

The coach is confident that the sprint hurdler is a strong gold medal prospect for Sarawak at the MSSM National Inter-State Championships which will be held in Selangor in April.

Meanwhile back at his school in Limbang yesterday, Maxxius was given a hero’s welcome by schoolmates, friends, coach, teachers and family members.

“This achievement is the result of high discipline and the continuous training of five times a week with my dedicated coach,” he said when asked to explain his success.

Also present to welcome him home were the school principal’s representative Saadi Hamid, Limbang District education officer Jelia Meleyu, Pelebius and Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) representative Alizeh Mulkeh.

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