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“It is a great honor to represent Malaysia in every SEA Games and maintain my title. “ says Irfan Shamsuddin.

With a 5-time SEA Games gold medalist title, national discus thrower Irfan Shamsuddin has proven that he is a top in Malaysian athletics. Irfan managed a throw of 58.26 meters to secure his fifth straight discus crown at the My Dinh National Stadium.

Unbeatable and unstoppable, the 26-year-old athlete is the image of determination. Going into the sport with a winning streak is an accomplishment that earns him the king of discus. With more victories to his name, however, Irfan has a lot to deal with defending his SEA Games title.

Irfan shares with us how he deals with success and setbacks in his career.

You won five gold medals representing Malaysia in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and now the 2022 SEA Games. Have you been dealing with more pressure for the Hanoi SEA Games? 

Of Course, there’s always pressure in every SEA Games competition, ever since the first SEA Games back in 2013, the goal has been different. My goal is not to defend the title but to throw a better distance each time and aim to get a new personal best.

I am always motivated by Under Armour’s motto “The Only Way Is Through” where I’ve got to stay the course to come out better and stronger on the other side and this has been with me through my games. 

It is a great honor to represent Malaysia in every SEA Games and maintain my title.

What was on your mind during your competition? What does defending the SEA Games title mean to you? A two-year hiatus after the big international games, how have you mentally prepared yourself prior to the Hanoi SEA Games? 

During the competition, my mind focuses on doing my best each time rather than worrying about my competitors. It is always important to have a clear mind before my competitions. I always think about the positive outcomes rather than the negative outcomes. It is a great honor to represent Malaysia in every SEA Games and maintain my title.

Prior to the Hanoi SEA Games, the way I prepared myself was to just keep training and making sure I am getting enough rest and my recovery is managed such as making sure I am always going for my physio appointments, getting in good nutrition, taking my supplements and most importantly getting enough sleep and rest.

Having the right gear from the Under Armour, ​​UA RECOVER™ collection features gears that are made up of scientifically engineered mineral-lined fabric which returns infrared energy to your body to restore your muscles faster was also helpful for my recovery process.

As all of us were hit hard by the pandemic, what have been the physical challenges preparing for the Hanoi SEA Games?

The biggest challenge for us athletes during the pandemic period was not being able to attend and compete in major competitions, however, we were grateful enough to keep up with our training regime and schedule. All I could think about was making the best out of the situation and always keeping a positive mindset despite the inconveniences.

The aim is to be faster in my throwing sessions and stronger in my gym sessions.

What has been your training routine, in preparation for the Hanoi SEA Games? What kind of cross-training workouts do you do as a discus thrower? 

My training routine and split are quite balanced. I train around 11 times a week – a good mixture of throwing sessions, functional gym sessions which consist of weightlifting movements, plyometric movements, and some outdoor training sessions such as running, hurdles, and sprints.

The aim is to be faster in my throwing sessions and stronger in my gym sessions. I would say these would be some of my cross-training workouts as a discus thrower. For training, it is also important to have the right gear.  Made with UA Storm technology which repels water without sacrificing breathability, UA Terrain is my go-to gear that’s durable and built to stretch and move with you.

What other competitions are you looking forward to after the Hanoi SEA Games? 

For this year, the main and biggest competition I am looking forward to is definitely the Commonwealth Games this year in July, and Asian Games later next year. 

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