1 August 2017 UPDATE:Mohd Hafifi Mansor has pulled out of the 29th SEA Games due to injury.Vision KL visits a Malaysian gold-getter in between his intensive training on the road to KL2017.
Mohd Hafifi Mansor was a small town kid from Terengganu who made it big in the international arena of weightlifting, the sport that has become his life. His competitiveness has taken him to impressive heights, most notably in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The muscle-bound lad lifted a total of 305kg in the men’s 69kg category, more than enough for a gold medal.
Even with this victory under his weightlifting belt, Hafifi is not resting on his laurels. He strives to hoist ever more substantial weights – and goals – as long as he is able to. With the SEA Games coming up, he is preparing especially hard to get to the top of the podium, as we noticed when we visited him during a training session at the KL Sports City to learn why he loves to keep his hands chalked up.
How did you end up in weightlifting?Hafifi: When I was 12 years old, the Terengganu State Sports Council showcased weightlifting at my school, and I was hooked at first sight. Despite being apprehensive because of a prior broken arm injury, I found my way to the weightlifting training centre and started putting in the hours. My coach, seeing me excel in the sport, egged me on and alleviated my mother’s concerns about my arm, telling her I had potential to go the distance. Soon, I was winning local competitions, and was enrolled in the Bukit Jalil Sports School.
Who is your favourite sports personality?Hafifi: It would have to be Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim, a local weightlifting icon who won four gold medals in two Commonwealth Games. He was my mentor in school, helping me to train the proper way, watch my diet and keep motivated. I’m also a big fan of Turkey’s Naim Süleymanoğlu, widely regarded as one of the top modern weightlifters, pound-for-pound.
What do you hope to achieve in the SEA Games?
Hafifi: Despite shouldering the enormous pressure of flying the flag of the host nation, I am going to try my absolute hardest to clinch the gold medal for Malaysia. I am fully committed to this cause, and have been pouring myself into my training, pushing through the pain and sweat to ensure I will end up at the top of my category.
What are you most looking forward to this SEA Games?Hafifi: Malaysia has not secured a gold medal in weightlifting at the SEA Games since Manila in 2005. Therefore, I am really hoping to show that this sport is a gold medal provider for Malaysia not only in the Commonwealth Games, but in the SEA games as well. I am also eager to see my family, friends and supporters on the stands to give me the extra push I need to succeed!
Mohd Hafifi MansorBorn: 28 October 1990 Height: 1.62m Weight: 68.58 kg
Discipline: Weightlifting 69 kg
Medals: Gold – 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
Bronze – 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games