Wednesday, December 19, 2007

PM ucap tahniah buat kontinjen Sukan Sea

PERDANA Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, semalam mengucapkan tahniah atas kejayaan atlit negara mengutip 68 pingat emas - mengatasi sasaran 64 emas, sekali gus merangkul tempat kedua dalam jumlah keseluruhan pungutan pingat pada temasya Sukan Sea ke-24 di Korat, Thailand yang berakhir Sabtu lalu.

Abdullah berkata, kejayaan atlit negara membuktikan rakyat negara ini mampu berjaya dalam apa juga bidang termasuk sukan jika mereka mempunyai keyakinan serta kesungguhan untuk mencapai impian masing-masing.

“Saya amat gembira dan bangga dengan kejayaan atlit kita. Malah, dalam mesyuarat Kabinet ada membincangkan mengenainya dan kita turut mengucapkan tahniah kepada Menteri Belia dan Sukan (Datuk Seri Azalina Othman) serta semua pegawai yang terbabit dengan sukan.

“Kita juga ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada atlit yang memenangi pingat, khususnya emas,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas mengadakan lawatan ke Perusahaan Sepang Maju Sdn Bhd, di Banghuris di Sepang pada hari terakhir lawatan kerja dua harinya ke Selangor, semalam.

Hadir sama, isterinya, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah; Menteri Besar Selangor, Datuk Seri Dr Mohammad Khir Toyo dan isteri, Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik.

Dalam temasya dwi-tahunan itu, Malaysia berjaya muncul sebagai naib juara dengan pungutan 68 pingat emas, 52 perak dan 96 gangsa di belakang tuan rumah, Thailand berjaya memungut 183 pingat emas, 123 pingat perak dan 103 pingat gangsa.

Ia adalah kejayaan cemerlang dan gemilang buat Malaysia kerana pungutan 68 emas ini yang kedua terbaik secara keseluruhan sejak Sukan Sea 2001.

Abdullah menambah, kemenangan itu turut memberi detik gembira kepada semua kaum memandangkan sukan adalah alat paling berkesan untuk mengeratkan hubungan kaum di negara ini.

Justeru, beliau menyarankan supaya lebih banyak program sukan dianjurkan di peringkat sekolah dalam usaha menyerahkan hubungan antara pelbagai kaum.

“Kita dapat lihat atlit adalah terdiri daripada pelbagai kaum dan kejayaan mereka meraih pingat bukan saja menggembirakan kaum tertentu saja tetapi semua kaum dan semua rakyat Malaysia,” katanya.

Berita Harian

Long Road Ahead For Athletics

KORAT, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) set an ambitious target of 10 gold medals for the Korat SEA Games but finished with seven while it was Thailand who remained the dominant force in the region.

The Thais won 17 gold medals out of the 45 that was stake for athletics and also set eight new SEA Games records compared to Malaysia's seven and a single Games record.

Based on the statistics here, it will take a long while before Malaysians can be a power to be reckoned with in athletics in Southeast Asia.

The MAAU must go back to the drawing board to see what went wrong and where it went wrong, following which action plans must be set in motion to rectify the situation.

The glaring fact remains that ageing athletes are past their prime and there is a void in the second echelon of successors who can readily step into their shoes.

To make matters worse, Moh Siew Wei has voiced her intention to retire after failing to defend her 100m hurdles gold while Ngew Sin Mei's reign as the long and triple jump queen in the Games came to an end after losing to an unknown Thai athlete.

The absence of 400m hurdles favourite Noraseela Khalid and MAAU's failure to find an able replacement for her, cost Malaysia a possible gold in the event and considering that she will be 29 when Laos host the 2009 SEA Games, we can expect a similar scenario if a quick remedy is not found.

The same also can be said in the case of the men's 400m hurdles as there was no replacement for the injured Shahadan Jamaluddin, who had won the gold at the Manila SEA Games in 2005.

The walk events, a forte of Malaysia, may soon face the same fate as Yuan Yufang, who had announced her retirement earlier due to her age, had to make a comeback for the Games here because there was no one to take over.

It also needed another veteran, Teoh Boon Lim, who came out of his retirement, to salvage the gold when defending champion Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abd Rahman was disqualified for "floating".

In the event that all three walkers decide to call it a day, Malaysia may have to forego hopes of gold in these events since nobody is coming through the mill.

The National Sports Council (NSC) must also look at their development programmes and identify the areas of concern before it is too late.

Setting ambitious targets is nothing wrong but achieving it is another.


PSM's Safety Concerns On New Ball Unfounded?

KORAT, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- The Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia's (PSM) decision to cite safety reasons for not participating in the Korat SEA Games could just be a lame excuse.

According to the countries which participated, there were no problems as to the safety or performance of the new Marathon Gen-II rubber-coated ball used during the sepak takraw competition throughout the Games.

After 11 days of competition at the Nakhon Ratchasima Mall here which ended yesterday, no injuries were recorded or reported in the men's or women's competitions.

Indonesia's assistant coach, Mustakim, when interviewed, said that throughout the sepak takraw competition, none of his players suffered any injuries.

He personally felt that this ball was safer then the old one (without rubber-coating) as its surface was softer and smoother.

"We only trained three months with the Marathon-Gen II before coming here (Korat). None of our players had any complaints about the safety or performance of the ball. In fact, they were very happy with it," he said.

Vietnam coach, Tung Lap Ha, though concurring with Mustakim, however, questioned the haste by the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) in wanting the ball to be used at this SEA Games.

He was unhappy that his players had only three months to familiarise themselves with it.

The ball became a subject of controversy as the Malaysian sepak takraw contingent pulled out of the Korat Games because of it, the first time Malaysia had withdrawn from the event in the history of the Games.

PSM president Datuk Ahmad Ismail when announcing Malaysia's withdrawal from the Games had claimed that it was not safe for the players and that its bounce was also inconsistent.

The decision earned the ire of many. They felt the action had tarnished Malaysia's image and was unfair to the players who had trained hard in preparing for the Korat SEA Games.

The men's and women's sepak takraw competition at this Games offered a total of eight gold. the most so far for sepak takraw in the SEA Games.

Meanwhile, ISTAF secretary-general Abdul Halim Kader asked all the participating teams to submit individual reports on the ball's performance to avoid further controversy in future.

"We welcome feedback from the teams that competed (in the Korat Games). So far we have received written reports from

Indonesia and the Philippines who have stated that that they are happy with the new ball," he said.


Seamless Succession In Badminton Cause For Concern

KORAT, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- The results in badminton at the Korat SEA Games was a justification of sorts that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) must not be overdependent on senior players.

The absence of leading national players Lee Chong Wei (singles), Number One doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and Wong Mew Choo (women's singles) saw the Malaysian badminton team struggling to find their footing even against the likes of Thailand and Singapore let alone Indonesia.

Malaysia's backup shuttlers could only produce four bronze in Korat, which was the country's worse ever performance in the history of the Games.

Head coach for the SEA Games badminton team Rashid Sidek was about the most disappointed person by the performance of the second stringers.

"I am as disappointed as anyone else but the only consolation is that at least my players were given exposure here.

"They now know where they stand as they are not anywhere close to other top players in the region," said Rashid.


No End To Complaints About Biased Judging

News Analysis By Elmi Rizal Elias

KORAT, Dec 16 (Bernama) -- Complaints of biased judging in subjective sports has become a perennial problem each time a SEA Games takes place.

It appears to be a disease that is hard to eradicate even though the biennial sports meet for ASEAN entered its 24th edition here this year.

In this Korat SEA Games, things got so bad that during the silat competition between exponents from the host nation and the Philippines on Wednesday at the Sungnoen Municipal Hall here, there were incidents of chair and bottle throwing.

Malaysia too complained about biased judging in silat and weightlifting.

A case in example involved lifter Che Mohd Azrol Che Mat. The Malaysian camp were already shouting in joy that he had won the gold in the over 105kg category on Wednesday only for it to be shortlived when his last lift in the clean & jerk was disallowed on technicalities.

The contest with a lifter from the host nation ended in a tie and Che Mohd Azrol could only watch in disbelief as the gold was awarded to the Thai after a countback.

National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong, who watched Malaysian silat exponents in action on Thursday, was clearly disappointed with the judging that day.

"It (biased judging) has become a common complaint, but at this Games, especially in silat, they have taken it to extremes.

"I feel pity for our athletes. They trained hard but are denied by poor judging. Maybe, after this we should just forget about taking part in subjective sports," he said.

Matters got to a head yesterday when four out of seven Filipino boxers who were to contest in finals, pulled out on the grounds of biased judging giving free wins to Thai boxers.

Also yesterday but in the taekwondo competition, Indonesia's Minister of Youth and Sports, Adhyaksa Dault, himself lodged protests about the poor quality judging he witnessed at the event's venue, the main hall of Vongchavalitkul University.

He later held a meeting with the organising committee's technical director for taekwondo on the matter.

During the last SEA Games in Manila two years ago, former Thai Pirme Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had also slammed the Philippines SEA Games organising committee over biased judging in favour of the hosts.

The SEA Games Federation (SGF) seriously needs to look into this matter before it becomes worse and cause disharmony in ASEAN.


SGF Must Review Objective, Judging Of Subjective Sports - Zolkples

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- The SEA Games Federation (SGF) must sit down and look at the overall objective of the SEA Games and decide once and for all, the structure and the list of sports to be contested, said National Sports Council director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong.

The current practice was that everytime there is a new host, new sports are included which put some of the participating countries in a bind as those sports might only be played in that particular country, he told a press conference for Malaysian journalists here Saturday.

"In the 2005 Manila SEA Games, there were sports like anis which was totally alien to Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei or even Indonesia and here they have muay thai, traditional boat racing.

"This trend must stop and the SGF must streamline a set of sports that can be competed so that there will be enough time for every country to prepare well in advance. What's the purpose of winning so many medals from anis or muay thai as it does not contribute to the overall development of sports in the regional Games.

"We should also focus on raising the standard of the Games through a proper judging system so as to eliminate discontentment among participating countries.

He added that poor judging, refereeing or biased judging has become a perennial problem but Games after Games there has been much talk but nothing concrete has happened.

"Incidents like what happened in boxing when the unhappy Filipinos just gave away their bouts without fighting, apparently due to biased judging, does not augur well for the Games," said Zolkples.

"I feel the Laos Games will be a good avenue to introduce any changes as they (Laos) will little or no vested interest in most of the sports."

Laos who will host the 2009 Games are expected to limit the number of sports to 25 and have indicated that gymnastics and basketball will not be included due to lack of facilities.


Over To You Laos

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Fireworks lighted up the Korat skyline as soon as the flame at the Cauldron, which was continuosly burning throughout the 10 days of competition died down at the King's Anniversary Main Stadium, to mark the closing of the Korat SEA Games but the flares failed to light up the uncertainty surrounding the next host.

The SEA Games Federation (SGF) flag will now make its way towards unchartered territory, Laos, who will host the SEA Games for the first time in 2009 and who have openly admitted that they do not have adequate facilties.

The next host have also suggested to host 25 sports and though the names of the sports were not revealed, gymnastics and basketball have been axed due to lack of indoor stadiums.

But amidst all that uncertainty, the athletes and officials danced and hugged each other in a true show of friendship, reminescent of every major sporting event, after having battled it out against each other in search of honours for their respective countries.

Thailand Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, who presided over the closing ceremony, said the SEA Games plays a vital role in promoting relations and cooperation among countries.

Surayud later presented the TOT Most Valuable Player Award to swimmer Natthanan Junkrajang of Thailand, and Miguel Monica of Philippines who also won four gold medals in swimming.

Junkrajang won the 100m, 200m freestyle and the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle while Monica collected gold medals from the 200m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley, 400m Individual Medley and 4x100m medley.

They both received a trophy and 330,000 baht (USD10,000).


M'sia Close Korat Sea Games Campaign On A High With 68 Gold Medals

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian contingent ended their Korat SEA Games campaign on a high with 68 gold medals to finish second overall behind host Thailand who finished at the top with 183 gold medals.

The 68 gold, 52 silver and 96 bronze feat ranks as the best performance in a SEA Games held outside the country and also was the second best performance in the history of the SEA Games since 1959 (SEAP Games).

The second place also bettered the fourth place finish in the 2005 Manila SEA Games with 61 gold, 48 silver and 61 bronze, which till now stood as the best performance outside the country.

Malaysia's best ever performance was when the 2001 Games was hosted in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia emerged overall champion with 111 gold, 75 silver and 85 bronze and the second best performance before this (67) was also when Kuala Lumpur hosted the Games in 1989.

According to National Sports Council (NSC) Director-General Datuk Zolkples Embong the tally could have increased if not for the exclusion of women's squash, the absence of our top badminton players and gymnast Ng Shu Wai (winner of three gold medals at the Manila SEA Games from artistic gymnastics).

"I received a message from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said that the Cabinet and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi are pleased with the overall performance of the Malaysian contingent," Zolkples told Malaysian journalists at the V-One Hotel here today.

Malaysia who achieved the 64-gold target yesterday, added four more today from the 17 gold medals on offer through a three-gold feat from rhythmic gymnastics and the polo team.

He added that the NSC's statistics showed that Six sports performed above expectations, 10 achieved the projected target, six were under achievers while 22 other sports not categoried under medal prospects, "lived up to expectations" by not delivering any gold.

"The six sports that performed above expectations were swimming, basketball, snooker, equestrian, karate-do and sailing," he said.

Swimming had set a 5-gold target but delivered seven (140 per cent), diving contributed another seven though the target was three (233.33%), karate-do had targetted four but swept eight (200%), equestrian's target was two but raked in four (200%) sailing had one on the list but came in with two (200%) while there was no medal target for basketball and snooker but contributed one each (200%).

The 10 sports that achieved the NSC's target are athletics 7, tenpin bowling (4), artistic gymnastics (2), hockey (2), squash (1), taekwondo (2), triathlon (1), wushu (2), polo (1) and lawn bowls (4).

The worst of the under achievers was pencak silat as there was no gold medals despite the three projected, while shooting only managed 50 per cent of the four gold expectation, cycling collected four out of six, rhythmic gymnastics fell one short of the five expected, archers also missed one from the targetted three while badminton joined pencak silat on a zero count.

"We will review the performances of each and every sport funded by NSC and decide on the funding. We have already introduced the Key Performance Index (KPI) for National Sports Association (NSAs) and that will provide us a basis for assessment," said Zolkples.

"Those that did not come under NSC's programme but did well here like triathlon, equestrian can also join as our priority now will be 2010 Asian Games and 2012 Olympics. But we will also maintain our focus on the 2009 SEA Games in Laos."


Easy Win For M'sia In Polo Final

From Hilary Sebastian

BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian polo team easily overcame Singapore 9 - 3 1/2 in the final to win the gold at the VR Sports Club in Samut Prakan Province near here Saturday.

Team manager Ahmad Jamili Abdul Rahid said the win proved that Malaysia were still the best in polo in the region.

He attributed the victory to the hard work by the players who wanted to defend Malaysia's title in the event. The last time polo was included in the SEA Games was 24 years ago at the 1983 Singapore Games. Malaysia won the gold then.

The Malaysian winning team today comprised Datuk Mohamed Moiz Jabir (handicapped 2) (captain), Shaik Reismann Mohamed Ismail (2), Tengku Ahmad Shazril Tengku Sulaiman (2), Saladin Mazlan (2), Harizal Yahya (0), and Md. Adyrizal Md. Zamri (0).

Earlier, Thailand defeated Philippines 7 1/2 - 2 in the bronze play-off.


Teck Hua-shun Ting Take The Bronze

From Farhanah Azmi

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Though not able to reach the final of the beach-volleyball competition, the women's pair of Luk Teck Hua and Beh Shun Ting will not return home empty-handed.

In the play-off for the bronze at the King's 80th Anniversary Sports Complex here Saturday, the final day of the Games, the duo had little difficulty in overcoming Indonesia's Devota Rahawarin/ Yokbeth Kapasiang.

The Malaysians took just 27 minutes for their 21-12, 21-7 victory.

"Overall I am satisfied with the performance by the beach volleyball team. We returned empty-handed at the last two Games and I am sure we will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future," said team manager Datuk Lee Jin Xian, who is also Malaysian Volleyball Association president.

Lee, who had promised a RM50,000 reward should any of the Malaysian pairs (there were four in the competition) be able to win gold, added that he would personally reward Teck Hua and Shun Ting RM5,000 each for their achievement while the team's coach would also do the same.


Like Father Like Son

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- The Moh family has kept the Malaysian flag flying in the snooker and billiards competition of the Sea Games since the '90s.

It was Moh senior, the 53-year-old Loon Hong who started the proud tradition with his victory in the English billiards singles in the 1991 Games in Manila and then followed it up with his second victory in the 1995 Chiangmai Sea Games.

Meanwhile, Moh junior, Keen Ho, who was still in primary school in his hometown of Penang then, did not know what the fuss was all about. He was only five when dad won his first Sea Games gold medal and nine when the second gold came.

But on Friday in this northeastern Thai city, Keen Ho got his first taste of victory after two Sea Games and one silver and one bronze medal later.

The 21-year-old keen Ho beat Thailand's Napadon Sangnil 4-1 in a best of seven-frame final to win the men' singles gold medal to give Malaysia their first gold medal in snooker and billiards in the Korat Sea Games.

"When I was a small boy I remember people talking about my father winning the Sea Games gold medal. I wondered why everyone was so excited? I only saw the medal and it was a nice piece of metal.

"I was too young to understand," said Keen Ho.

But now he knows the joy of winning a Sea Games gold medal. More so after two attempts, at the 2003 Vietnam and 2005 Manila Sea Games, where he won a silver in the doubles and the bronze in the singles respectively.

"It's a nice feeling, really nice and now I know how my daddy must have felt when he won the two gold medals. To stand on the rostrum and hear the Negaru Ku being played made it even better," added Keen Ho, who picked up the game when he used to help his mother at the cashier's counter in the family's snooker centre in Penang.

"It's only natural that I play the game as I spent a lot of my free time at the centre. Infact, my younger sister is also quite good but she is not serious about it," said Keen Ho, who was also the 2005 Asian Junior champion.

His next target is the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010 where he hopes to a medallist there too.


Four-Gold Heroine

KORAT, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Lim Wen Chean won three gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics to sent Malaysia on the road to a golden flourish in the final day of competition at the Indoor Stadium here.

The 19-year old Wen Chean won the ribbon, club and rope in the single apparatus event to take her total tally to four gold medals out of the six offered in rhythmic gymnastics.

She could have won all six but lost the Individual All-around individual title and the hoop event to Thailand's Tharatip Sridee.

But while celebrating her triumph, including the team event gold, she will have to spare a thought for teammate Foong Seow Ting, the four-gold heroine in Manila in the previous Games.

It was a disappointing outing for Seow Ting here, winning only one gold through the team event and four bronze via the rope, ribbon, clubs and Individual All-around.

"The competition was tough here. Thailand's Tharatip (Sridee) is a worthy opponent and I certainly did not expect to win four gold. I thought I was good enough to win the ribbon and the All-round title.

"If I had a choice I would have preferred to win the All-around title," said Wen Chean.

She also won a gold medal each in the Hanoi and Manila Games in 2003 and 2005 respectively.

Korat was to be her swansong and when asked about it, Wen Chen said: "But now I don't know. Give me a bit of time to think it over again."


Azalina Wishes 'Syabas' To The Malaysian Contingent

KORAT, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said wished the Malaysian contingent "Syabas" (well done) and congratulated those who had made it possible to achieve the 64-gold medal target.

"This is a success of the entire Nation and a victory for the united efforts of all Malaysians, immaterial of gender or race. The achievement shows that there has been progress and with the Key Performance Index system coming into play, I hope the results will only be better.

"But to be honest, initially I had my doubts as there were so many adverse reports of injuries, fears of biased judging, problems in sports associations, some had their own problems with International bodies and all these happened even before the SEA Games started.

"The determination shown by athletes, deserves a big thank you from the bottom of my heart and I wish to congratulate each and everyone who made it possible," Azalina told Bernama when contacted today.

She added that the achievement was a joint effort from the various parties involved like the National Sports Council (NSC), National Sports Institute (NSI), Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), National Sports Associations (NSAs) and the athletes themselves.

"I sincerely wish to be there in person to congratulate them (athletes, officials) but since Johor is facing floods, I will not be able to make it," said Azalina, who was in Korat twice to provide moral support and witness the action in the Games.

However, she urged the Malaysian contingent to continue their search for excellence and not rest on their laurels and hoped the SEA Games Federation and the respective sports associations will look into ways and means to maintain some form of consistency in the judging system for subjective sports.

"Biased judging in subjective sports has become a perennial problem in multi-sport events and continuously hamper the spirit of the Games. Fair play must always be emphasised as Winning alone should not be the motto of host countries.

"I have told NSC Director-General Datuk Zolkples Embong to look at such aspects and liase with the relevant authorities to minimise such shortfalls," she said.

Zolkples had also earlier indicated that Malaysia may consider not sending teams for subjective sports, if the judging system was not improved.


Malaysia Achieve 64-gold Target, Now Set Sail For More

KORAT, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian contingent who achieved the 64-gold target for the Korat SEA Games today, set sail to surpass that mark when the final day of competitions gets underway Saturday.

However, there will be no champagne to pop up for celebrations as Thailand are observing a three-day non-alcohol curfew to facilitate polling process for their coming general election on Dec 23.

But champagne on the menu or not, there was no stopping the Malaysian contingent from rejoicing the achievement as soon as Moh Keen Ho potted his way to the men's singles gold in snooker to give Malaysia the all important 64th gold.

The achievement is the highest by the country after the 61-gold achievement at the 2005 Manila SEA Games.

It was the 10th gold of the day as Malaysian sailors had conquered the waves in Pattaya to clinch the men's International Laser and women's Laser Radial while divers went into action at the King's Anniversary Aquatics Centre to white-wash their opponents and sweep all five gold medals offered today.

The bowling team in Bangkok provided the cheers from the SF Strike Bowl centre by winning the Mixed doubles gold while taekwondo came good in the final event of taekwondo competitions to clinch the women's Under 51kg gold and Malaysia's ninth.

The 64-gold target was achieved through the contribution of 19 sports from the 40 sports that involved Malaysian athletes.

Aquatics (swimming, diving) accounted for the highest number with 14 while karate-do hauled in eight, ahead of athletics with seven while lawn bowls, equestrian, cycling and bowling added four each respectively.

Shooters fired their way to two gold medals even before the official opening of the Games while archers were spot on with another two, artistic gymnastics (2), hockey (2), sailing (2), taekwondo (2) and wushu (2) added to the tally while basketball (women), rhythmic gymnastics, squash, triathlon and snooker with one gold each shared the honours.

Tomorrow, the final day of competitions, 17 gold medals are on offer in rhythmic gymnastics (4), tennis (3), beach volleyball (2), diving (2), equestrian (2) and one in polo.

Malaysia will be in contention for medals in gymnastics, diving, equestrian and polo.


Elaine Comes From Behind To Win Gold

From Kenny Teng Khoon Hock

KORAT, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Elaine Teo bounced back from 0-2 down in the final round to defeat Filipino Loraine Lorellie Catalan 3-2 in the women's under 51kg taekwondo competition at the Vongchavalitkul hall here today.

The Malacca girl said that she was very happy to have won Malaysia's only gold medal today, the last day of the taekwondo competition.

"I am greatly relieved that I was able to fight back after trailing in the first two rounds," she said.

Elaine will compete in the Olympics next year in the below 57kg category instead of her regular below 49kg after an error by a Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) official had Elaine entered in the wrong category.


A Million Thanks To Chao Siao Fong

KORAT, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- At 31, Chao Siao Fong has reached the twilight of her international basketball career and she knows it.

Basketball has been a major part of her life since she made her debut for Selangor in the Junior tournament in the early nineties and the strain is showing.

After helping Malaysia win the gold medal against Thailand 61-60 in a nail-biting final at the Keelapirom Stadium yesterday where she top scored for the team with 20 points, coach Tan See Wah offered her the hand of thanks.

"She came to the team's rescue when we needed someone with the nerves and steady hands. Her experience was a crucial factor in Malaysia winning the gold and as much as I want her to carry on playing for Malaysia, I know she is finding it tough.

"Age is catching up and I know she still has the desire to play. But at times I need to look for someone else to carry on the torch. She will be a part of the team if she wants but her place in the starting five has to be relooked," said See Wah.

Siao Fong, now an insurance agent, first appeared in the Sea Games in the 1995 edition in Chiangmai where she won gold and went on to win three more including yesterday's reward for Malaysia's victory over Thailand.

"I have been playing a long time now for my country and I can feel the strain. I don't know whether I can continue anymore. I will make a decision later," said Siao Fong, whose one point from the two free throws she took in the final minute of the match proved so crucial in the end.

She is considering taking up coaching but for now she has the gold medal in her hand and that's most important.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Malaysia tepati sasaran

TEPATI SASARAN: Zolkples (tengah) bersama Keen Ho (empat dari kiri) dan pegawai snuker meraikan kejayaan meraih emas ke-64 menerusi perseorangan lelaki, semalam.

Emas menerusi perseorangan lelaki snuker jelmakan impian

TAHNIAH dan syabas buat barisan Harimau Malaysia! Angka keramat 64 emas yang dicari muncul di dewan Hotel Sima Thani apabila Moh Keen Ho memenangi acara snuker perseorangan, sekali gus memastikan sasaran Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) tercapai sudah akhirnya.

Ia penantian yang cukup lama serta penuh mendebarkan dengan emas ke-64 negara hadir sehari sebelum Sukan Sea XXIV melabuhkan tirainya.

Dan kejayaan Keen Ho itu disambut dengan linangan air mata oleh kontinjen negara yang hadir termasuk Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) Datuk Zolples Embong yang tidak dapat menahan perasaan terharunya lantas memeluk pegawainya dan terus menangis.

Seolah-olah seperti bebanan dan tekanan sudah hilang, Zolkples melepaskan semua perasaan terpendamnya dengan memeluk semua pegawai termasuk wartawan Malaysia yang mengucapkan tahniah di atas kejayaan kontinjen negara.

"Ini emas paling berharga," kata Zolkples, sambil mengesat air matanya. "Saya tidak sangka emas ke-64 akan disumbangkan oleh snuker dan syabas saya ucapkan kepada Keen Ho dan juga Prof Datuk W W Chin (Presiden Snuker dan Billiards Kebangsaan), yang berusaha keras untuk memastikan snuker menyumbangkan emas yang kali terakhir dimenangi pada 1999.

"Saya juga sudah memaklumkan kepada Menteri Belia dan Sukan (Datuk Seri Azalina Othman) dan beliau meminta kontinjen negara supaya jangan berhenti setakat ini, sebaliknya terus mencuba untuk memenangi beberapa emas lagi pada hari terakhir esok.

"Saya juga ingin mengambil kesempatan mengucapkan terima kasih kepada atlit serta persatuan sukan kebangsaan yang berusaha keras untuk memastikan kita dapat mencapai sasaran ini dan saya juga tujukan kejayaan ini kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia," kata Zolkples.

Selepas permulaan perlahan terutama lima hari pertama pertandingan apabila emas diraih kontinjen Malaysia begitu sedikit, atlit negara bangkit menggegar Korat pada tiga hari terakhir.

Bermula Rabu lalu, apabila karate-do dilangsungkan, ia mencetuskan kebangkitan kontinjen negara apabila mereka berjaya memenangi sejumlah 13 emas, dan disusuli dengan 10 emas kelmarin dan jumlah sama diraih semalam, bagi menjadikan pungutan tiga hari ini saja berjumlah 33 emas.

Ia membantu kontinjen Malaysia untuk menduduki tangga ketiga kedudukan pingat negara-negara dengan sejumlah 64 emas, terikat dengan Vietnam, yang menduduki tempat kedua berbekalkan kelebihan pingat peraknya.

Tetapi dengan Malaysia masih berpeluang menambah pingat melalui sukan polo, gimrama dan terjun pada hari terakhir ini, kontinjen negara kini mensasarkan kedudukan naib juara keseluruhan di belakang Thailand.

Bagi Zolkples, tekanan yang dirasai sejak bermulanya Sukan Sea begitu jelas apabila tidak dapat mengawal perasaannya semalam.

"Saya dapat rasakan satu bebanan atas diri saya sudah hilang," kata Zolkples. "Memang ramai yang meragui kemampuan kita mencapai sasaran 64 emas selepas kita bermula perlahan tetapi saya sudah jelas sebelum ini bahawa acara yang menjadi sasaran emas kita akan hanya bermula pada akhir pertandingan.

"Kini kita berpeluang memenangi beberapa emas lagi dalam acara terjun, gimrama dan polo dan saya berharap atlit kita akan terus berjuang," katanya.

Berita Harian

Friday, December 14, 2007

Synchronised Divers Strike Gold

KORAT, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- The synchronised diving pairs of Cheong Jun Hong/Pandalela Rinong and Yeoh Ken Nee/Rossharisham Roslan struck gold in the women's 10m platform and men's 3m springboard events respectively at the Aquatics centre here this morning.

Jun Hong and Pandalela scored 293.79 points to finish ahead of Amelia Shenny Sukmahati Herlyani of Indonesia who recorded 270.12 points. Sukrutai Tommaoras/Dangjai Putsadee of Thailand (208.17) took the bronze.

Ken Nee and Rossharisham scored 416.76 points beating defending champions Philippines' Domemios Zardo/Nino Carog who managed only 342.72 points and had to settle for the silver. The Vietnamese duo of Nguyen Minh Sang and Vu Anh Duy took the bronze in 324.93 points.

In the afternoon, Bryan Nickson Lomas will compete in the men's 10m platform while Ken Nee and Rossharisham will try to outdo each other in the men's individual 1m springboard.

Leong Mun Yee will partner Elizabeth Jimie in the women's 3m synchronised springboard.


Malaysia Menang 10 Emas Hari Ini, Makin Hampir Dengan Sasaran

KORAT, 13 Dis (Bernama) -- Persembahan cemerlang pasukan karate membantu kontinjen Malaysia Sukan SEA ke-24 untuk mendekati sasaran 64 pingat emas selepas menyumbangkan empat daripada 10 pingat emas hari ini.

Selain empat daripada karate, penerjun-penerjun negara menyumbangkan dua emas menerusi 3m papan anjal lelaki dan 1m papan anjal wanita manakala pasukan hoki menyapu kedua-dua pingat emas dalam acara lelaki dan wanita.

Pasukan gimrama menyumbangkan satu emas diikuti satu lagi daripada pasukan bola keranjang wanita yang menundukkan Thailand dengan hanya satu mata, menerusi gol pada masa tambahan.

Dengan 10 emas hari ini, Malaysia kekal di tangga ketiga dengan 54 emas, 45 perak dan 82 gangsa. Thailand semakin jauh untuk dikejar setelah mengatasi sasaran 150 pingat emas dengan 154 emas, 109 perak dan 94 gangsa manakala kedua Vietnam dengan 60 emas, 50 perak dan 74 gangsa.

Indonesia di tempat keempat dengan 41 emas manakala juara Sukan SEA Manila dua tahun lepas, Filipina di tempat kelima dengan 39 emas, Singapura keenam dengan 39 emas diikuti Myanmar (10), Laos (lima), Kemboja (dua) dan Brunei (satu).

Esok, hari kedua terakir Sukan SEA Korat, menawarkan 56 pingat emas dengan terbanyak dalam acara pelayaran (12), kanu (tujuh), karate (tujuh), terjun (lima), luncur angin (lima), badminton (lima), taekwondo (empat), judo (empat), tenis (dua), bola tampar (dua), perlumbaan bot tradisonal (dua), snuker (dua), besbol (satu), boling (satu), bola sepak (satu) dan gimrama (satu).

Dengan hanya 19 emas yang masih ada pada hari terakhir, kontinjen Malaysia mesti mencuba mencapai sasaran itu esok.

Harapan Malaysia adalah dalam acara terjun, pelayaran, karate, taekwondo, judo, boling, gimrama dan bola tampar pantai.


Karate: Another wonder show from karate

S. Mahendran (right) lands a kick on Indonesia's Christo Mondulu in the kumite below 75kg final yesterday. Mahendran beat Mondulu 1-0 to win the gold.
S. Mahendran (right) lands a kick on Indonesia's Christo Mondulu in the kumite below 75kg final yesterday. Mahendran beat Mondulu 1-0 to win the gold.

THE karate exponents stood tall yet again as the Negaraku was played four times at the Kebkanjana Hall yesterday.

(Clockwise) Karate exponents S. Mahendran, G. Yamini, Lim Yoke Wai and Jamaliah Jamaluddin with their gold medals.
(Clockwise) Karate exponents S. Mahendran, G. Yamini, Lim Yoke Wai and Jamaliah Jamaluddin with their gold medals.
Yesterday's four gold, which included a second for Lim Yoke Wai, brought the karate tally to eight, exceeding the official target of four and coach P. Arivalagan's personal projection of seven.

Arivalagan was jubilant but said there was still unfinished business.

"I am happy with our achievements but we want to beat the Indonesians and Vietnamese in the team events.

"It has been a long time since we have done that and if we can win, it will be a tremendous way to cap whatever we have done here," said Arivalagan.
Only the men's and women's team events are left to be decided and going by the form of the Malaysian exponents, another two gold today is a possibility.

After Wednesday's high of four, S. Mahendran gave Malaysia a dream start when he beat Indonesia's Christo Mondulo with a sudden-death point in the men's kumite 75kg.

It was the 27-year-old Mahendran's first gold in four Sea Games appearances, having settled for silver and bronze before.

"I dedicate this to my parents who have been so supportive of me," said Mahendran, who hails from Segamat, Johor.

Then, it was the turn of Jamaliah Jamaluddin to provide gold and hers, she was the first to admit, was a surprise.

"I was only promoted to the national team earlier this year and the Sea Games were supposed to be about exposure for me," said Jamaliah, from Kuala Lumpur.

She was in commanding form in the final against Nguyen Thi Nga of Vietnam, winning 3-0.

Yoke Wai, who clinched the 65kg gold on Wednesday, was Arivalagan's pick for the Open and he didn't disappoint as he outpointed Motuty Usia of Indonesia 6-3.

"What can I say? I came here hoping to win one but I have two now. This sets me up nicely for the team, where I hope to add a third," said Yoke Wai.

Arivalagan's decision to field G. Yamini in the women's Open would have raised questions, especially after she lost the 60kg final 4-3 to Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Hai Yen.

But she proved her coach was right as she was mentally stronger and highly motivated in the Open and was an easy 5-3 winner over Ceril Tugday of the Philippines in the final.

"I was desperate to redeem myself after losing the 60kg final and this motivated me."


Hockey: Double delight!

Malaysia's Chitra Devi (front) attempts a shot past Thailand keeper Suwanmanee Rachan during their match at the Queen Sirikit Hockey Stadium Sport Centre yesterday. Malaysia won 6-0.
Malaysia's Chitra Devi (front) attempts a shot past Thailand keeper Suwanmanee Rachan during their match at the Queen Sirikit Hockey Stadium Sport Centre yesterday. Malaysia won 6-0.

MALAYSIA cruised to a hockey double when both the men's and women's teams registered comfortable wins in their respective finals at the Queen Sirikit Sports Centre in Pathum Thani yesterday.

The men's hockey team thrashed Singapore 7-0 to win the gold yesterday.
The men's hockey team thrashed Singapore 7-0 to win the gold yesterday.
The men thrashed Singapore 7-0 to retain the gold medal they won in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 when hockey was last held at the Sea Games.

G. Sasitheran notched a hat-trick with field goals in the 24th, 50th and 52nd minutes while S. Kuhan weighed in with a brace off penalty corners in the eighth and 59th minutes.

Baljit Singh (12th) and Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi (23rd) also scored for Malaysia, who had the gold medal in the bag by halftime after racing to a 4-0 lead.

But men's coach Sarjit Singh was far from happy with the way his side played despite the hefty win.
"This was not our best performance and not what I wanted to see. We spurned so many chances to score and should have won by a bigger margin," he said.

The women, who only edged Thailand 1-0 in group play, ran riot in the final against the hosts as they completed their three matches without conceding a goal while scoring 12.

Skipper Norfaraha Hashim opened accounts off a penalty corner in the 20th minute before Fazilla Sylvester Silin added the second in the 33rd.

A. Chitra Devi as good as confirmed the gold with the third in the 47th minute. Fazilla added the fourth in the 56th before Norfaraha completed her hat-trick with two more penalty corner conversions in the 68th and 70th minutes.

Women's team manager A. Malarvani said the team wanted to impress after struggling to get past Thailand in the preliminary round.

"What happened before did not matter as we wanted to get it right by winning in style," she said.


Gymnastics: Hard work pays off for gymnasts

The rhythmic gymnastics team of (from left) Wan Siti Haniza, Foong Seow Ting, Chrystal Lim and Jamie Lee with their gold medals yesterday.
The rhythmic gymnastics team of (from left) Wan Siti Haniza, Foong Seow Ting, Chrystal Lim and Jamie Lee with their gold medals yesterday.

TWO rookies, who slept for only about four hours a day for seven months because of their hectic training schedule and preparation for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, helped the rhythmic gymnastics team to retain their gold medal yesterday.

Rhythmic gymnast Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar in action yesterday.
Rhythmic gymnast Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar in action yesterday.
Jaime Lee and Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar lost lots of sleep before their examination because they had to train as well as study.

“Luckily it has paid off,” said Siti.

Both gymnasts were excited as it was their first Sea Games medal and gold at that.

Jaime and Siti competed in only two of the apparatus disciplines but did enough to lift the team to the first position.
Jaime competed in the rope where she scored 14.025 and loop (15.175) while Wan Siti Haniza competed in the clubs (13.950) and ribbon (14.462).

Foong Seow Ting, a gold medallist at the Manila Sea Games, and Lim Wen Chean were the other two members of the team.

The Malaysian quartet’s total score of 149.961 was enough to push hosts Thailand, with a 147.787 score, into second. Vietnam, with a score of 114.95, took the bronze.

However, the two newcomers failed to qualify for the Individual All Around which starts today.

Seow Ting, the most senior in the team, scored an average of 15.000, while Wen Chean scored an average of 15.400, to clinch the gold.

Both also qualified for the Individual All Around.


Basketball: Heart-stopper for cagers

Malaysia's Chan Ying Chee (left) falls while trying to stop a Thailand player in their match yesterday. Malaysia won 61-60 to take gold.
Malaysia's Chan Ying Chee (left) falls while trying to stop a Thailand player in their match yesterday. Malaysia won 61-60 to take gold.

THE national women's basketball team played the match of their lives against hosts Thailand which finally won them the gold medal at the Keelapirom Stadium in Suranaree University of Technology yesterday.

To their credit, the Malaysians refused to be intimidated by the noisy 3,000 capacity home crowd and eventually won 61-60.

The winning point came with just four seconds remaining in overtime when Chow Siao Foong completed a free shot after being a victim of a foul. But until the 50-point mark, they were trailing the home team by at least three or four points at any one time. They drew level at 53-53 just before regulation time ended.

The match went into overtime and the gutsy Malaysian girls managed six points to the Thais' five to bring home the gold medal for the fourth consecutive time.

Tears flowed freely from the players and officials when the match ended. The small band of Malaysian supporters also ran onto the court to hug and congratulate the players.
Kew Suik May, 25, said they were initially intimidated by the boisterous crowd. "But after the first quarter we got used to it and started playing our usual game."

She disclosed that sometime in the third quarter they employed a strategy which was to tire out the Thais and go for the kill. "I think it worked."

Coach Tan See Wah was ecstatic and said: "I have won nine Sea Games gold medals but this time is the happiest of them all."

He said it was difficult to play in such an intimidating atmosphere. "But the girls are tough. They are young players with limited international exposure. But I am proud they came out victorious."


Diving: Golden cheer for Mun Yee and Ken Nee

Malaysian divers Yeoh Ken Nee (left) bagged the gold in the 3m springboard while Leong Mun Yee won the 1m springboard at the Aquatic Centre in Korat yesterday.
Malaysian divers Yeoh Ken Nee (left) bagged the gold in the 3m springboard while Leong Mun Yee won the 1m springboard at the Aquatic Centre in Korat yesterday.

THERE was double joy from the divers yesterday as Leong Mun Yee and Yeoh Ken Nee both delivered gold medals in their respective events.

It was sweet revenge for Mun Yee as she defeated nemesis Sheila Perez of the Philippines in the 1m springboard while Ken Nee emerged tops in the 3m springboard.

Mun Yee, who played second fiddle to Sheila in the 3m springboard the previous day, said she was disappointed with the judging on Wednesday.

"I told myself I would not let that affect my performance today (yesterday) and I would do my best. And that is what I did and it paid off. I have avenged my defeat to her yesterday (Wednesday) and in the last Sea Games in Manila," she said.

There was also good news for another Malaysian as Elizabeth Jimie grabbed the bronze.
She could have taken silver as she was second at one stage but Sheila's degree of difficulty earned her extra points in the subsequent dives.

Mun Yee amassed 278.30 points, Sheila 265.80 while Elizabeth got 263.10 points.

Meanwhile, Ken Nee won the 3m springboard gold for the third consecutive Games and fourth overall, having also won in 1999.

Rossharisham Roslan made it 1-2 for Malaysia. The bronze went to Filipino Domemios Zardo.

Ken Nee scored 444.05 points, Rossharisham 435.65 and Zardo 407.40.

He said the win proves that his training in China is bearing fruit.

"I hope to repeat this success in the synchronised diving tomorrow (today)," said Ken Nee.


Sea Games: Karate exponents chop down another four gold medals

THE Malaysian karate squad continued their onslaught at the Chanapolkhan Institute of Technology in Korat yesterday, delivering four gold medals for the second consecutive day.

S. Mahendran (men’s below 75kg), Lim Yoke Wai (men’s Open), G. Yamini (women’s Open) and Jamalliah Jamalludin (women’s over 60kg) all struck gold in their kumite events to bring the team’s haul to eight.

With the men’s and women’s team events remaining today, the team are in with a shot to cap off their fine run in Korat by improving on the best haul of 9-3-6 achieved in the 2001 KL Games.

In the morning’s competition, only a single punch was thrown in the entire bout of the men’s under 75kg final.

Glittering feat: (from left) S. Mahendran, Jamalliah Jamalludin and G. Yamini showing off their gold medals after winning their respective kumite events in the karate competition at the Chanapolkhan Institute of Technology in Korat yesterday.
The punch thrown by Mahendran 11 seconds into sudden death period hit Indonesian Cristo Mondolu and it landed gold for the Malaysian.

Mahendran won 1-0 in the highly tactical and unusual final that saw both exponents not making a single move throughout the three-minute regulation period.

He thanked national chief coach P. Arivalagan for plotting the strategy.

“Ari told me not to go rushing in and only to hit back when the Indonesian attacked. But my opponent was also playing mind games by being reluctant to go on the offensive.

“In the end, the final had to be decided by a single punch,” said Mahendran.

The win lifted a huge burden off Mahendran’s shoulders as he had not won in a major tournament since triumphing in the same event at the 2003 Hanoi SEA Games.

“It is a huge relief to finally get a big win after four years. I always failed before this because I pushed too hard to win. I did not put any pressure on myself and did not think of the gold medal until the very end,” he said.

In the afternoon session, Yoke Wai created history by becoming the first Malaysian exponent to win two individual gold medals at the same Games.

Yoke Wai overturned a losing position against Indonesia’s Yulisar Motuty in the men’s Open final to emerge as the champion, adding to his triumph in the under 65kg competition on Wednesday.

Yulisar was leading 3-1 with less than 90 seconds to go before Yoke Wai took charge completely and pummelled his opponent to carve out a 6-3 victory.

“Although I was trailing, there was never any doubt in my mind that I was the better fighter,” he said.

“I had to wait for six years to get my first SEA Games gold and it took me another 24 hours to get the second. Hopefully, I can create history again tomorrow by bagging my third gold in the team event.”

Yamini recovered from the heartbreak of losing the women’s under 60kg final in the morning to triumph in the much tougher Open category competition.

The Asian Championships gold medallist was in tears after going down 3-4 to Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Hai Yen in the morning’s final. But she bounced back to beat Myanmar’s Ohn Mar Pyo 5-3 in the Open final.

“I was upset over the defeat in the morning. But I managed to cast it aside to concentrate on the Open final.

“I am happy to make amends and bag my first SEA Games gold medal,” said Yamini, who celebrated her 27th birthday on Wednesday.

An unexpected gold was delivered by Jamalliah, who downed Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Nga in the women’s over 60kg final.

“After two years in the senior squad, I am happy to have finally bagged my first major victory. My secret to success here was remaining cool in all my fights. My coaches told me to treat the SEA Games just like any other tournament and adopting such a low-key attitude worked well for me,” said the 23-year-old.

Her younger brother, Shahruddin, settled for the bronze in the men’s below 70kg competition.

Two other Malaysian kumite exponents in action yesterday, 2005 Manila Games gold medallist L. Kunasilan and Julian Jarvis, finished empty-handed in the men’s under 60kg and over 75kg categories respectively.


Sea Games: Diving into history

YEOH Ken Nee rewrote SEA Games history by winning the men’s 3m springboard individual title for the fourth time, beating team-mate Rossharisham Roslan to the gold medal at the Aquatics Centre in the Korat Sports Complex yesterday.

Leong Mun Yee also made it a grand day for Malaysia, bagging the other gold at stake for the day in the women’s 1m springboard individual competition. Elizabeth Jimie also bounced back from a poor performance in the 3m springboard competition the previous day to take bronze for Malaysia.

As the defending champion, Ken Nee started as the favourite yesterday. But he faced a strong challenge from Rossharisham, who was the leader after the first two rounds.

Ken Nee took over with a third dive, which earned him 76.50. He went on to take the gold with a six-dive total of 444.05.

Golden splash: Leong Mun Yee in action during the women's 1m springboard yesterday. Mun Yee won the gold.
Rossharisham settled for silver on 436.65 ahead of Filipino Zardo Domenios (407.40).

“I did not use a high degree of difficulty and I am satisfied with my performance here. Rossharisham gave me a tough fight today and he is constantly making improvement,” said the 24-year-old Ken Nee.

The 3m individual springboard competition yesterday also exposed the antiquated diving board. Thailand’s Meerit Insawang and Filipino Carog Nino hit the board in their first and fifth attempts respectively.

Meerit was lucky to escape unhurt but Carog needed medical attention after scraping his leg against the board.

“The springs is stiffer and it is dangerous if the divers try to execute a high degree of difficulty,” said Ken Nee.

Mun Yee also successfully defended her 1m springboard title by garnering a total of 278.30 points.

And Filipina Sheila Mae Perez, who beat Mun Yee to the 3m springboard gold on Wednesday, pipped Elizabeth to the silver on her last attempt.

She had a total of 265.80 against 263.10 for Elizabeth.

Malaysia are expected to boost up their gold medal tally today.

Five finals will be contested in the men’s and women’s 3m springboard synchronised, women’s 10m platform synchronised, men’s 1m springboard and 10m platform individual.


Malaysia stay on course for two golds

MALAYSIA are in contention for two gold medals from sailing after the penultimate day of competition at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya yesterday.

Mohd Romzi Mohamad has a three-point lead over Singapore's Koh Seng Leong after 11 races in the International Laser event.

Romzi has won seven races and finished second in the remaining races.

The lowest scores of two races do not count in the final classification for medals and only the Singaporean can deny Romzi the gold.

Thai sailor Manat Phothong, who is in bronze medal position, has a total of 28 points.

In the Laser Radial competition, Nurul Elia Anuar is locked in a tight battle with Singapore's Siobhan Tam.

Nurul has 12 points after 11 races and trail the Singaporean by just one point. Nurul has won five races, one few than Siobhan and has to beat the Singaprean today to take the gold.

Malaysia's hopes to maintain their proud record in the Optimist event is as good as over.

Mohd Asri Nazrin is in third position in the boy's event with 16 points and trails Asian Games silver medallist Navee Thamsoontorn by four.

Alissa Chew has the uphill task of overhauling a four-point deficit in the girls' event. She trailed Singapore's Rachel Lee in third place on 13 points.

Mohd Asri Nazrin, Alissa, Mohd Afendy Kharunisa, Koh Boon Quan and Mohd Afendy Khairul Nizam secured a bronze for Malaysia in the optimist team racing on Wednesday.

The team garnered three penalty points while Thailand beat the more fancied Singapore, silver medallists in the world championships, to the gold.


Veteran Chow leads Malaysia to one-point win over hosts

TEARS of joy flowed freely in the Malaysian camp as the women’s basketball team won their fourth consecutive SEA Games gold medal at the Keelapirom Stadium last night.

And they achieved it in the most dramatic fashion, coming from behind to beat hosts Thailand 61-60 in extra time.

The Malaysians were up against the odds from the start when they trooped on to the court to the deafening sounds generated by the Thai supporters.

They trailed 27-31 and 38-40 going into the fourth and final quarter of the match to decide the gold medallists in the round-robin competition. But the Malaysians kept up the pressure and levelled the score at 55-55 with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.

Region’s best: The Philippines’ basketball team rejoice after winning the men’s gold yesterday. – AP
It was the most experienced player in the team, Chow Siao Foong, who turned the tide by sinking a three-pointer in extra time to put Malaysia ahead 58-55 and she came to the rescue again moments later.

Thailand forced their way back into the match to level at 60-60 with four successive free throws but 31-year-old Siao Foong rose to the occasion to sink the winner with 59 seconds on the clock, also from a free throw despite hecklings from the Thai supporters.

Siao Foong said it was the sweetest victory for them to bag the gold after a four-year wait.

Malaysia wrested the gold from Thailand at the 1997 Jakarta Games but women’s basketball was not staged in Brunei two years later. Malaysia were again champions in the 2001 KL Games and retained the title in Vietnam two years later.


Hockey earns two golds, but Sarjit is not happy with display

THE Malaysian men’s and women’s hockey teams continue to remain unshakeable in the SEA Games.

In the finals at the Queen Sirikit Sports Centre yesterday, the men’s team gave Singapore a 7-0 hockey lesson while the women did the same to Thailand, handing the hosts a 0-6 defeat.

Despite the big win by the men, national coach Sarjit Singh was still not satisfied with their overall performance.

“Malaysia are the regional hockey powerhouse. A lot still needs to be done for us to be a world powerhouse,” said Sarjit.

Women’s team manager Malarvani Annamalai said the two-week training stint the girls underwent in India before the Games helped tremendously in their quest for glory.


Semakin hampiri sasaran - Sepuluh lagi pingat emas dikutip semalam

(DARI Kiri): Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar, Chrystal Lim, Foong Seow Ting dan Jamie Lee meraikan kejayaan memenangi pingat emas gimrama berpasukan.
KORAT – Malaysia hampiri sasaran 64 pingat emas pada ketika Sukan SEA tinggal dua hari saja lagi untuk ditamatkan apabila menambah 10 lagi emas semalam, sekali gus mengumpul 54 emas keseluruhan setakat ini.

Skuad karate-do sekali lagi mempamer persembahan luar biasa, menambah empat lagi pingat emas pada hari kedua acara itu semalam, sekali gus mengumpul lapan emas keseluruhan dan menjadikan mereka sukan paling cemerlang di Korat.

Turut menyumbangkan emas negara semalam adalah terjun (2), hoki (2), bola keranjang wanita (1) dan gimrama berpasukan (1).

Pada ketika edisi ke-24 Sukan SEA hanya berbaki dua hari untuk diharungi, kontinjen negara perlu mencari tambahan 10 lagi emas bagi memenuhi sasaran 64 emas yang diletakkan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN).

Di atas kertas, jumlah tersebut mampu dipenuhi. Malah, hari ini saja kita berharap untuk menambah sekurang-kurangnya tujuh atau lapan lagi emas daripada acara terjun, gimrama, taekwando, boling dan sekali lagi, karate-do.

Malaysia juga mempunyai beberapa acara yang berpotensi menambah emas pada hari terakhir esok, dengan gimrama menawarkan empat lagi pingat – kita adalah pilihan dalam semua acara, terjun pula menawarkan dua emas dalam acara kegemaran penerjun kita, manakala sukan pelayaran tiba ke kemuncak perlumbaan.

Semalam, Lim Yoke Wai mengetuai kecemerlangan karate dengan meraih emas keduanya dalam acara kumite lelaki terbuka selepas memenangi emas pertama dalam kelas bawah 65kg kelmarin.

G. Yamini pula membuktikan kehebatannya selaku juara Asia dengan menjuarai pertarungan terbuka wanita, sekali gus menebus kegagalannya dalam saingan akhir kumite bawah 60kg.

Dua lagi emas karate-do disumbangkan oleh Jamaliah Jamaluddin dalam kategori 60kg wanita dan S. Mahendran, yang bertarung dalam saingan kumite 75kg lelaki.

Hari ini jaguh karate negara akan kembali ke gelanggang untuk pertarungan kumite lelaki dan wanita berpasukan.

Pada asalnya, ia bukanlah acara sasaran kita, namun melihat aksi luar biasa yang dipertonton sepanjang dua hari pertama saingan, tiada siapa mampu menafikan Malaysia adalah pilihan utama untuk memenangi dua emas terakhir.

Di kolam renang, Leong Mun Yee menebus kegagalannya dalam acara 3 meter papan anjal wanita kelmarin apabila memenangi emas 1m.

Yeoh Ken Nee terdahulu memberikan emas pertama terjun dengan mempertahankan kejuaraan 3m papan anjal lelaki, menewaskan rakan senegara, Rossharisham Roslan di tempat kedua.

Terjun menawarkan lima lagi pingat emas hari ini, dan Malaysia berada pada kedudukan baik untuk memenangi empat daripadanya dengan penerjun Olimpik, Bryan Nickson akan memulakan saingan acara platform.

Ken Nee sekali lagi menjadi harapan Malaysia untuk menambah dua emas dalam acara 1m dan 3m papan anjal serentak (bersama Rossharisham), manakala Bryan bertanding dalam 10m platform.

Wanita turut menaruh satu emas daripada gandingan Mun Yee-Elizabeth Jimie yang akan beraksi dalam 3m papan anjal, sementara kombinasi Cheong Jun Hoong-Pandelela Rinong turun dalam saingan 10m platform serentak.

Sementara itu, gimrama memulakan pemburuan lima pingat emas dengan memenangi emas pertama dalam acara berpasukan, menerusi gandingan hebat Chrystal Lim, Foong Seow Ting, Jamie Lee Yoke Jeng dan Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar.

Chrystal dan Seow Ting, selaku gimnas paling senior di dalam skuad menjadi pertarungan terbaik untuk memenangi emas all-around individu hari ini.

Hoki pula memenuhi sasaran dua pingat emas dengan penuh bergaya apabila skuad lelaki dan wanita membelasah lawan masing-masing pada perlawanan akhir.

Jika skuad lelaki menundukkan Singapura 7-0 dalam perlawanan akhir, pasukan wanita pula nyata bukan tandingan Thailand apabila menang besar 6-0.

Pasukan bola keranjang wanita pula dipaksa mengharungi detik yang mendebarkan apabila menundukkan seteru utamanya, Thailand hanya dengan satu mata sebelum mengesahkan emas. Malaysia menang 61-60.

Selepas menyumbangkan tiga emas, boling gagal menambah pungutan pingat emas dalam acara Masters lelaki dan wanita semalam selepas Esther Cheah dan Zulmazran Zulkifli hanya mampu membawa pulang perak dan gangsa.

Begitu pun, tenpin boling berharap untuk menamatkan saingan dengan sekurang-kurangnya sebutir emas, yang sekali gus akan memenuhi sasaran empat emas apabila turun dalam acara beregu campuran hari ini.

Turut berharap untuk menambah pingat emas hari ini adalah taekwando, yang menyaksikan atlet Olimpik negara, Elaine Teo beraksi dalam kategori 51kg wanita.

Dua hari sebelum Temasya ditutup, Malaysia masih kekal di tangga ketiga kedudukan pingat keseluruhan dengan mengumpul 54 emas, 45 perak dan 82 gangsa.

Thailand sudah pun mengesahkan kejuaraan walau pun Sukan SEA masih berbaki dua hari selepas terlalu jauh meninggalkan negara lain dengan mengumpul 154 emas, meninggalkan Vietnam di tempat kedua dengan 60 emas.


Karate hebat, rangkul empat lagi pingat emas

(DARI Kiri): S. Mahendran, Lim Yoke Wai, Jamaliah Jamaludin dan G. Yamini gembira menambah empat lagi pingat emas daripada acara karate-do di Korat.
KORAT – Langkah kanan skuad karate negara dalam Sukan SEA Korat di Dewan Kebkanjana, Kolej Teknologi Korat semakin melebar pada hari kedua setelah mereka memungut empat lagi pingat emas sambil Lim Yoke Wei menambah koleksi dua emas peribadi.

Selepas menjuarai kumite 65kg lelaki kelmarin, Yoke Wei menguasai kategori lelaki terbuka dengan menewaskan Yulisar Motuty dari Indonesia 6-3, manakala tiga lagi emas diraih oleh Jamaliah Jamaludin (kumite atas 60kg), G. Yamini (kumite terbuka wanita) dan S. Mahendran (kumite bawah 75kg lelaki).

Kata Mahendran, 26,: “Menang tipis 1-0 ke atas juara bertahan, Christo Mondolu dari Indonesia membuktikan kehebatan pertarungan kami. Kali ini saya memang puas dan gembira meraih mata kemenangan hanya dengan tumbukan tepat.”

Pendekar karate kelahiran Segamat, Johor ini menambah: “Ini emas untuk tunang saya, S. Saritha dan keluarga saya.”

Jamaliah, 21, pula membawa kejutan buat kem negara apatah lagi Korat hanya penampilan sulungnya dalam Sukan SEA selepas menumpaskan Nguyen Thi Nga dari Vietnam 3-0.

Gadis ibu kota ini hanya menerapkan taktik mengawal setiap inci gelanggang sekali gus mengekang sebarang serangan lawan sebelum mencuri pukulan balas yang menghasilkan mata.

Yamini mempamerkan kebangkitan dengan menundukkan Cherli Tugdy dari Filipina 5-3 untuk menjuarai terbuka wanita sekali gus menebus kekalahan mengejutnya kepada Vu Thi Nguyen Anh dari Vietnam dalam kumite bawah 60kg.

“Sasaran awal ialah bawah 60kg tetapi bila dapat yang terbuka, saya tetap gembira,” katanya.

Malaysia turut menambah sebutir perak melalui Yamini dan sebutir gangsa menerusi Shahrudin Jamaludin dalam bawah 70kg lelaki.


Mun Yee tebus emas

KORAT – Leong Mun Yee menebus kekalahannya dalam acara 3m papan anjal wanita semalam dengan mengejutkan juara bertahan bagi memenangi acara 1m papan anjal manakala Yeoh Ken Nee mempertahankan pingat emas acara 3m papan anjal lelaki pada saingan acara terjun Sukan SEA ke-24 semalam.

Dalam pertandingan di Stadium Akuatik, Stadium Ulang Tahun Keputeraan itu, Mun Yee yang tumpas kepada Sheila Perez dari Filipina kelmarin, semalam menewaskan Perez dengan keseluruhan mata 278.30 untuk menang emas manakala penerjun Filipina itu hanya memperoleh 265.8 mata untuk perak dan gangsa dimenangi seorang lagi penerjun negara, Elizabeth Jimie dengan 263.10 mata.

Di Manila dua tahun lepas, Mun Yee tewas kepada Perez dalam acara yang sama.

“Saya sangat gembira dengan pencapaian hari ini dan saya kena meningkat lagi untuk layak ke Olimpik,” kata penerjun berusia 23 tahun dari Perak itu.

Dalam acara 3m papan anjal lelaki, Ken Nee tiada masalah untuk mempertahankan emasnya dengan mengutip 444.05 mata manakala rakan senegara Rossharisham Roslan yang mendapat 435.65 mata memperoleh perak.

Ken Nee berkata persembahan Rossharisham hari ini memaksa dia beraksi dengan lebih baik.

“Saya betul-betul bersedia dan Rossharisham memberikan cabaran yang sihat,” kata pemenang pingat perak Sukan Asia Doha dalam acara 3m papan anjal terjun serentak bersama Rossharisham.

Ken Nee berkata temasya kali ini merupakan peluang baginya untuk bersedia sebelum Kejohanan Terjun Dunia di Beijing, China Februari depan.

“Saya sangat berharap untuk layak ke Olimpik,” katanya.

– Bernama

Gimrama tampil aksi emas

KORAT – Pasukan gimrama Malaysia mengekalkan pingat emas acara berpasukan apabila persembahan mereka lebih berjaya memikat para juri berbanding tuan rumah, Thailand pada saingan akhir di Stadium Tertutup 1, Stadium Ulang Tahun Keputeraan semalam.

Gandingan Chyrstal Lim, Foong Seow Ting, Jamie Lee Yoke Jeng dan Wan Siti Haniza Wan Izahar berjaya mengetepikan rasa gentar dengan sorakan penyokong tuan rumah untuk tenang dalam aksi mereka ketika mereka perlu melakukan yang terbaik untuk mengekalkan emas yang dimenangi di Manila dua tahun lepas.

Mata keseluruhan gimnas-gimnas negara dalam pilihan tiga daripada empat disiplin – gelung, tali, kelab dan reben – dalam masa dua hari pertandingan adalah 149.961 berbanding Thailand 147.787 yang menang perak dan pemenang gangsa Vietnam dengan 114.950 mata.

Hanya satu pingat emas ditawarkan dalam acara gimrama semalam.

Dalam saingan dua hari itu, Wen Chean merupakan gimnas terbaik negara dengan mengumpulkan 46.212 mata manakala Seow Ting 44.712 mata.

Tiga mata terbaik setiap gimnas akan menentukan mata keseluruhan pasukan.

Walaupun Malaysia menang emas, catatan individu terbaik dilakukan gimnas Thailand, Sridee Tharathip dengan 46.412 mata dan beliau dijangka menjadi pilihan untuk menafikan peluang juara bertahan, Seow Ting untuk mengekalkan emas individu keseluruhan hari ini.

Pengurus pasukan gimnastik Tan Gin Soon berkata gimrama telah menyumbangkan lima emas di Manila dan kemenangan semalam pasti memberi semangat untuk mereka mengulanginya.

“Gimnas Thailand, Sridee cemerlang hari ini (semalam), terutama di depan penyokong sendiri dan dia perlu diberi perhatian dalam acara individu,” katanya.


Cai Lin permata baru renang negara

KORAT – Perenang sensasi negara, Khoo Cai Lin mempamerkan prestasi yang menakjubkan pada Sukan SEA ke-24 di sini, memenangi dua pingat emas dengan catatan rekod baru kejohanan dan memecahkan rekod kebangsaan yang telah bertahan selama 19 tahun.

Perenang berusia 19 tahun itu mencipta rekod baru dalam acara 400m dan 800m gaya bebas wanita dengan catatan 4:18.20 dan 8:47:80, mengatasi catatan lama 4:19.13 dan 8:58.88.

Catatannya dalam 800m gaya bebas telah memadamkan rekod kebangsaan 8:47.98 yang dilakukan legenda renang wanita negara, Nurul Huda Abdullah dalam pertandingan di China pada 1988.

Sukan SEA Korat adalah yang ketiga buat Cai Lin. Dia membuat penampilan pertama pada Sukan SEA 2003 di Hanoi dengan hanya menang satu pingat emas (800m gaya bebas) tetapi gagal memenangi sebarang pingat pada Sukan SEA Manila dua tahun lepas kerana demam panas dan selesema.

Cai Lin memulakan penglibatan dalam renang menerusi renang berirama tetapi kemudian beralih kepada pertandingan renang jarak jauh. Dia dilatih oleh Gavin Urquhart dari Australia.

Selepas berakhirnya acara renang Sukan SEA Korat, perenang kelahiran Selangor itu berkata dia akan ke Amerika Syarikat untuk melanjutkan pelajarannya dan bertanding dalam pertandingan pra-Olimpik pada Januari depan.

“Saya berharap untuk layak dalam lebih banyak acara dan menang pingat pada Sukan Olimpik tahun depan,” katanya.

Dia sudah melayakkan diri ke Sukan Olimpik Beijing dalam acara kegemarannya, 400m dan 800m gaya bebas.


Pembangunan atlit wanita perlu diberi lebih tumpuan

PERSATUAN sukan kebangsaan perlu memberikan lebih perhatian terhadap pembangunan atlit wanita kerana mereka sudah terbukti mampu menghasilkan kejayaan buat negara pada masa depan.

Presiden Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM), Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaa'far berkata pemain bowling wanita negara adalah antara contoh atlit wanita yang berjaya menampilkan persembahan terbaik di Sukan Sea kali ini.

"Pemain bowling wanita sudah membuktikan beberapa kali keupayaan mereka selama ini.

"Dan saya rasa ini adalah satu sebab kenapa persatuan sukan kebangsaan seharusnya menggembeleng usaha yang lebih untuk membangunkan atlit wanita," katanya yang ditemui ketika melawat skuad negara di SF Strike Bowl, Bangkok, semalam.

Secara keseluruhannya, Tunku Imran bangga dengan persembahan atlit wanita Malaysia pada tahun ini sambil menjelaskan mereka datang tepat pada ketika diperlukan.

"Atlit wanita kita terbukti menampilkan persembahan terbaik tahun ini terutamanya (pemain badminton) Wong Mew Choo yang memenangi gelaran Siri Super Terbuka China buat kali pertama dan menewaskan ramai pemain handalan China.

"Pemain badminton dan tiga pemanah lelaki membanggakan kita kerana berjaya layak ke Olimpik secara merit. Mereka seharusnya mengekalkan tahap terbaik dalam permainan mereka pada tahun depan dan beraksi dengan baik seperti tahun ini," katanya.

Ditanya mengenai Sukan Olimpik Beijing tahun depan, Tunku Imran yakin temasya empat tahun sekali itu akan menjadi medan buat atlit negara mencipta sejarah bagi mendapatkan keputusan terbaik bagi mengembalikan maruah negara selepas gagal pada 2000 dan 2004.

"Saya berharap akan dapat melihat persembahan terbaik daripada atlit kita terutama pemain badminton. Memang kita mahu memenangi pingat tetapi apa yang lebih penting ialah mereka dapat mencipta pencapaian peribadi terbaik.

"Kerana itu, mereka perlu mencipta tahap persembahan lebih berkualiti di Olimpik bagi memastikan penampilan yang lebih terpuji dalam saingan terbaik di sana nanti," katanya.

Berita Harian

Thursday, December 13, 2007


On December 9 2007, Ng Sock Khim from Malaysia (World Ranking 286) created the BIGGEST upset in the Women Singles Group Qualifying matches by beating China born, Li Jiawei (World Ranking 6) from Singapore 3 -2 to enter the semi-finals.

Before the match no one expected Sock Khim to qualify as only the top player from each of the 4 groups qualify for the semi-finals
However, this petite lass from Kedah did the impossible task by showing her strong fighting spirit to edge her much stronger and higher ranked opponent.
On December 10 2007 morning Sock Khim went on the beat Muangsuk Anissara (World Ranking 130) from Thailand 4 - 2 with the score 11-4, 8-11, 11-0, 6-11, 11-9 to enter the final
In the afternoon, she lost to another China born Singaporean Wang Yuegu (World Ranking 8) 0 - 4 with the score being 4-11, 8-11, 2-11, 4-11
Although Sock Khim did not win the gold medal, the silver medal is rewarding enough for her efford.
Malaysia and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM is very proud of her achievement.

13 emas pintas Singapura

KAYUHAN EMAS... Atlet Lumba basikal Malaysia mengangkat tangan meraikan kejayaan memenangi emas dalam acara 4km kejar mengejar berpasukan pada Sukan SEA di Korat, Thailand, semalam.
KORAT – Malaysia melonjak ke tangga ketiga kedudukan pingat keseluruhan buat kali pertama selepas mengutip 13 emas semalam, pencapaian terbesar kita pada Sukan SEA ke-24 selepas lebih seminggu Temasya berlangsung.

Karate-do memulakan saingan dengan menggondol empat emas, manakala boling padang dikejutkan dengan kekalahan juara Sukan Komanwel dua kali, Siti Zalina Ahmad, namun masih mampu memberikan empat emas.

Lumba basikal menghadiahkan pingat emas keempat mereka dengan menambah dua lagi semalam, sementara ekusterian, taekwondo dan memanah masing-masing menyumbang satu emas.

Selepas genap seminggu Sukan SEA ke-24 dilangsungkan secara rasmi, kontinjen negara berjaya mengumpul 44 pingat emas, kurang 20 emas daripada yang disasarkan pada ketika Temasya tinggal tiga hari untuk ditutup.

Mereka berjaya mengetepikan Singapura daripada kedudukan ketiga pungutan pingat, namun masih di belakang Thailand yang meraih 119 emas dan Vietnam dengan 57 pingat emas.

Karate, yang masih mempunyai dua hari kejohanan - hari ini dan esok sekali lagi menjadi pertaruhan Malaysia untuk membantu mencari baki 20 emas yang diperlukan.

Semalam, Ku Jit Keat dan Lim Lee Lee mengetuai hari cemerlang negara apabila mempertahankan kejuaraan kata lelaki dan wanita individu, sebelum juara Asia, R. Puvaneswaran dan Lim Yoke Wai menambah dua lagi emas dalam acara bawah 55 dan 65kg lelaki.

Hari ini, karate berpotensi menambah tiga lagi emas dengan Yoke Wei sekali lagi turun ke gelanggang, kali ini bertanding dalam kelas terbuka.

Turut menjadi pertaruhan adalah juara Asia, G. Yamini yang akan bertanding dalam dua saingan - bawah 60kg dan terbuka wanita, manakala L. Kunasilan turun mempertahankan gelaran 60kg lelaki yang dimenangi pada Sukan SEA 2005.

Seperti yang dijanjikan, boling padang menjadi lubuk emas Malaysia, namun kejayaan itu sedikit tercemar dengan kekalahan mengejut Siti Zalina.

Siti Zalina, 26, dikejutkan oleh pemain tuan rumah, Songsin Tsao pada perlawanan akhir, namun mujurlah kegagalannya itu berjaya ditebus rakan-rakan lain.

Gandingan Azim Azami Ariffin-Mohd. Amir Yusof menghadiahkan emas dalam acara beregu lelaki, manakala kombinasi Fairul Izwan Abdul Muin, Mohd. Azwan Shuhaimi dan Zulhilmie Redzuan meraih emas trio lelaki.

Dua lagi emas menerusi beregu wanita Azlina Arshad-Emma Firyana Saroji dan trio Maisarah Aminludin, Nor Fidrah Noh serta Nor Hashimah Ismail.

Seperti dijangkakan, pelumba Malaysia mempamer aksi mantap dalam perlumbaan basikal pecut apabila mendominasi dua saingan akhir, di mana Josiah Ng berjaya mengalahkan Mohd. Azizulhasni Awang.

Malaysia turut menambah emas kedua di velodrom menerusi kombinasi Amir Mustapha Rusli, Jasmin Ruslan, Akmal Amrun dan Mohd. Harif Salleh yang memenangi acara 4km kejar mengejar berpasukan.

Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil pula memastikan Malaysia menyapu kesemua empat emas yang ditawarkan dalam acara ekuestrian setakat ini dengan muncul juara show jumping individu, iaitu emas keempatnya berturut-turut.

Selepas memenangi acara recurve individu, Cheng Chu Sian membantu skuad memanah meraih emas kedua dalam recurve berpasukan bersama Muhammad Marbawi Sulaiman dan Wan Mohd. Khalmizam Wan Abd. Aziz.

Turut menjadi menyumbangkan pingat emas semalam adalah Che Chew Chan yang mempamer pertarungan terhebat ketika menjuarai acara taekwondo 72kg wanita.

Malaysia berharap untuk mengutip sekurang-kurangnya sembilan lagi emas, menghampiri sasaran keseluruhan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) iaitu 64 emas.

Selain karate-do, yang berkedudukan baik untuk memberikan sekurang-kurangnya tiga lagi pingat emas, prospek Malaysia juga adalah dalam acara terjun, hoki dan lumba basikal.

Yeoh Ken Nee akan turun mempertahankan kejuaraan 3m papan anjal lelaki, manakala Leong Mun Yee cuba menebus kegagalannya dalam 3m papan anjal wanita semalam dengan beraksi dalam saingan 1m hari ini.

Hoki pula menjanjikan pingat emas yang cerah, terutama dalam saingan lelaki, di mana Malaysia akan bertemu Singapura dalam perlawanan akhir. Kita membelasah Singapura 7-1 pada pertemuan peringkat kumpulan.

Hoki wanita menemukan Malaysia dengan musuh tradisi, Thailand, pasukan yang dikalahkannya 1-0 dalam saingan awal.

Basikal akan cuba mempertahankan salah satu daripada dua emas lebuh raya yang dimenangi di Filipina dua tahun lalu, dan peluang terbaik adalah menerusi dua pelumba yang berpengkalan di Eropah, Fauzan Lufti dan Ng Yong Li.

Turut menjadi tumpuan hari ini adalah acara boling yang menawarkan dua emas terakhir di Bangkok, dan prospek terbaik Malaysia adalah dalam Masters Wanita, di mana Esther Cheah berjaya mendahului blok pertama semalam.


Karate melombong emas

KORAT – Skuad karatedo negara seolah- olah menjadikan Dewan Kebkanjana, Kolej Teknologi Korat seperti ‘lombong emas’ apabila memenangi empat daripada lapan pingat tersebut dalam Sukan SEA Korat, semalam.

Ia hasil kerahan kudrat dan titisan keringat tiga pendekar - Lim Lee Lee, 33, Ku Jin Keat, 32 dan R. Puvaneswaran, 33 selain wira muda bersemangat tinggi, Lim Yoke Wai.

Puvaneswaran meraih emas keempatnya dalam Sukan SEA terakhirnya di sini selepas memenangi kumite kategori 55kg mengatasi atlet Vietnam, Pham Hoai Long, 6-2.

"Biarlah muka baru menggantikan saya kerana sumbangan saya dalam lima Sukan SEA sudah memadai. Tiada apa yang perlu dibuktikan lagi kecuali kepada Sukan Asia dan Kejohanan Dunia selepas ini,” katanya.

Jin Keat pula mengekalkan emas di Filipina, dua tahun lalu dalam kata individu lelaki menewaskan Noel Espinosa dari Filipina.

Dia bagaimanapun masih belum puas menikmati aksi Sukan SEA walaupun temasya Korat merupakan penampilan keenamnya.

Lee Lee pula menguasai kata wanita malah mempertahankan emas 2005 selepas menundukkan Nguyen Hoang Ngan dari Vietnam dalam acara individu.

Emas keempat diraih Yoke Wai dalam kumite 65kg lelaki dengan menewaskan Donny Dharmawan dari Indonesia 3-2 dalam ‘sudden death.’

Malaysia turut memenangi sebutir perak melalui kata berpasukan wanita daripada gandingan Lee Lee, Thoeh Ai Poh dan Chin Fang Ying.

Begitu juga tiga gangsa hasil penangan kata berpasukan lelaki, A Vasantha (kumite 48kg) dan G. Vathana (kumite 58kg).

– Utusan

Trek sapu dua emas terakhir

KORAT – Skuad basikal trek negara menutup tirai saingan Sukan SEA dengan menyapu dua pingat emas terakhir yang ditawarkan sambil kuartet 4km kejar mengejar lelaki memecahkan dua rekod sekali gus iaitu rekod kebangsaan dan Sukan SEA di Velodrom Keputeraan Raja Thai Ke-80, semalam.

Kejayaan Josiah Ng dan kuartet 4km kejar mengejar berpasukan itu meredakan sedikit kekecewaan kem negara yang sudah pun tersasar emas kerana sepatutnya membawa pulang enam emas daripada temasya kali ini.

Dua emas terakhir semalam hanya cukup untuk skuad basikal trek negara meraih empat emas kesemuanya daripada tiga hari pertandingan.

Sebelum ini, dua pingat emas negara disumbang pasukan pecut lelaki dan Mohd. Rizal Tisin dalam acara 1km ujian.

Semalam pada perlumbaan akhir, Josiah menewaskan rakan sepasukan, Azizul Hasni Awang dalam acara kegemarannya 200 meter pecut lelaki.

Di separuh akhir, Josiah menewaskan pelumba Thailand, Charaspong Niwanit manakala Azizul menewaskan pelumba Indonesia, Asep Suryaman.

Sementara itu, gandingan Amir Mustapha Rusli, Jasmin Ruslan, Akmal Amrun dan Mohd. Harif Salleh mengatasi tekanan dan sorakan penonton tuan rumah sebelum memenangi emas acara 4km kejar mengejar berpasukan lelaki dengan catatan rekod baru kebangsaan dan Sukan SEA.

Kuartet muda negara itu mencatat masa 4min: 29.910s untuk meninggalkan pasukan Thailand jauh di belakang yang terpaksa berpuas hati dengan perak. Gangsa menjadi milik pasukan Filipina.

Rekod lama kebangsaan acara ini ialah 4min:34s manakala rekod lama Sukan SEA ialah 4min:31s

"Saya puas hati kerana mereka masih muda tetapi sudah berjaya memecahkan dua rekod sekaligus. Saya sendiri terkejut mereka mampu mencatat masa sebaik ini," kata jurulatih, Ng Joo Ngan selepas perlumbaan.

Selain dua emas, Malaysia turut meraih satu gangsa semalam menerusi Fatehah Mustapha dalam acara 200 meter pecut wanita. Fatehah menewaskan pelumba Filipina, Apryl Eppinger dalam perlumbaan penentuan tempat ke-3/4.


Pemanah tepati sasaran

KORAT – Skuad memanah negara berjaya menambah emas menerusi pasukan recurve lelaki pada hari terakhir saingan di Padang 2, Universiti Teknologi Suranaree di sini, semalam tetapi kejayaan itu masih gagal membantu Persatuan Memanah Kebangsaan Malaysia (NAAM) mencapai sasaran yang ditetapkan oleh Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN).

Seperti dijangka, pasukan recurve lelaki semalam tidak menghampakan kontinjen negara yang semakin terdesak mencari emas apabila menewaskan Indonesia pada perlawanan akhir.

Gandingan Cheng Chu Sian, Muhammad Marbawi Sulaiman dan Wan Mohd. Khalmizam Wan Abd. Aziz mengumpul 213 mata berbanding Indonesia 211 mata. Pingat gangsa dimenangi Filipina.

Malang bagi Malaysia yang sepatutnya mampu menambah satu lagi pingat emas tetapi gagal melakukannya apabila pasukan recurve wanita tewas pada perlawanan akhir kepada Indonesia.

Gandingan S. Anbarasi, Irza Hanie Abu Samah dan Noor Azira Taip hanya mampu mengumpul 198 mata berbanding Indonesia 204 mata. Gangsa menjadi milik Thailand.

Sebelum ini, pingat emas pertama negara dalam acara memanah disumbang oleh Chu Sian dalam acara individu recurve lelaki, kelmarin.

Pengurus pasukan, Muhammad Yazid Yahya berkata, pihaknya gembira dengan pencapaian itu kerana ia memenuhi sasaran NAAM tetapi sedikit kecewa kerana gagal mendapat emas bonus daripada pasukan recurve wanita.

Malaysia turut memenangi pingat gangsa dalam acara compound lelaki berpasukan.

“Apa pun kami berjaya mengulangi kejayaan pasukan recurve lelaki yang pernah menang emas pada Sukan SEA 2003 di Vietnam,” ujarnya.

Pada temasya di Filipina dua tahun lalu, pasukan recurve lelaki hanya memenangi pingat gangsa tetapi keseluruhannya berjaya membawa pulang tiga emas menerusi individu compound lelaki, recurve wanita berpasukan dan compound lelaki berpasukan.

– Utusan