Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sasaran MOM tercapai

ATLET Malaysia meneruskan persembahan membanggakan di persada sukan antarabangsa apabila mencapai sasaran ditetapkan Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) pada Sukan Pantai Asia di Muscat, Oman yang berakhir kelmarin.

Setiausaha Kehormat MOM, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi berkata, kontinjen negara diketuai Datuk James Selvaraj berjaya meraih satu emas dan satu perak pada edisi kedua temasya itu.

“Mereka mencapai sasaran satu emas. Ini sesuatu menggembirakan kerana tahun ini memperlihatkan kecemerlangan atlet bermula di Sukan Olimpik Remaja (Singapura), Sukan Komanwel (India) dan Sukan Asia (China).
“Pada tiga temasya sukan terbesar, kita berjaya mencapai sasaran ditetapkan malah pencapaian Sukan Komanwel India berjaya melepasi sasaran amat membanggakan,” katanya.

Pada temasya berlangsung di Oman itu, pingat emas tunggal negara disumbang Mr Universe lima kali, Sazali Abdul Samad (gambar) melalui acara bina badan kategori lightweight 70 kilogram. Kemudian, atlet pelayar remaja, Muhamad Amirul Shafiq Md Jais menyumbang pingat perak.

Sebanyak 43 negara menyertai edisi kedua temasya itu dengan Thailand muncul juara keseluruhan apabila mengutip 15 emas 10 perak 11 gangsa manakala Malaysia menduduki tempat ke-12 daripada 26 negara yang berjaya meraih pingat.

Kontinjen negara pada edisi kedua ini hanya seramai 19 atlet dan menyertai tiga daripada 14 jenis sukan dipertandingkan iaitu bina badan, pelayaran dan luncur air.

Pada edisi pertama di Bali, Indonesia dua tahun lalu, Malaysia berjaya meraih dua emas, dua perak dan enam gangsa.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dazzling ceremony brings Asian Beach Games to a close

 16 December 2010 
MUSCAT, 16 Dec. – A dazzling closing ceremony brought the 2nd Asian Beach Games to a close on Thursday evening as the reins were handed over to the Chinese city of Haiyang. 

"You have shined with us and caused Muscat 2010 to shine," Habib bin Abdulnabi Macki, the director general of the Muscat Asian Beach Games Organising Committee, told a packed stadium at Al Musannah Sports City.

"With this shining achievement we wish the entire Asian continent yet further flourishing and prosperity.
"We are very happy that Muscat 2010 has achieved its targets and fulfilled the promise of its slogan, ‘Together we Shine’."

After Oman had relinquished its beach soccer title to the United Arab Emirates and gold medals were decided in six other sports, the evening festivities began.

Fireworks lit the sky and crowds were enthralled by the energetic display of song, dance and Omani culture.
Spectators were entertained by a mixed Asian dance performance and a fire show by a Russian group.

Malaysian singer Dayang Nurfaizah and Omani hip hop artist Sham delighted the audience with a duet of Let’s All Unite, while about 100 children performed a special rendition of the game’s theme song, Together We Shine.

Haiyang will host the 3rd Asian Beach Games in June 2012.

Waterskiing is child's play for seven year old Aaliyah

MUSCAT, 13 Dec, – At the age of five when most children her age are just learning to swim, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah was twisting and contorting her body as it skimmed across the surface of the water at 25 km/h.

Now seven, she will line up against people nearly five times her age at the 2010 Muscat 2nd Asian Beach Games waterski competition in the Trick Skiing category at the Qantab Beach.

"I love how challenging it is and I spend all my time training. I am on school holidays at the moment but I have been at the lake nearly every day practicing.

"All my friends at school say I’m good and they want to try waterskiing as well," she said.

She was introduced to the sport by her father, Hanifah Yoong, who runs a waterskiing club in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, and followed in the footsteps of her half-sister Phillipa Clare Yoong Li Foong, who still competes and doubles as Aaliyah’s coach.

"The preparation for Aaliyah is quite different as generally kids are quite flighty and get distracted very easily, so it’s important to try to get them concentrating on the competition right before they go out." said Phillipa.

Aaliyah runs a tight schedule of training in the morning before attending school in the afternoon, but her coach doesn’t feel her sporting aspiration interferes with her education.

"She is pretty balanced although after school she still has homework. She does not get to bed until late, which is not ideal, but I think it works all right."

Aaliyah will face off against a strong field, including Asian champion Song Yufei (CHN), as the waterski qualifying begins on Tuesday before medals are decided on Wednesday.

The other Malaysian competitors are Hadri Ifran Mohamed Rahaziah (trick skiing), Shamal Norman Abdul Rahman (Wakeboarding) and Hanis Azemi (trick skiing).

Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah on her water ski.

Malaysian Water Ski team with Aaliyah young Hanifah, third from the right. Some of the others skiers in the photograph are, from left, Hanis Azemi (trick skiing), Phillipa Yoong Li Foong, Alex Yoong and Hadri Ifran Mohamed Rahaziah (trick skiing) fifth from left.

2nd Asian Beach Games 2010, Muscat : Radial Open Laser

MUSCAT, Dec 13: Fisherman’s son, Muhamad Amirul Shafiq Md Jais was both elated and sad when he had to settle for the silver medal in the final Medal Race 10 in the Radial Open Laser event in the Muscat 2010 2nd Asian Beach Games at the Al Musannah Sport City today.

The 16-year-old Form Four student of SMK Kelibang, Langkawi, went into Race 9 this afternoon as the joint leader with Thailand’s Natthawut Paenyaem and needed to finish ahead of the Thai in the final two races today.

Amirul who hails from Kampong Pergi Acheh in Pasir Gudang in Johor where the sea has been life since five years-old when he followed his father out to the sea to catch fish, had indeed done extremely well here in Muscat as he had come with no targets, but just gain experience.

Only competing in his third international meet after having a bronze medal in his debut outing in the Asian Youth Games last year in Singapore and then competing in the Youth Olympics in Singapore too where he did not win anything, Shafiq who turned 16 on Oct 18, surprised many of the more senior and experienced sailors with his performance.

Today going out to the seas, Shafiq looked nervous and probably that affected his start for Race 9 when he was caught in the crowd and had a poor start trailing from 15th spot out of the 24 sailors.

But the determined Shafiq did well to catch up finish eighth, but with Natthawut Paenyaem finishing ahead in fourth spot, Shafiq had to finish first in the final Medal race.

Natthawut had different ideas and was in his element to finish first confirm the gold medal despite his teammate and favourite, Asian Games gold medallist Keerati Bualong, having fallen out of the race after two DNF (Did Not Finish).

The bronze medal was won by Pakistan’s Najeeb Ullaah Khan. Malaysia’s other sailior Harisfabillah Muhamat finished fifth.

“I am happy that I won a silver medal competing against more experienced and older sailors,” said Shafiq who is a product of the Sailing Academy in Langkawi where he is based.

“But I sad that with the gold medal so close at hand, I fumbled in the final two Races. I was a little nervous and the poor start in race 9 certainly did not help.

“However, overall I suppose I am happy because I was not even expected to win a medal here and was only here to gain experience.

“The experience and my performance here has certainly boosted my confidence and I intend use this achievement as a platform for better things in the future,” said Shafiq the eldest in a family of six.

Shafiq said that it is his target to win the Asian Games gold medal in Incheon in four years time.

Team Manager, LT Chin In said that Shafiq’s performance only underlines that Malaysia has potential young sailors who are Asian class.

“Shafiq is the youngster sailor here in the fleet of 24 and the small built too (5’2). But he has proven he has what it takes to excel,” said Chin.

Chef-de-Mission, Dato James Selvaraj, said Shafiq as a schoolboy has certainly done the nation proud with his achievement against a top Asian class field.

“Shafiq may have missed winning the gold medal, but his performance and winning the silver medal is still a golden performance considering his age and inexperience,” said James.

“He had indeed done the nation proud with his outstanding performance and was the talking point among the experienced sailors.”

This afternoon to witness Shafiq’s performance at the Al Mussanah Sports City was James and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. M. Jegathesan, Deputy President of Olympic Council of Malaysian and also the Chairman of the Medical Commission of Olympic Council of Asia.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sailor Amirul bags silver at Asian Beach Games

Muscat: Teenager Mohd Amirul Shafiq Mohd Jais  kept the more experienced campaigners at bay to clinch a silver medal in the Open Laser Radial class in the Asian Beach Games at the Al Musannah Sports City in Muscat on Monday.

The 16-year-old, who hails from Johor and is a full-time athlete under the Malaysian Yachting Association development programme, was in the lead after the first six races.

However, he was overtaken by Thai sailor Natthawut Paenyam for the top spot after finishing fifth and fourth in Race 7 and 8. Amirul managed to cling on to the silver medal position with a total of 35 demerit points even though he managed eighth and fourth in the last two races of the competition.

It was the country’s second medal in the biennial Games after bodybuilder Sazali Samad won the gold in the men’s below 70kg competition on Friday.

Natthawut, who did not even complete the first race, enjoyed a strong run with two first and one second placings in the last four races to clinch the gold medal on 30 demerit points.

Pakistani Najeeb Khan took bronze on 48 while another Malaysian, Muhamat Harisfabillah, finished fifth on 58 demerit points.

Pre-race favourite, Keerati Bualong, the gold medallist for Thailand in the Guangzhou Asian Games last month, settled for seventh place on 66 demerit points.

Amirul represented Malaysia in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in August this year and the experience he gained there must have done wonders to his confidence.

As the youngest entry for the Open Laser Radial class, which is contested at the Olympics, Amirul’s performance even surprised coach Nor Hisham Mat Nor.

“It must be his experience at the Youth Olympics, which made him a much more mature sailor and better at adapting to conditions and addressing them well,” he said.

Chef-de-mission Datuk James Selvaraj took the boat out to sea to observe the races and he was impressed with what he saw.

“I am really proud of our sailors out there with the effort they put in, especially against much more experienced rivals,” he said.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mr Universe Sazali Wins Malaysia's First Gold In Muscat

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- Six-time Mr Universe Sazali Abdul Samad delivered Malaysia's first gold medal at the Muscat 2010 Second Asian Beach Games in the bodybuilding lightweight 70kg category at the Oman's Qurum National Park Amphitheater Friday night.

The flamboyant Sazali was obviously the crowd's favourite and drew loud applause doing his freestyle performance to a music composition that combined the 'Robocop' movie theme with the soundtrack of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic 'Conan the Barbarian'.

"It is great to come to compete in my debut Asian Beach Games and win the title.

"This is a new addition to my titles in my bodybuilding career and I am really excited," he said in a statement released by Olympic Council of Malaysia on Saturday.

Au Nguyen Hai of Vietnam won the silver and Somsri Turimthaisong of Thailand took the bronze.

The 43-year-old police sergeant major has an array of titles under his belt including Mr Universe (2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010).

He was Mr Asia seven times (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and twice won the World Bodybuilding and Physique Federation Championship (2009 and 2010).

Chef-de-Mission Datuk James Selvaraj said that it was great to hear the national anthem and see the Jalur Gemilang raised after only two days of the championship.

"We have come here with a very small contingent and we have already won a gold medal.

"It augurs well for the morale of the contingent here. Hope that we will hear the national anthem played again soon," Selvaraj added.

Twenty-three athletes make up the Malaysian contingent taking part in the championship being held from Dec 8 to 16.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sazali harapan pingat emas

SELVARAJ (tengah) menyerahkan Jalur Gemilang kepada Sazali pada majlis penyerahan di Wisma MOM, Kuala Lumpur semalam.

KONTINJEN Malaysia meletakkan harapan pada atlet bina badan negara, Sazali Abd. Samad untuk merangkul pingat dalam temasya Sukan Pantai Asia Kedua di Oman dari 8 hingga 16 Disember ini.
Sazali tersenarai sebagai atlet tunggal skuad kebangsaan dalam acara 70 kilogram itu pada temasya kali kedua ini.

Untuk rekod, temasya Sukan Pantai Asia pertama kali diadakan pada 2008 lalu di Bali dan sebanyak 19 acara dipertandingkan yang melibatkan 45 pasukan dari seluruh negara.

Ketua Kontinjen Malaysia, Datuk James Selvaraj juga tidak menafikan kehebatan skuad sukan perahu layar, luncur angin dan ski air negara untuk bertarung dengan pasukan antarabangsa lain.

“Walaupun kebanyakan mereka masih lagi pasukan pelapis untuk skuad elit kebangsaan, namun prestasi yang ditunjukkan adalah di tahap yang membanggakan dan kita harapkan mereka melakukan yang terbaik untuk mengharumkan nama negara.

“Kali ini cuma 23 orang atlet sahaja bakal mewakili negara ke temasya ini berbanding 70 orang sebelumnya,” katanya ketika ditemui selepas Upacara Penyerahan Jalur Gemilang kepada kontinjen Malaysia semalam.
Sementara itu, Sazali yang sudah mula menjalani latihan persediaan untuk berentap bersama jagoan dunia lain akui pesaingnya bukan calang-calang.

Baginya, pesaing terdekat seperti Indonesia, Thailand dan Myanmar adalah yang paling sukar diduga dan berupaya memberikan saingan sengit.

“Saya tidak boleh memandang rendah setiap pesaing saya, malah perlu sentiasa bersedia kerana kese- muanya mempunyai kekuatan tersendiri terutama atlet tuan rumah.”