To those who believe the chief issue here is focusing or AF point selection:
To where was the focus misplaced in either image posted? To the front of the subject? To the rear?
Show me one thing that is sharp. Show me a gradation of sharpness from the actual point at which focus was (wrongly) set.
And consider this:
For the second one, at f/9 and 18 mm, with focus set anywhere from about 2 m out, the DoF will extend to infinity. That is exactly what I see - uniformly poor sharpness irrespective of distance.
I was of the opinion that the main problem was motion blur, but a new thought has occurred to me.
If you are using a filter (as a protection placebo), take it off.
Agree. And even though the low shutter-speed will cause blurring of the subject and a cheap filter will degrade the quality of the image, I think there's a lot of blur from camera shake for the posted images.