Saturday, February 3, 2007

Mirnawan good as gold


MALAYSIA ... 1 INDIA .... 0 (in sudden-death)IT was a dramatic and historic win for Malaysia when birthday boy MirnawanNawawi scored the golden goal in extra time, the only goal in the matchagainst powerhouse India to qualify for the final at the National HockeyStadium yesterday. The hosts now face Australia in the final. Malaysia earned their third penalty corner in the 77th minute andMirnawan, who turned 27 yesterday, deflected a grounder from S. Kuhan andthe ball rolled through a sea of legs and into the net. When the score was tied at 0-0 after regulation time, India took thegame to the Malaysians in extratime but failed to find the net and a quickcounter attack saw Malaysia earning two penalty corners in quicksuccession. Malaysia tried to play an attacking game but they did not get a singleshot at the Indian goal in the first 35 minutes. In the second half, theyhad a better share of the attack but still the Indian defence held tight. Most of their attempts streaked past the Indian goalmouth without anytakers. Rookie Suhaimi Ibrahim could not anticipated crosses from NorSaiful Zaini from the right or from Mirnawan Nawawi on the left. Malaysia's only two good chances in the first half saw Chairil AnwarAziz nearly connecting a free hit and another long corner. At the other end, India's speedy forward Dhanraj Pillay and left wingerBaljit Singh were giving the Malaysian defence and goalkeeper RoslanJamaluddin a horrid time. Baljit had two clear chances to put the former world champions andolympic champions in the lead when on both occasions, he was unmarked onthe left. But on both occasions, he sent the ball wide. By the second half, India were reading Malaysia's game like an openbook. They anticipated every cross and effectively cut them off. India almost went one up in the 54th minute, when one of their penaltycorners bounced off Roslan, who was sprawled on the ground, and the ballwent over the crossbar. Malaysia's rare chances came in the 48th minute when Lam Mun Fatt hadonly the goalkeeper to beat with a waist high ball but he fumbled. With India dominating, there were many heart-stopping moments. With just five minutes remaining in regulation time, there were noplayers left in the Indian half. They kept Malaysia under pressure andearned two fruitless penalty corners bringing the tally to eight comparedto Malaysia's one. A salute to Malaysia for absorbing the Indian onslaught. Malaysia'sexcellent defence, spearheaded by Roslan, kept Malaysia in the game. Malaysia held on to keep it scoreless. And in extratime, their moment ofGames glory came. Malaysia: Roslan Jamaluddin, Maninderjit Singh, S. Kuhan, Nor AzlanBakar, Chairil Anwar Aziz, R. Shankar, M. Kaliswaran, Nor Saiful Zaini, K.Keevan Raj, Mirnawan Nawawi, Calvin Fernandez, Suhaimi Ibrahim, Chua BoonHuat, K. Logan Raj, Lam Mun Fatt, Nasihin Nubli. India: Jude Menezes, Lazarus Barla, Baljeet Singh Saini, Mohammed Riaz,Selvaraj Thirumal Valavan, N. Mukesh Kumar, Sabu Varkey, Dhanraj Pillay,Baljit Singh Dhillon, Dilipkumar Tirkey, Ramandeep Singh Grewal, LaxmananPrabhakar, Gagan Ajit Singh, Cheops M. D'Costa, Daljit Singh Dhillion, A.B. Subbaiah.



PRIME MINISTER Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said Malaysiawould bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games now that they have successfullystaged the 16th Commonwealth Games. He said Kuala Lumpur would `register its willingness' with theInternational Olympic Committee to host the world's biggest sportsfestival. "I doubt whether we can succeed (in our bid) but we will make a bidanyway," he said when asked if Malaysia would make a bid. Dr Mahathir said there are, however, certain strict conditions before acountry can play hosts. "Like the need to have a good number of athletes to compete againstworld-class sportsmen and women. We cannot just be hosts with noparticipation," he said at a Press conference after visiting the Games'Main Press Centre at the Mint Hotel. "This is a little bit more difficult to produce than building stadiums." International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch saidduring his visit to Malaysia last week that to host the Olympics, a nationneeded not only good facilities but also a sizeable number of world-classathletes. Sydney will host the 2000 Olympics while Athens are the hosts in 2004. Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir praised the Malaysian contingent, saying they haddone well by surpassing the medal target set for them. The Malaysian athletes were set a target of seven gold medals, whichthey have achieved on the penultimate day of competition. Two more gold medals are assured on the final day today - from the all-Malaysian men's singles and doubles badminton finals. "I did not expect them to win that many medals, especially gold," saidDr Mahathir. "I was rather pessimistic and thought we would have enough problemsbeing hosts and won't be able to win medals." Dr Mahathir said the Games had gone on much better than expected. "Somebody told me that they regret the Games is coming to an endtomorrow. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves." The Prime Minister said he was seriously thinking of declaring a publicholiday as a reward for the successful staging of the Games and the goodperformance of the Malaysian contingent. "I do not know when but (ideally) on Saturday so that everyone will havea long weekend. But I might have to declare an earlier date, perhaps mid-week."

Great party


THANK you Ato Boldon; Susie O'Neill, Mick Gault, Cara Honeychurch, Kenny
Ang and the 5,000 other participants for making it a grand success.
Thank you to everyone who have come to Malaysia from the 69 countries
and territories of the Commonwealth to make the 16th Kuala Lumpur Games
the most successful and memorable in the series.
It has been a wonderful Games, where you have set numerous heart-
stopping Games records and one world record, and recorded countless
personal bests.
This has made the six years of planning since Kuala Lumpur was awarded
the Games in 1992 a worthwhile effort.
Building our stadia, training our athletes, and preparing to host the
Games for 11 days when the eyes of the world were focussed on Malaysia.
What a party it has been, and it couldn't have been done without all
parties concerned.
From mighty Australia, who won 78 gold medals, to Zambia, who return
home with one bronze.
From the Government of Malaysia, who pumped in more than RM2 billion to
get the Games going, right down to the athletes, officials, volunteers and
the hundreds of thousand of local and foreign fans.
We may pale in comparison when compared to the golden haul that
Australia harvested but let us award ourselves a big gold medal for having
staged a successful Commonwealth Games.
But no medals to the unkind critics and sceptics, at home and abroad,
who had constantly tried to derail the Malaysian effort.
You had cited the haze, the maze and almost everything else under the
sun for your doubts.
But it has been pleasantly sunny and the haze was nowhere to be seen.
And we believe that all the visitors to Malaysia - athlete, official and
sports tourist - have had a good time.
Now that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has announced
that Malaysia would bid to host the Olympics, we hope to see you and the
rest of the world back in Kuala Lumpur in 2008.
We can promise you a good time, again.
AUSTRALIA 80 61 58 199
ENGLAND 36 47 53 136
CANADA 30 31 38 99
MALAYSIA 10 14 12 36
SOUTH AFRICA 9 11 14 34
NEW ZEALAND 8 7 20 35
KENYA 8 5 4 17
INDIA 7 10 8 25
JAMAICA 4 2 0 6
WALES 3 4 8 15
SCOTLAND 3 2 7 12
NAURU 3 0 0 3
N IRELAND 2 1 2 5
ZIMBABWE 2 0 3 5
GHANA 1 1 3 5
CYPRUS 1 1 1 3
TANZANIA 1 1 1 3
BAHAMAS 1 1 0 2
BARBADOS 1 0 2 3
LESOTHO 1 0 0 1
CAMEROON 0 3 3 6
NAMIBIA 0 2 1 3
SRI LANKA 0 1 1 2
BERMUDA 0 1 0 1
FIJI 0 1 0 1
ISLE OF MAN 0 1 0 1
PAKISTAN 0 1 0 1
UGANDA 0 0 1 1
ZAMBIA 0 0 1 1

Bangkok no place for medal hunters


A WEIGHTLIFTING medal at the Asian Games in Bangkok would be too much to
ask for from our current batch of strongmen.
The romantics would argue that Malaysia have won medals at the
Commonwealth level, so why not at the Asian Games?
They fail to realise that in the Asian Games, the presence of
weightlifters from China, who own the majority of world records - some
about 10kg heavier than the Commonwealth records rewritten at the KL Games
- will be an obstacle.
Hidayat Hamidon won a gold and a silver at the Commonwealth Games while
Matin Guntali lifted three bronze medals, but at the Asian Games, they
will find it hard to match the other half of the world.
"We have lined up a new programme for the Asian Games and are confident
of lifting Malaysia's first gold in weightlifting in December," said team
manager Abu Hanapah.
Easier said than done.
The problem with weightlifting in Malaysia is that it is not a schools'
sport. There are no talent scouts to groom strongmen at the grassroots,
unlike Australia, India and Canada.
Johnny Nguen in the 56kg and Akos Sandor in the 105kg and below
category, both of Canada, learned their basics in school.
Sandor, a Hungarian by birth, became a Canadian citizen eight years ago
when his father-cum-coach Steve decided to emigrate to North America.
"He had been groomed to become a world class weightlifter since the age
of 10. Back in Hungary, selectors normally scout for talent in the schools
and the selected lifters undergo a stringent physical training to develop
their backbone and muscles.
"It has been a very fruitful programme," said Steve.
Sandor rose from the junior ranks and at the KL Games, lifted three
golds for Canada.
Nguen was also spotted at a schools trial when he was 12 and helped his
teammate Mehmet Yagaci win three golds by playing the rabbit at the KL
The team of Yagaci and Nguen denied Malaysia's Abdul Rahman his moment
of glory.
For the Malaysian weightlifters to progress to world standard lifts, the
National Sports Council must go to the school(s) first.

Last of Village people leaving today


BUKIT Jalil, on the southern tip of Kuala Lumpur, has undergone a
startling transformation since it was chosen as the site for the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
It was a hive of activity for 11 days and one would expect the
activities to cease after the closing ceremony, but that is not the case.
Volunteers and movers were as busy as ants working to close operations
The last of the athletes and officials will move out of the Games
Village by today.
The Village, home to the 6,000 athletes and officials during the Games,
is now being restored to be handed over to the original buyers.
"There are plans to turn the International Zone into a shopping complex.
And with the Light Rail Transit next door, it is expected to be a
convenience to the new owners," said Lt Col (R) Idris Hassan, manager of
the residential zone.
Right now, a fresh coat of paint and minor repairs are all that is
needed before the keys are handed at the beginning of December.
The first parcel of three condos have 521 accommodation units, the
second 499 and in the third group, two blocks of the condominium have 256
According to Idris, each unit has a floor area of between 1,224 to 1,400
square feet and have three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
There is an air-conditioning unit in each bedroom of the apartment,
waterheaters, fans, cupboards, writing tables, dinner tables, kettles,
refrigerators, irons, wall clocks and a sofa set for five.
The original owners will have the option of buying some of the household
items at a discounted rate while some are part of the parcel.
"The ground floor of the International Zone, which has a overall floor
area of approximately 30,000 square metres, comfortably housed the
information centre, Games' transport office, florist, barber, laundry,
grocer, tailor, security personnel, bank, post office, travel agency,
photo service and the media sub-centre.
"So it can easily accommodate a shopping complex. It has almost
everything that a resident would like to have around," said Idris.

Stallions make it a five-horse race


THE Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) will be a five-horse race this
season with the inclusion of Penang Stallions.
Ooi Khoon Yeong, a national player back in the 70s, begun a project to
revive basketball in the northern States of the peninsula in January, and
his dream has materialised.
"Earlier, we had thought of naming the team the Golden Horse but then
decided on Penang Stallions," said Ooi.
"This team will be made up of players from the northern States. The idea
is to give Penang players an avenue to compete actively in basketball."
Ooi, who is president of the Penang Basketball Association and a housing
developer by profession, received the green light from Malaysian Amateur
Basketball Association (Maba) president Datuk Loke Yuen Yow to form a
fifth team for the League.
The regulars are Selangor Dragons, Johor Tigers, Sarawak Hornbills and
Perak Red Eagles. The MBL will begin next month.
Maba have provided two foreign players, as the norm, to the Penang team
as well.
"Since this is the first time we would be taking part in the MBL, we
don't know the actual budget but the players can be rest assured that they
will be well taken care off. Stallions aim to mount a serious challenge in
the League."
Last season, Johor Tigers easily denied Perak Red Eagles a hattrick with
an 86-81 win for the overall title at Stadium Negara.
Johor then went on to beat the MBL All-Stars team 104-98 in an
exhibition match to clinch RM10,000.
Johor Tigers and Perak Red Eagles will start as joint favourites this

MBL ready to rock the rim once again


THE Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) is back and judging by the foreign
players assembled this season, it is going to be an explosive affair.
Brian Lester, the Australian who coached the Johor Tigers to a double
triumph last season, has secured 10 cagers from Australian leagues and
they look good, at least on paper, when the season tips off on Wednesday.
"Although some of our sponsors have pulled out, we felt the MBL needed
the services of foreigners, so we went ahead with 10 signings," said
Malaysian Amateur Basketball Association (Maba) executive director Yeoh
Choo Hock.
Yeoh is of the opinion the local cagers still have much to learn and the
best way to help them improve is to allow them to play alongside foreign
Lester, who has been with the League as a coach for three seasons, is
the MBL co-ordinator this year.
The foreigners this year are Rodney Walker and Clyde Jordan (Selangor),
Vern Robateau and Derrick Leak (Perak), George Butler and Chris Sneed
(Johor), Greg Gibson and Hosie Grimsley (Sarawak), Billy Ikes and Matt
Houle (Penang).
The MBL have a new expansion team in the Penang Stallions this season.
"There are only two `old' imports this season but that should not be a
problem because I can assure you the present batch is much better than the
previous ones," said Butler, who steered Johor to the overall title last
The other regular is Sneed, who played for the Selangor Dragons last
season. This time, he will team up with Butler for Johor's second title
"The only change this season is that we have done away with foreign
coaches for all teams. Local coaches have been handed the task to groom
their players. This is part of Maba's programme to improve the standard of
coaching," said Yeoh.
Tickets are RM15 for the Segamat Indoor Stadium, RM20 for the air-
conditioned Maba Stadium, RM10 and RM15 for the Indera Mulia Stadium in
Ipoh, RM15 for the Han Chiang Stadium in Penang and RM10 and RM20 for
Stadium Negara, venue for the semifinals and final.
FIXTURES: At the Segamat Indoor Stadium - Sept 30: Perak v Sarawak
(7pm), Penang v Johor (9pm); Oct 1: Sarawak v Selangor (7pm), Johor v
Perak (9pm); Oct 2: Selangor v Penang (7pm), Johor v Sarawak (9pm).
At the Maba Stadium in KL - Oct 4: Perak v Penang (7pm), Selangor v
Johor (9pm); Oct 5: Penang v Sarawak (7pm), Perak v Selangor (9pm).
At Indera Mulia Stadium - Oct 8: Johor v Selangor (7pm), Penang v Perak
(9pm); Oct 9: Selangor v Sarawak (7pm), Perak v Johor (9pm); Oct 10: Johor
v Penang (7pm), Sarawak v Perak (9pm).
At Han Chiang Stadium - Oct 12: Perak v Selangor (7pm), Penang v Sarawak
(9pm); Sarawak v Johor (7pm), Selangor v Penang (9pm).
At Stadium Negara - Oct 16: 1st semifinal (7pm), 2nd semifinal (9pm);
Oct 17: final (8pm).

Johor Tigers in good hands


BASKETBALL is a team sport but George Butler of the Johor Tigers has also
proven that a spark of individual brilliance can win titles.
In Butler, the shooting guard and the foreign Most Valuable Player last
season, the Tigers have an ace not many would relish going one-on-one
Eighty nine points in three straight matches - 30 against the Sarawak
Hornbills; 40 against the Red Eagles and 19 against the Selangor Dragons -
took Johor to the title and he's back to help them win their second
As an added bonus, Chris Sneed, formerly of Selangor Dragons, will join
him as Johor's second import when they begin their quest against Penang
Stallions on Wednesday at the Segamat Indoor Stadium.
"Normally I try not to pamper the local players too much because this is
their League and we are here just to lend a hand, but as the game grows, I
sometimes have to lead to win the game," said Butler.
But even Butler's offensive abilities and aggressive approach alone
cannot guarantee success without teamwork, agreed Sneed.
"We have good locals in Ng Joo Lay, Helbert Legada and Teh Choon Yean,
so I am confident of a good showing," said Sneed.
The selection of foreign players lies in the hands of Brian Lester, who
is the co-ordinator (foreign players) of the MBL this season.
"I know all the teams in the MBL, their weaknesses and their strengths
because I have been following them for three seasons.
"Some of the teams needed shooters while others needed guards, so I gave
them players they needed to have well-balanced sides so that the losing
margins will not be too large," said lester. FACTFILE
TEAM OWNER: Datuk Tan Beng Tong; team manager: Ang Chin Cheet; coach:
Low Tong; local players: Teh Choon Yean, Oh Poh Aik, Helbert Legada, Ng
Chung Giat, Ng Soon Siong, Ng Joo Lay, Leow Leong Hing, Ng Choong Hwee,
Teo Wei Choon, Chew Teck Chai, Ong Kian Huat; foreign players: George
Butler, Chris Sneed.
Achievements: Last season, Johor Tigers easily denied Perak Red Eagles a
hattrick with an 86-81 win for the overall title at Stadium Negara. Johor
then went on to beat the MBL All-Stars team 104-98 in an exhibition match
to clinch RM10,000.
In 1996 - Johor lost to Selangor Dragons 93-90 in the semifinals.
In 1995 - Johor Tigers finished last in the preliminary rounds and were
the whipping boys.

Dark horse Stallions have what it takes


THE new kids in the Malaysian Basketball League (MBL), the Penang
Stallions, don't just want to make up the numbers but look to make an
impact in their very first season.
They are a fresh side but have a good number of cagers with experience.
Tan Kia Heng is an old hand from the Sarawak Hornbills, Mah Poh Chian
has seen action in the King's Cup while Teoh Shi Hoe and Chee Sheng Kai
rose from the junior ranks and have represented Malaysia in the Asian
Under-21 Championship.
Add imports Billy Fikes and Matt Houle to the list and you have a well-
balanced team.
A good side but team owner Ooi Khoon Yeong has decided to adopt a wait-
and-see attitude.
"The players have been training hard at the new Han Chiang Stadium and
they look good," said Ooi.
"But their first match is against defending champions Johor Tigers at
the Segamat Indoor Stadium tomorrow and it will be a good yardstick."
Swingman Houle stands at 210cm while Fikes was an all star in Australia.
"This is a kind of vacation-cum-keep fit session for Houle and myself
because it is the offseason in Australia right now. But that does not mean
we will be taking it easy," said Fikes.
"Some of the guys who have played in the MBL told me that it is a
competitive league and keeps you on the run most of the time. I like that
kind of action and will give it my best shot."
Fikes and Houle were selected by player co-ordinator Brian Lester.
"I only select the best for MBL, so be rest assured that Fikes and Houle
will give 100 per cent. If they win the title in their debut, it will be a
bonus," said Lester.
With a combination of old guards and new hands, plus a formidable
foreign duo, dark horses Penang Stallions might just pull off a few
FACTFILE - Team owner: Ooi Khoon Yeong; Manager: Dr Teng Tjoon Tow;
Coach: Fong Kheng Chong; Local players: Lee Kheng Tian, Tan Kia Heng, Tam
Kai Weng, Mah Poh Chuan, Oh Kok Chiat, Teoh Shi Hoe, Chee Sheng Kai, Koh
Ghee Wei; Foreign signings: Billy Fikes, Matt Houle.

Hidayat off to Medan for well-earned rest


AFTER lifting a gold and a silver in the 69kg category at the Commonwealth
Games, Hidayat Hamidon said he was homesick and is heading for Medan for a
week's break.
Medan is where his mother Nurpah Ibus, 47, lives and Hidayat is going
there to savour his moment of glory with her.
When asked why his mother was not at the Mines Exhibition Centre to
witness her son rewrite the Games clean and jerk record, father-cum-coach
Hamidon Arbi said she would have been a distraction.
"No way! We purposely did not allow his mother to watch him in action
because it would have distracted Hidayat. His mother's presence would have
added to the pressure," said Hamidon.
Hidayat, who grew up in Indonesia, won Malaysia's first weightlifting
gold in 48 years at the Games.
But the 22-year-old Hidayat said he was sad that his mother couldn't
come to KL to see him in action. She only knew of his triumph two hours
later when Hamidon, 54, called her.
"I spoke to her on the phone. She was so happy that she cried. Two days
before the competition, I called my mother and I told her to pray for me
and it helped," said Hidayat.
Hidayat is not the only one who went on a well-earned break, seven other
weightlifters are also on holiday and will resume training for the Asian
Games next week.
And they are expected resume training under a new coach.
The National Sports Council (NSC) have decided not to renew the contract
of Russian Slava Lelikov, whose stint expired after the Games.
"It is important we get a good coach from abroad to guide our lifters.
We may go for another Russian coach as they are among the best in the
world," said NSC weightlifting team manager Abu Hanapah.
Abu said the Jaya '98 programme launched four years ago produced
"We have proven that with the right programme, we are capable of
delivering. We have drawn up a new programme for the Asian Games. Our
lifters should continue their good work and not ease off."

Carnival approach the key


THIRTY-TWO primary school teams will take part in the first mini-
volleyball Carnival at the Timur Ground in Petaling Jaya on Oct 17-19.
The carnival is part of the Malaysia Volleyball Association's (Mava)
development programme to lift the sport.
"A few years back, we tried to take the sport to schools by providing
5,000 balls and nets and encouraging teachers to introduce the sport,"
said Mava president Datuk Ong Ka Ting.
"We waited for one year but there were no progress reports, in fact,
some of the nets and balls went missing as well.
"That is why we have taken a carnival approach this year."
The carnival is only for Selangor and Kuala Lumpur teams, and is seen as
a stepping stone for a national carnival.
Ong is also confident that volleyball will soon become a popular sport,
especially if the spikers return with medals from top tournaments.
The girls started well with a bronze from the 10th Sea Junior
Championship in Thailand yesterday.
The team, with an average age of 16, were selected after the National
Youth Championship in Malacca recently.
Mava are bidding to host the World Championship next year in the hope
that it would spark an interest in the sport.

Juara not championing the cause


THE Juara Stadium at Bukit Kiara is priced beyound the reach of the
Malaysian Netball Association (MNA) to host their national championship,
or for that matter, any other low budget tournament.
MNA president Norminshah Sabirin is still in the dark about how much the
stadium managers, Merdeka Stadium Board, charge for the use of the
"I have made repeated calls to the company but they don't seem to have
the breakdown of cost to host a tournament. But since they are the same
company who manage Stadium Negara, I think they will charge the old rate
of RM1,000 per day," said Norminshah.
A check with Merdeka Stadium Board yesterday revealed that for
tournaments with tickets, the stadium managers will not charge rental but
collect 15 per cent of the gate earnings.
"If 15 per cent the daily gate earnings is less than RM2,000, then we
will charge a flat rate of RM2,000 per day," said Ahmad Helmi, Stadium
Board's assistant manager of marketing
The national championship is a five-day event and this means that it
would cost the MNA, who don't charge for entrance, RM10,000 to host the
"If the charges are too high, MNA will not use the Juara Stadium and
will look for an alternative venue. Moreover, it is not a good location to
host the championship because it is not serviced by public transport.
"Food as well as accommodation is also a problem there. We will only
incur additional costs to hold any training or championships there.
"During the Commonwealth Games, we also found out that the ventilation
is very bad and without air-conditioning, which will cost more to have,
the stadium becomes unplayable after 10am because it is stuffy.
"We would rather train at Stadium Negara right until it is demolished,
then we will look for an alternative venue."
For training, the Juara Stadium will cost RM200 per hour and if the
parking bays are full, it will cost an additional RM500 per day.
Electricity and water will be charged based by meter readings while the
scoreboard will cost RM200 per hour.
The overall budget will make it less attractive for sports associations
to utilise the venue but the Stadium Merdeka Board have plans to use it
for exhibitions and concerts which are reasonably priced.

Hawks take on Froggies in Sevens opener


DEFENDING champions RMAF Blackhawks open their Guinness-Jonah Jones seven-
a-side rugby campaign against Flying Froggies at the Royal Selangor Club
in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.
The Blackhawks match is schedued for 12.45pm.
The tournament kicksoff at 9.0am when USM Jokers take on IJED while the
final match of the day is between NS Wanderers and Wild Cats Johor at
The sevens, which will see some of Malaysia's Commonwealth Games players
in action for their clubs, will also be joined by champions from the
Northern qualiying round held in Penang last month.
There will be no prize money awarded to the winners as the tournament is
geared to foster rugby's development at the schools, university and club
And the good news for spectators is that they will be allowed to walk in
free of charge.
The varsity champions are the USM Jokers while Penang Police and Syed
Sirazuddin Secondary of Perlis will compete in the club and school
categories respectively.
Besides Blackhawks, among the other top sides who have confirmed are
Selangor League champions Cobra, the Royal Australian Air Force in
Butterworth, the SMS Old Boys and Negri Sembilan Wanderers.
The schools competition should also be interesting as the organisers
have included the participation of a French school in Singapore.
The other international cast down for the date are the SCC Colts, a
developmental team from the Singapore Cricket Club.
Malaysia's strongest challenge is expected to come from the Malay
College of Kuala Langsar and traditionally the King Edward VII Secondary
from Taiping.
Clubs: Royal Selangor Club, Police, Kuantan Rhinos, JLJ DiRaja, Cobra,
MDHS Cyclones, North Brigade, SMS Old Boys, RMAF Blackhawks, Penang
Police, The Flying Froggies, Bandaraya Dragons, NS Wanderers, RAAF Tigers
RUFC, SAHOCA, Wild Cats Johor.
Varsities: Intekma Lions, UM Blues, Uniten, USM Jokers, Stamford
College, IJED, UPM Serdang Angels, Help Institute Hyenas, PPP ITM.
Schools: Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar, Datuk Abdul
Razak School, JERK, SM Syed Sirajuddin, SCC Colts, SMK King George V,
Tuanku Abdul Rahman School, SM King Edward VII, French International
School, Sekolah Tuanku Ja'afar, Cyclones Development Team, SMS Selangor,
Garden International School, Alam Shah School, NS Juniors.

Games success due to Jaya '98 programme


WEIGHTLIFTING was facing a natural death before the sport was incorporated
into the Jaya '98 programme in 1993 and it produced champions like Hidayat
Hamidon and Matin Guntali.
William Yeo, the present coach, last won a Sea Games gold back in 1977
after which the sport went into hibernation until Hidayat lifted a gold at
the Jakarta Sea Games last year.
"The Jaya '98 programme for weightlifting was on an ad-hoc basis because
we had difficulty in selecting promising lifters to be groomed. Nobody was
keen to take the sport seriously until the Jakarta Sea Games when its
potential in winning medals was unearthed," said National Sports Council
(NSC) director-general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad.
Mazlan should know, for weightlifting is one of the sports that is close
to his heart, one that he personally attended to.
NSC embarked on an ambitious programme which included the hiring of
foreign coaches from Europe and China and the distribution of
weightlifting equipment to centres of excellences in the States.
"We bought equipment and stationed coaches at centres in Terengganu,
Johor, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak. We also extended help to centres in
other States.
"A Chinese coach is stationed in Rompin and a Bulgarian in Malacca while
local coaches man the centres in other States."
Now that Malaysia have committed themselves to bid for the 2008
Olympics, a new development plan will be formulated and a band of foreign
coaches will be hired.
"Weightlifting is a specialised sport which needs sports scientist with
credentials like Slava Lelikov to groom the lifters. Since we don't have
locals with such capabilities, we will continue hiring foreign coaches."
Lelikov took over the Jaya '98 lifters about six months before the Games
when Armanek Nalbandian died of a heart attack.
He continued the good work to make the weightlifters into medal winners
at the KL Games. His contract expired after the Games and the NSC are
still deciding on whether to rehire him.
The NSC are also looking to expand their centres of excellences with an
eye to introducing the sport at the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports

Young lifters sought after by NSC


NATIONAL Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad is keen
to promote weightlifting at schools, but the logistics for a nationwide
programme might be too costly.
"The idea of taking weightlifting to schools is very good but a
nationwide programme is not feasible because it is a very specialised
sport. It would be better if the lifters pick up the basics at the State-
wide centres of excellence and then move into the Bukit Jalil or the
Bandar Penawar Sports Schools," said Mazlan.
Soccer is the most popular sport at schools, but still, the FA of
Malaysia find it hard to form a decent national side.
"First of all, champion weightlifters have a specialised build, like
short arms, strong backbones and steady knees. We have to search for such
builds before they are taught the finer points of weightlifting.
"This is where the schools can help by identifying pupils who have the
right build. Only then can the coaches and the NSC step in."
To further help the country source athletes for Olympics and world class
tournaments, the school Physical Education (PE) system will revert to the
old system.
The Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSC) pressed for more hours for
PE last year and their proposal has been accepted.
The present practice of combining PE with the kesihatan (health)
classroom subject where the students are required to exercise and play
games one week while the following week it is a classroom subject, was
found to be unsuitable. This is why the Ministry of Education will revert
to the old system where students will undergo physical training at least
once a week.
The move is seen as a good step to prepare athletes for the 2008
Olympics which Malaysia will bid for.
"For the Olympic bid, it will be better to concentrate on schools
because by then most of our present batch would have retired."
Mazlan is serious about injecting young blood into weightlifting.
"If anybody out there feels that they have friends or family members
that have the build of a weightlifter, they are welcome to contact the NSC
for a trial."
A sports college is also in the pipeline to continue the good work of
the sports schools, which means that those who take up sports on a serious
note will not miss out on higher education.
"A proposal was made back in 1993 to have such a college, but after a
while the idea died down. Now it has been revived and the plan is to enrol
students by the end of next year," said Mazlan.

Dragons spew fire


PERAK ....... 79 PENANG .... 76
SELANGOR .... 93 JOHOR ..... 86
DEFENDING champions Johor Tigers, riding high until two days ago, lost to
Selangor Dragons 93-86 in the second leg of the Malaysian Basketball
Association men's League in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Both teams were deadocked 36-36 at halftime but with three minutes
remaining on the clock, the Tigers took a 71-66 lead and almost had the
match wrapped up in their claws.
But Dragons refused to throw in the towel and at fulltime, levelled the
score at 78-78. However, in the extra five minutes of playoff, Dragons
were on fire.
In another match, K. Satyaseelan of Perak Red Eagles broke the duck
after two minutes of tensed action to hand the Silver State their first
win in the League.
But it was not an easy win for the Eagles as the new kids on the block,
Penang Stallions, matched them all the way.
Derick Leak took the cue from Satyaseelan to sink a few more points for
Perak, who looked as though they were ready to romp away but a three-
pointer from the shortest player on court at 170cm, Mah Poh Chuan, brought
out the wild side of the Stallions to bridge the gap at 6-13.
Perak then brought in Chai Swee Lee, who sank three baskets in a row
only to see Poh Chuan duck beneath the towering Eagles to steal baskets
and make the score 11-7.
The foreign players were hired by Maba to teach the local pros and the
best example of the day was Stallions' Matt Hould, who was seen time and
again correcting the faults of the locals and uplifting their moves to
keep up the pace at 23-33 with seven minutes remaining on the first half
clock and at 40-43 at the breather.
Unlike the first, the second was a much closer affair with the Stallions
fighting point-for-point and with four minutes on the clock, the score
stood at 65-68.
But when Yong Yoon Phin of Perak sank a three-pointer from the middle of
the court, the match looked to be Eagles', only to be denied by a few
quick counterattacks from the Stallions to bring the score level at 71-71
for the first time.
Yoon Phin again fired a three-pointer but Poh Chuan kept the pace and
levelled the score to 76-76 with 30 seconds on the clock.
Eagles then received a penalty and sank two points. With three seconds
on the clock, they again received a free throw which Yoon Phin executed
for a narrow 79-76 win.
TODAY: Penang v Sarawak (7.0), Perak v Selangor (9.0 - both matches at
Maba Stadium).

Dragons chew up Tigers in round two


SELANGOR Dragons got their revenge in the second leg of the women's
Malaysian Basketball League when they fended off Johor Tigers in a tensely
fought match.
In the Segamat leg, Johor won 62-59. Yesterday, they could do nothing
right and during certain stages of the match, Johor trailed by 20 points.
Yin Kim Yoke grabbed a loose ball to sink the first basket for Johor but
from counter attacks launched by Yoong Sze Yuin, Selangor raced ahead 10-
Good defending by Selangor also kept the score low.
Selangor then started to give away points due to unforced errors, which
allowed Lim Siew Ting to sink sitters for Johor to keep pace.
Siew Ting then made a sly move on the left flank in the sixth minute to
bridge the gap to 8-12, only to see Liau Chiiew Shy dribbled the entire
court to snatch two points for Dragons.
Selangor were in their element, coupled with aggressive play, and this
resulted in Johor's Lee Chiew Lai being stretchered off while Selangor
were 20-10 with seven minutes on the clock.
Low Mee Hun then sank a three-pointer to place Selangor in a comfortable
26-12 lead. Johor were in deep trouble when Ong Lay Khoon got into the
three-pointer act to surge 29-14 with three minutes on the clock.
After the breather, a much determined Selangor emerged from the shadows
led by Chow Siau Foong, who scored from every angle to pull further ahead.
Johor could do nothing right but refused to give in and a few good runs
by Yun Kim Yoke saw them collect points. But it was not enough to pull
them out of trouble with Selangor 41-26 ahead.
Johor injected fresh legs and started attempting three-pointers led by
Low Bee Chuan to inch closer with nine minutes remaining.
But Selangor were in an uncompromising mood to lead by 10 points in the
final stages of the match. In the end, they were too good for the Tigers.

Walker unveils `magic' for Selangor


SELANGOR Dragons beat Perak Red Eagles in the final men's match of the
first circuit in the Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) at the Maba Stadium
in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Dragons had eight points to show after four wins in as many matches.
Johor Tigers finished second in the first circuit with seven points.
Derrick Leak, as usual, provided the first six points for the Eagles in
a highly charged match.
Rodney Walker narrowed the gap for Dragons to 5-8 with excellent dunks
and a three-pointer in the early part of the match.
Walker again brought out his magic with a three-pointer for 8-8 and the
300-odd crowd at the stadium knew that it was going to be a close tussle
to the finish.
Ten minutes into the match, Eagles still managed to follow the Dragons
point-for-point and the score was tied at 18-18. Hardworking Yong Yoon
Phin was easily the best local player, whether in defence or attack.
At halftime, Dragons led 38-32.
K. Satyaseelan came into the picture for Eagles in the second half with
good dribbling on the left flank and a three-pointer from the right to
keep pace with 49-52.
But it became harder to deny Dragons a standing finish after 10 minutes
in the second half when they started playing with more composure to take a
10-point lead.
As the final seconds ticked away, and Eagles' Vern Robateau benched, the
Dragons romped home.
In the other match, Penang Stallions came within a whisker of winning
their first three points in the MBL but jitters in the dying minutes
denied them their moment of glory.
Greg Gibson started with a three-pointer for the Sarawak Hornbills but
Matt Houle, not to be outdone, emulated him.
Houle combined well with Billy Fikes to keep pace with the Hornbills and
overtake them for the first time after six minutes of play.
Mah Poh Chuan, who hardly reached the shoulders of Houle, combined well
with the import while on the other side of the court, Hornbills import
Hosie Gibson attempted wild shoots which missed by a mile.
After 10 minutes of play, Gibson finally found his touch but by then,
Penang had gone 19-12 ahead, thanks to three-pointers from Houle.
Houle, with three straight three-pointers, easily looked the best
foreign buy in the MBL. He singlehandedly turned the tide on the Hornbills
to take a 41-38 lead into the breather.

KL Open a trial run for World Cup


THE Kuala Lumpur Open golf championship at the Mines Resort City on Oct
15-18 will be a stern test for the course, which will host the World Cup
of Golf next year.
The US$200,000 KL Open, which is part of the Asian PGA's Omega Tour, is
the first professional tournament to be held on the highly-rated Robert
Trent Jones Jr-designed course. It would be an ideal trial run for the
World Cup.
"Entries have been received from over 20 nations and the response was so
good that the organisers had to shortlist 144 of Asia's finest golfers,"
said Asian PGA executive director Ramlan Datuk Harun.
On the list are no less than seven Omega Tour winners led by defending
champion Charlie Wi of South Korea, who is currently 28th on the Omega
Tour Order of Merit.
Firoz Ali, winner of the Classic Indian Open; Chawalit Plaphol, champion
of the Orient Masters, and Japan's Satoshi Oide, who held of Vijay Singh
to win the inaugural Macau event, are some of the prominent names for the
KL Open.
"The KL Open is the third Asian PGA's Omega Tour to be staged in
Malaysia following the Sabah Masters and the Volvo Masters. This
achievement has further promoted Malaysia as a golfing destination. In
fact, the Ministry is now seriously looking into this `new product' to
sell Malaysia to the world," said Tourism Minister Datuk Sabbaruddin Chik.
Tournament director Valen Tan played a round at the course and declared
it as the most challenging course he has ever played on.
"There is not a single easy hole on the course. Every hole is tough to
play, and the golfer who tames the course for the KL Open title and the
World Cup next year would have the satisfaction of having played on a
challenging course."
The resort is built on land which used to be the Hong Fatt Mine, which
was recognised as the world's largest open cast tin mine but which ceased
operations in 1982. It was filled with water and turned into the largest
man-made lake in existence.
The KL Open was inaugurated in 1996 at the Staffield Golf Resort, and
was won by South Korea's Kang Woo-soon.
Last year, another Korean name was engraved on the trophy when Wi
overcame the haze and challenging Saujana Golf and Country Club course for
the title.

Dragons on fire but Tigers are lurking


SELANGOR Dragons pipped favourites Johor Tigers to the top after the first
leg of the Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) at Maba Stadium on Monday
night. But Johor considered it a mere hiccup in their bid to retain the
men's title.
Johor are expected to charge back when the second leg begins in Ipoh
tomorrow, where they are down to meet Selangor in the first match of the
The Tigers were on a hot streak after winning three matches in Segamat
but the fire was doused by Selangor, who won 93-86 in overtime in KL.
The exit of Leow Leong Heng was one of the factors that led to Johor's
defeat after being tied 76-76 in regulation time.
American pro Chris Sneed also spoilt their party in Segamat when he quit
the team after their last match to take up an offer with a Polish club in
the European Division One league.
His replacement Alan Erickson is expected to arrive before the team
depart for Ipoh today.
"This is easily the most competitive MBL since its inception four years
ago, there has been some great shooting and the teams who lost went down
by only a few points, unlike the previous margins of about 20 points each
match," said foreign players co-ordinator Brian Lester.
Lester is the person in charge of hiring foreign pros and has a big say
in their distribution.
"I purposely distributed the imports evenly so that the MBL will be more
exciting to watch. It is surely going to be a close tussle right till the
Selangor look to be the only capable side this year to upset the rhythm
of Johor but the rest of the teams will not be far behind in terms of
The women's league is also a joy to watch and has been improving
steadily. Although there are only about 30 women cagers in the country,
Maba have plans to have more teams in next year's league.
FIXTURES - Men - Tomorrow: Johor v Selangor (7.0), Penang v Perak (9.0);
Friday: Selangor v Sarawak (7.0), Perak v Johor (9.0); Saturday: Johor v
Penang (7.0), Sarawak v Perak (9.0).
Women - Tomorrow: Perak v Johor (5.30); Friday: Johor v Selangor (5.30);
Saturday: Selangor v Perak (5.30 - matches at Indera Mulia Stadium, Ipoh).

Lee gives locals added incentive


WHAT a carrot. But the challenge that lies ahead for the Malaysian pros
taking part in the Kuala Lumpur Open at the Mines Resort beginning next
Thursday may be too great.
Country Heights chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew has thrown down a challenge
to local pros saying that VIP treatment at the resort will be given to
whoever lifts the title.
Lee challenged old hand M. Ramayah: "If you win the KL Open, I will give
you full privileges whenever you step into the Mines Resort City, the
Palace of Golden Horses and the golf club."
The Mines Resort City is an exclusive golfing experience and according
to Asian PGA executive director Ramlan Harun, to stage the KL Open there,
they had to get invited first.
The offer was made to spur the local pros, who have not won an APGA
event for the past four years but it might just remain an offer, judging
by the entries for the KL Open.
On the list are no less than seven Tour winners led by defending
champion Charlie Wi of South Korea, who is currently 28th on the Tour
Order of Merit.
Firoz Ali, winner of the Classic Indian Open, Chawalit Plaphol, champion
of the Orient Masters, and Japan's Satoshi Oide are just a few of the
prominent names teeing off.
Ramayah, Ali Kadir, P. Gunasegaran and Danny Chia are the best in
Malaysia, but to secure the title, they have to play above and beyond
The Mines Resort City is also the venue for the World Cup of Golf next
year and the KL Open will serve as a familiarisation course for the
This year, the World Cup will be held at the Gulf Harbour in Auckland
and Malaysia will be represented by Ali and Gunasegaran.
The Malaysian PGA selected the duo based on this year's Order of Merit
which Ramayah claimed he did not know about.
"If I had known, then I would have played at least two of the domestic
events," said Ramayah who did not take part in any of the four local
tournaments this year.
Plans are also afoot to tie up the KL Open with the European Tour.
"Yes, we have plans for a tie-up but it is only at the discussion
stages. We are looking at a number of events to co-sanction with the
European Tour in the near future," said Ramlan.
The purse for the KL Open is US$200,000 (RM760,000) but to be sanctioned
by the European Tour, the purse must be at least US$750,000.

MSA likely to select 12 for Asian Games


MALAYSIA will be hard pressed to win any of the six gold medals at stake
for sepak takraw at the Asian Games.
At the last Games in Hiroshima, Malaysia won the men's regu gold, the
only gold on offer. In Beijing in 1990, Malaysia made a clean sweep of the
team and regu golds.
But those were the glory days for at the Jakarta Sea Games last year
Malaysia had to be satisfied with two silvers while it was Thailand who
made a clean sweep of the gold medals.
In Bangkok, there is also the men's and women's sepakraga bulatan (the
circle game), team and inter-regu events.
The Malaysian Sepaktakraw Association will meet on Tuesday and are
likely to retain the 12 players who lost to Thailand twice and finished
third at the King's Cup last week, unless someone from the Perilly's Grand
Prix impress the selectors.
During a recent exhibition match, the first Malaysian regu of tekong
Ahmad Ezzat Zaki, killer Iskandar Arshad and feeder Suhaimi Yusof were
beaten in three sets by Thai trio Anusak Leong (tekong), Virapong Jadpimai
(killer) and feeder Chart Singrang 10-15, 15-13, 3-6.
The Malaysian second regu of Romi Suhendra Borsal (tekong), Zabidi
Shariff (killer) and Khairulnizam Mohamad Jidin also lost to the trio of
Pongsak Puresup, Surian Peachan and Prin Jedrisate 14-15, 7-15.
Malaysia are not expected to send a women's side and will instead
concentrate on the regu and team events.

IWF give Malaysia a big `lift'


THE International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) are keen to promote
Malaysia as a centre of excellence in South-East Asia. All Malaysia have
to do is provide a training venue and the rest will be taken care of.
The offer was made after Mohamed Hidayat and Matin Guntali placed
Malaysia on the weightlifting map with a combined one gold, one silver and
three bronze medal haul at last month's Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
"IWF secretary Dr Tamas Ajan was impressed with the facilities in
Malaysia and made the offer after the Games," said MWF secretary Lt Com
Kamaruzaman Kadir.
"The Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) are sorting out the
details and when we are ready, we will present a plan to the National
Sports Council (NSC) for further action."
NSC are preparing a 10-year blueprint for selected sports and the MWF
hope to include the IWF offer in their plans.
The IWF offer comes complete with coaches and allowances. The only
`catch' is Malaysia will have to woo weightlifters from around the region
to take part in the twice-a-year training sessions.
"Weightlifters from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka and
neighbouring countries would also benefit from the month-long training
because IWF want to uplift the sport in this region.
"They have seen the potential in South-East Asian weightlifters and now
want to see these lifters on par with those from Japan, China and South
"This is not the first time IWF have made the offer. Three months before
the KL Games, Kenya was made into a centre of preparation for the African
countries and it made a big difference in their standard. Malaysian
lifters would be the biggest winners if the plan takes off."
Kamarzaman said feedback received from the Oceania and Commonwealth
countries on the plan is also encouraging.
"Zambia and Uganda have shown interest in having joint-training and have
agreed to foot their travel expenditure. They feel it would be better for
their weightlifters to train in Malaysia than in European countries
because we have paved the way for developing countries with a good show at
Commonwealth level."
The NSC are expected to meet soon with selected sports associations to
finalise a 10-year blueprint and the IWF offer will surely receive their
greenlight because it is a win-win situation.
On training for the Asian Games in Bangkok, Kamaruzaman said the
weightlifters will only resume fulltime training next month.

Size does not matter


THE Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) are keen to send only three
lifters for the Asian Games in Bangkok as they have an outside chance of
winning medals.
The trio are Matin Guntali, Mohamed Hidayat and Abdul Rahman.
While Matin and Hidayat have proven themselves with medals at the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games, Rahman has a good ranking in the world.
"We would need to study the rankings first before making a decision on
the weightlifters for Bangkok because the competitors from Japan, China
and South Korea would be tough to beat at Asian level. So a big contingent
would not serve any purpose," said MWF secretary Lt Com Kamaruzaman Kadir.
Based on the world rankings, Hidayat (69kg category) and Rahman (56kg)
are ranked fourth in the world after their lifts at the KL Games.
Matin, who won three bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, is ranked
sixth in the 56kg category but the seasoned campaigner has a knack of
delivering when it matters.
"On paper, we have an outside chance of winning medals but right now,
the decision is in the hands of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
"Matin and Hidayat should have no problems gaining favours with the OCM
but Rahman would need a little help to make the trip to Bangkok.
"The MWF will try to push his case because he is a capable athlete and
it would be better to have two entries in the 56kg for a tactical lift."
Malaysia have never won weightlifting medals at Asian Games level and
judging from current national records, Bangkok might be the place to break
the duck.
Right now, national coach Slava Lelikov has given the national
weightlifters a training programme to follow after their well-earned rest.
"Hidayat is vacationing in Medan while the rest have gone back to their
"They were told to strictly adhere to the programme for the Asian Games
because when they resume centralised training next month, the coach will
only have time to perfect their skills."
Slava has returned to Russia for a holiday and is expected to return to
sign a new contract with the National Sports Council (NSC), who are keen
to rehire him based on his scientific coaching approach.
"If he is not available, we will look for someone else from East Europe
so that there would be continuity in the training programme.
"Although China have good coaches, their programme would differ with
what the weightlifters have learnt and it would not be conducive for the
Asian Games," said NSC director-general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad.

MABA: We need foreign players


THE FA of Malaysia have said they no longer require the services of
foreign players. The Malaysian Amateur Basketball Association (MABA),
however, beg to differ.
Each of the five teams in the Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) have two
foreign players selected by former Selangor Dragons coach Brian Lester
from the Australian leagues to strengthen their game and this has been
going on since the inception of the MBL in 1994.
"Although it is a costly exercise, the League still needs the services
of foreign players to boost the confidence of the locals. If for nothing
else, we need the pros for their height," said MBL general manager Tan See
Height is something that the Malaysian cagers don't have and according
to Tan, it used to be the stumbling block whenever the cagers donned
national colours.
"There used to be this fear of height when the national team played
against the Philippines and other Asian countries. But after playing
alongside tall foreigners for the past four years, they have overcome this
psychological problem," said Tan.
Players like Johor's Chris Sneed and George Butler and Perak's Derrik
Leak could be seen constantly encouraging the local players to go for the
basket on their own.
And when Butler was asked why he didn't score an easy basket but passed
the ball to another local player during the match against Sarawak
Hornbills, he declared: "I am not here to win matches, I am here to teach
the locals."
The locals have also started scoring points and instead of depending on
the foreigners to win matches for them. The statistics for the first and
second legs indicate this encouraging trend.
"In almost all the matches in the preliminaries, the combined totals of
the locals are more than the two foreign players in the team. This is a
good sign because previously, the locals used to shy from scoring and
depend on the foreigners.
"Mah Poh Chuan of the Penang Stallions is one of the most improved
locals in the League.
"His three pointers saved the blushes for Penang who beat Selangor
Dragons in overtime for their first three points in the League. That is
the kind of improvement the foreign players have brought with them."
MABA had plans to send some of the top players to Australia but due to
lack of funds, the plan was shelved.
"Next year, if the financial situation improves, we will send some of
the players overseas so that they can have a first-hand experience of
playing and training with the juniors in Australia. Only then can they
know which department they lack in."

Tigers no longer the feared beast


IT all points to a close basketball encounter as there is little to
separate Selangor Dragons, Perak Red Eagles, Sarawak Hornbills and Johor
Tigers in the semifinals at the Maba Stadium today.
"While Johor Tigers look good for their second Malaysian Basketball
League (MBL) title, it would be hard to separate the semifinalists until
they take to court," said foreign players co-ordinator Brian Lester.
"It all boils down to which team has a bigger desire to claim the
Last season Johor Tigers denied Perak Red Eagles their hat-trick of
titles with a slim win but the statistics indicate that they will have a
tougher time making the final this season when they meet the Hornbills in
the semifinals.
Johor and Sarawak have met twice in the League and the score is even
with a win on each side. During the first leg at the Segamat Stadium,
Johor won 87-82 but the Hornbills scalped them 107-99 in Penang.
George Butler of the Johor Tigers is confident that they will make the
final and lift the trophy for the second year.
"We got off to a great start in Segamat but then slowed down a little in
the middle of the League, but right now we work and think like a team.
That is what is going to win us the title again," said Butler.
Butler and Chris Sneed are a lethal combination and they have been
working well with the locals especially Helbert Legada and Ng Joo Lay.
The semifinals between Selangor Dragons and Perak Red Eagles tilts
slightly in favour of the Dragons who topped the standings after the
But the Dragons defeat by Penang Stallions in the last leg has shown
that they are not unbeatable. The Eagles will have to bring out their best
today and not just depend on their foreign players, Vern Robateau and
Derrick Leak, to sink baskets.
While four teams battle it out, newcomers Penang Stallions will watch
from the sidelines as they went down seven out of eight appearances.
But the Stallions did well considering that their team is made up of
Today - Men's s-final: Selangor v Perak (7.0), Sarawak v Johor (9.0m);
Women: Perak v Johor (5.0).
Tomorrow: Men's final (8.0); Women's final (6.30).

Dragons set up title clash with Tigers


THE capacity crowd at the Maba Stadium in Kuala Lumpur were treated to an
entertaining night of basketball when the Selangor Dragons set up a
Malaysian Basketball League final showdown with the Johor Tigers after
beating Perak Red Eagles last night.
The Tigers defeated the Sarawak Hornbills in the other semifinal.
Derrick Leak, true to his form, snatched six points in the first 30
seconds as the Perak Red Eagles stormed to an early lead against the
Selangor Dragons.
Clyde "the slide" Jordan of the Dragons then took a solo initiative and
went for an impressive slam dunk which got the crowd wild. Not to be
outdone, Leak countered with an equally impressive dunk at the other end.
With five minutes on the clock and a 15-point lead for the Dragons, K.
Satyaseelan sank two three-pointers to narrow the gap with one minute on
the clock.
In the other semifinal, the Tigers were in front as early as the sixth
minute but the fighting Hornbills closed the gap in the final three
George Butler and Ng Chung Giat piled up the points and with seven
minutes on the first half clock, the Tigers roamed wild with 25-14, they
then took a gaping 21-point lead into the breather with 46-25.
The Tigers came back fresh and stretched the lead to 28 points but some
good moves by Greg Gibson narrowed it to a 10-point match with five
minutes to go.
Meanwhile, Johor Tigers warmed up for the final against Selangor Dragons
by hammering the Perak Red Eagles 61-49 in the last preliminary match of
the women's Malaysian Basketball League (MBL) at the MABA Stadium
The Tigers, who have already booked a ticket in the final, topped the
table with the win and will play second placed Selangor Dragons in the
final today.

PE college back on the agenda


THE idea of a Physical Education College was mooted back in 1993 following
which numerous discussions were held and working papers produced.
However, the idea still remained an idea.
Now, with the Cabinet giving their approval for Malaysia to bid for the
2008 Olympics and a string of important assignments in between, the idea
is being given fresh attention.
"The International Islamic University will shift to Gombak by the end of
the year and the plan is to convert the present campus in Petaling Jaya to
a Physical Education College," said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Khalid
The move could not have come at a better time because school sports have
been receiving the raw end of the deal for such a long time that there
seems to be no continuity in the supply of athletes with decent enough
standards to don national colours.
One reason behind this is because teachers lack the time and basic
training in sport to encourage students.
Not only don't we have world class athletes but we also lack coaches and
Which meant that when we won the bid to host the 1998 Commonwealth
Games, the National Sports Council (NSC) had to hire foreigners expertise,
which did not come cheap, to prepare the athletes.
The 2008 Olympics may seem to be 10 long years away but this is barely
enough time for the authorities to train a batch of coaches who can help
produce a new set of athletes to serve us for the future.
"The PE College is being set up primarily to satisfy the need of
teachers who can form a strong base in schools and priority will be given
to those interested in sports and those who studied at the country's two
sports schools - the Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar Sports Schools.
"Academic excellence will be secondary to sports in selecting candidates
for the college because it would offer special Sports Science courses
centred on physical health education and so we will need people who are
dedicated to sport."
Special training in specific sports will also form part of the syllabus,
in line with the present call to limit the scope of development to a
handful of proven sports at international level like racquet sports and
tenpin bowling.
As a further boost, Education Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
announced recently that health education will be taught separately from
physical education in all schools beginning next year.
Physical education is also one of the compulsory subjects for the open
certificate system to be introduced for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysian in
the year 2000.
Getting seven-year-olds to jump rope, play tag and listen to tips on
healthy eating will go a long way in lifting the standard of sport in the
"There are plans to allow officials who have served associations for
years to get academic qualifications at the college. These are still at a
discussion stage only and we are still open to suggestions," said Khalid.
The Ministry has also instructed the Teachers Training Division and the
School Co-curriculum Centre to identify and draw up the structure of the
courses for the college to produce teachers who are also specialists in
certain sports. Graduates of the college can then further their studies in
the local universities after getting their diplomas.
A single PE college will not be sufficient to produce a steady flow of
coaches. It has been suggested colleges be set up in every State and also
to bring the Education and Sports Ministries together.
Sponsors are also expected to take a positive step towards junior
development for without success at junior level there would be no success
at senior level.
NSC are now in the midst of preparing a blueprint for the 2008 Olympics
and although the hiring of foreign coaches cannot be ruled out, local
coaches who have shown promise should be given special attention.
"Some sports still lack qualified coaches. We have to keep hiring
foreigners in gymnastics, weightlifting and diving. The NSC would also
like to see locals play a bigger part and we have plans for this," said
NSC director-general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation have taken the first step by naming
Stephen van Huizen to replace Volker Knapp as the coach of the national

Maba seeking taller players


IF the cagers were half as good as the Malaysian Amateur Basketball
Association (Maba) in organising talent scouting programmes, Malaysia
would be ranked No 1 in Asia today.
Maba president Datuk Loke Yuen Yow has relentlessly pursued the single
minded objective of finding tall cagers in Malaysia for the past five
years, never mind the lukewarm response his earlier programmes received.
"We will go to the States and kampungs again to look for tall players
who will then be taught the basics of basketball. If they are selected,
lodging and scholarships will be provided."
To achieve their target and get a wider coverage this time, Maba have
roped in the Sports Ministry, who will organise a State-wide three-on-
three tournament soon.
"I met Sports Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the three-on-three
proposal and he has agreed that the Ministry, instead of Maba, will
organise the tournament," said Loke.
"Muhyiddin also suggested the three-on-three be a multi-racial
tournament and teams can only compete if they have two non-Chinese cagers
in their side.
"Maba have no qualms about that ... in fact we are looking forward to
having a larger pool of non-Chinese."
The three-on-three is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Maba are
concerned. They have formulated many plans to make basketball a popular
sport in the country.
"Some of the plans will be put on hold because we are having
difficulties finding sponsors. Once we are financially stable again, they
will be put into action."
Lack of funds will also limit the Malaysian Basketball League to a one
foreign player per team. The move is seen as a welcome relief by many in
Maba because they feel it is time the locals stop relying on foreign
players to make the league more competitive.
"With one foreign player per team, we hope to see the locals stand on
their own feet next season. They must start scoring if they want their
team to win the title and not just rely on imports."

A vision that began four years ago is far from realised


FOUR foreign coaches, eight full-fledged professionals from abroad and 32
top Malaysian cagers gathered in Kuching in 1995 to launch the Malaysian
Basketball League (MBL) that would eventually provide the local game a
broad talent base.
While it would be too much to ask the Malaysians to emulate the likes of
the NBA megastars, being able to form a strong national team would have
been sufficient.
Alas, after four years, the Malaysian Amateur Basketball Association
(Maba) can't assemble a decent team to send to the Asian Games in Bangkok.
As the basketball circus started in Segamat and moved to Kuala Lumpur,
Ipoh, Penang and back to KL this season, the question of where the
Malaysian game goes from here haunts Maba.
The MBL - introduced to inject a little of the NBA hype and develop
local talent - is already at crossroads.
Also at the crux of the matter is the question of sponsorship which
affected the MBL - the coveted RM100,000 title purse was reduced to
RM50,000 this season.
Sponsors have shied away from the MBL and Maba will have to look
elsewhere to keep the league running into its fifth season.
It will not be easy, as these are trying times for sponsors too, given
the current economic situation.
And as they are looking for sponsors next season, Maba will also have to
look into ways of making the league more exciting.
Gate collection this season suggest a drastic drop in fan support at all
The fans need more action, something along the lines of the NBA that
calls for talent and more dunks to pack the stadiums.
There is also the question of five teams trying to fight it out for the
top spot. The Penang Stallions made an encouraging debut but the league
needs more as five is too small a number and the participation too limited
to raise standards and increase the level of competition, with or without
the services of imports.
And the duration of the MBL is far too short to generate the feverish
excitement needed.
By the look of things, the league will not have more teams in the near
future simply because Maba do not have enough players to form a bigger or
better League.
But the fault is not Maba's alone. They have done their part to recruit
more players with their Tall Talent programme and the numerous coaching
clinics held nationwide.
Maba president Datuk Loke Yuen Yeow has even baited cagers with places
at good schools but there have been few takers.
Until the sport attracts the attention of all Malaysians, the MBL will
remain what it is today - mediocre and served by the same faces year in
and year out.

Women bounce back


THE Malaysian women's team rallied to qualify for the step-ladder finals
at the Third World Tenpin Team Cup in Hoofddorp, Holland yesterday.
They made the step-ladder after beating Denmark 223-190 in the third-
placing roll-off while Finland topped the standings with a victory against
the United States in the roll-off for the first and second placings.
Malaysia, comprising Lai Kin Ngoh, Low Poh Lian, Sharon Low, Shalin
Zulkifli, Karen Lian and Wendy Chai, will now play the United States in
the first match of the step-ladder and the winners will face top team
Finland in the final.
The Malaysian women were third two years ago in Calgary, Canada.
Trailing by five points behind Denmark at the start of the day, Malaysia
edged Sweden 2-1 with scores of 433-394 but lost 2-1 (381-427) to the
United States in the next match.
The team then combined well to win the next four games, posting 3-0
victories over Germany (420-392), Venezuela (392-324), Norway (409-351)
and Brazil (393-328) to face Denmark in the roll-off for third placing.
Team manager Sidney Tung said Kin Ngoh, the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth
Games team silver and individual bronze medallist, was the best Malaysian
as they battled into the step-ladder finals.
The Malaysian men also had a good day when they beat Qatar 2-1 (411-
389), Brazil 2-1 (379-349) and Denmark 3-0 (429-383) before losing to
Dominica 2-1 (372-398) and Canada 2-1 (394-408).
United States had a perfect game enroute to beating Malaysia 3-0 in the
seventh frame. Malaysia drew 457-457 against Belgium in the final match.
"Although the men are 12th in the standings, they are not far off from
the seventh-placed team and there is still hope of finishing in the top 10
bracket," said Tung.
RESULTS - MEN: Malaysia bt Qatar 2-1; Dominica bt Malaysia 2-1; Canada
bt Malaysia 2-1; Malaysia bt Brazil 2-1; Malaysia bt Denmark 3-0; United
States bt Malaysia 3-0; Malaysia draw Belgium 1.5-1.5.
Standings: 1 United States 77 pts (16,410 pins); 2 Sweden 76.5 (16,041);
3 Finland 74.5 (15,869); 4 Canada 69 (15,569); 5 Holland 68 (15,928); 6
Denmark 66.5 (15,457); 7 Ireland 62.5 (14,993); 8 Venezuela 60 (14,845); 9
Qatar 58.5 (14,883), 10 Belgium 58 (15,596), 11 Republic Dominica 56.5
(15,071), 12 Malaysia 54.5 (15,364); 13 Spain 54.5 (14,707); 14 Italy 45
(14,636); 15 Brazil 31 (13,764).
WOMEN: Japan bt Malaysia 3-0; Malaysia bt Denmark 2-1; Malaysia bt
England 3-0; Holland bt Malaysia 2-1; Malaysia bt Taiwan 3-0; Malaysia bt
Finland 3-0; Malaysia bt Sweden 2-1; lost to United States 2-1; bt
Germany 3-0; bt Venezuela 3-0; bt Norway 3-0; bt Brazil 3-0.
Third placing roll-off: Malaysia bt Denmark 223-190.
Final standings: 1 Finland, 2 United States, 3 Malaysia, 4 Denmark, 5
Sweden, 6 Germany, 7 Holland, 8 Taiwan, 9 England, 10 Norway, 11 Japan, 12
Venezuela, 13 Brazil.

Hameleay shines for Selangor


SELANGOR shooters kept their promise of a clean sweep at the second
SportExcel Air Gun junior championships at the Subang range yesterday.
The Selangor charge was led by Mohamed Hameleay Mutalib, who shot down
his own meet record enroute to winning the air rifle individual event.
He then helped Selangor win the team gold as well, which brought their
final gold tally to eight after two days of competition.
The response to the junior championships, entering its third year, was
so good that SportExcel executive director Teng Mui Ngee is seriously
looking at making it into a full circuit next year.
"Instead of the present two legs, I think it would be better if we have
more circuits and conclude with a Grand Final," said Teng.
RESULTS - Boys' air rifle individual: 1 Mohamed Hameleay Mutalib (Sel)
582 pts (meet rec), 2 Mohamed Faizal (KL), 3 Lim Choon Hong 562 (Sel);
Team: 1 Selangor (Mohamed Hameleay Mutalib, Lim Choon Hong, Ong Poh Teck)
1,695pts, 2 Kuala Lumpur (Mohamed Faizal, Khairul Azhar, Anuar Ramlan)
1,651, 3 Kedah (Zamir Taib, Ahmad Zamzuri, Mohamed Hafizi).
Girls' air rifle individual: 1 Julia Ong Bee Suan (Sel) 359 pts, 2 Wong
Khar Hin (Pg) 352, 3 Dahlia Vehicle (Sel) 351; Team: 1 Selangor (Julia Ong
Bee Suan, Dahlia Vehicle, Kuan Chin Yi) 1,050pts, 2 Penang (Wong Khar Hin,
Wong Mooi Ying, Ang Chuan Yin) 1,040, 3 Kuala Lumpur (Darmini Reddy,
Shahira Shahar, Siti Haneem) 1,021.

Ringgit-wise OCM go only for medal hopes


THE Olympic Council of Malaysia were not in a benevolent mood as they went
strictly by the book in selecting national athletes for the Asian Games in
Bangkok on Dec 6-20.
While they allowed associations to present their cases, OCM's selection
committee followed intently the qualifying marks that had been set for the
For measurable sports, the third placing mark at the last Games or Asian
championships was used as a yardstick while for the others, OCM looked at
their present achievements.
"We cannot be too kind as the standard in the Asian Games is very high.
We also have to look at our current financial standing," said OCM
president Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah.
Hamzah chaired the selection committee yesterday and from the 11 sports
who presented their cases, 84 men, 24 women and 34 officials were
Athletics, who had initially identified 16 athletes, had to be satisfied
with 11.
Leading the men's charge is Asian Track and Field 100m silver medallist
Watson Nyambek and high jump bronze medallist Loo Kum Zee.
Commonwealth Games 50km walk gold medallist G. Saravanan and Teoh Boon
Lim also made the cut.
G. Shanti, who won the 100m bronze in the ATF, Annastasia Karen Raj and
Yuan Yufang were the women selected.
"We also approved the men's 4x400m team but we'll leave it to the
association to decide on the runners," said Hamzah.
Swimming, which had hoped for at least seven in the national contingent,
had to be satisfied with just two - Commonwealth Games finalists Lim Keng
Liat and Elvin Chia.
"We would have included Anthony Ang and Allan Ong for the medley relay
but they won't be available."
OCM rejected Tay Li Leng, Sia Wai Yen, diver Yeoh Ken Nie and
synchronised swimmer Jacqueline Chan.
"We found that their standard is way off the Asian Games level."
Sepaktakraw, which contributed gold in the 1994 Games, was allowed to
take 18 players.
"Twelve will play in the team and inter-regu events while another six
will compete in sepakraga bulatan."
Yachting, which contributed one gold through Ryan Tan in 1994, had three
sailors getting the OCM nod.
"Nazri Salleh (optimist) and Kevin Lim (laser) are medal favourites
while the third is Malik Sulaiman (supermoth)."
Commonwealth Games 180km road race silver medallist Nor Effendy Rosli
won't be alone in his pursuit for a medal in Bangkok as OCM have included
two others for the event.
"This is a tactical event and cycling alone would be the same as not
"We hope the inclusion of Shahrulneeza Razali and Mahazir Ahmad will
help Nor Effendy."
Shooting, another performing sport in the Commonwealth Games, had to be
satisfied with three men and four women.
Leading the women, who will compete in six events, is KL Games gold
medallist Nurul Huda Baharin.
The others are Noriha Rani, Roslina Bakar and Sariwati Awang.
Mutalib Razak, Imran Zakaria and a third yet to be picked shooter will
carry the men's challenge.
Squash and bowling, two events where Malaysia will be confident of
striking gold, had their wishes granted.
The OCM approved two men and two women for the wall bashers and six men
and six women for the keglers.
Badminton was another which OCM did not hesitate to confirm.
"The women were included based on their performance in the KL Games
where they lost the gold only on countback."
Men's hockey was given the nod while equestrian will have six men and
one woman fighting for medals.
The committee meet again today to decide on the remaining eight sports. THE BANGKOK CONTINGENT
ATHLETICS - Men: Watson Nyambek (100m), Loo Kum Zee (high jump), G.
Saravanan (50km walk), Teo Boon Lim (20km walk), Romzi Bakar, S. Vasu, D.
Nadarajan, Yazid Parlan (4x100m); Women: Yuan Yufang, Annastasia Karen Raj
(walks), G. Shanti (100m).
BADMINTON - Men: Yong Hock Kin, Wong Choon Hann, Roslin Hashim, James
Chua, Cheah Soon Kit, Choong Tan Fook, Jeremy Gan, Chan Chong Ming; Women:
Woon Sze Mei, Law Pei Pei, Ng Mee Fen, Wong Miew Kheng, Lim Pek Siah, Chor
Hooi Yee, Norashikin Amin, Joanne Quay.
BOWLING: Final list to be decided.
CYCLING (road race): Nor Affendy Rosli, Mahazir Ahmad, Shahrulneeza
EQUESTRIAN - Men: Quzier Ambak, Qabil Ambak, Tunku Nazroff, Eric Koh,
Quzandir Nur, Syed Omar, Husret Malik, James Ravindra, Ashraff Dewar;
Women: Wan Zaleha Radzi.
HOCKEY: Final list to be decided.
SEPAKTAKRAW: Final list to be decided.
SHOOTING - Men air rifle: Emran Zakaria, Abdul Mutalib, Aziz Brahim or
Willow Kabah; Women air rifle, sport rifle 3-position and prone: Nurul
Huda Baharin, Roslina Bakar, Sarihati Awang.
SQUASH - Men: Ong Beng Hee, Kenneth Low; Women: Nicol David, Leong Siu
SWIMMING: Alvin Chia, Lim Keng Liat.
YACHTING - Optimist: Nazmi Sharif; Laser: Kevin Lim; Super Moth: Malik

Sony pay out RM246,000


SONY held their Malaysia Boleh awards presentation yesterday in Kuala
Lumpur and paid out a total of RM246,000 to medal winners at the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
The company had pledged RM10,000 to every gold medallist - RM30,000 for
a team gold - with RM5,00 for silver (RM15,000), and RM3,000 for bronze.
Champion bowler Kenny Ang and weightlifter Hidayat Hamidon received the
largest amount - RM15,000 each. Ang for winning the singles gold and
sharing the doubles title with Ben Heng.
"We are very glad to have this opportunity to congratulate the athletes
for their excellent performance at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games,"
said Sony managing director Hideo Kojima.

Watson looking good for Asiad


NATIONAL sprinter Watson Nyambek looked comfortable clocking 10.34 for the
inter-bank championship century sprint gold at Merdeka Stadium yesterday.
He just missed his National record by a mere 0.04 seconds and it was not
a bad effort considering he did not train for three weeks after the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
"I took it easy because I did not want to peak too early for the Asian
Games," said Watson, who represented Bank Bumiputra.
"In fact, I slowed down a little when the rest of the field was left
behind after 60 metres."
Watson, who won the silver at the Fukuoka Asian Track and Field, feels
that he is good for a medal at the Asian Games based on his national
record and his current good form.
"At Fukuoka I clocked a poor 10.42 but still won the silver as the best
in Asia did not take part," said Watson.
"But they will surely be there for the coveted Asian Games gold.
"The Chinese and Japanese runners will be hard to beat but my aim is to
better my national record and if I win any medal, it would be a bonus."
Watson, who was recently awarded an International Olympic Committee
scholarship, still habours hope of training under former world champion
Linford Christie.
"I would prefer to train in Malaysia following his training programme
and only head for Britain a few weeks before major championships for
direct coaching.
"I feel better training at home because we have excellent training
"The team doctor and my physiotherapist will be on hand to help me as
G. Shanti of Maybank had no challengers in the women's 100m, and sailed
home in 11.70.
Josephine Job, also of Maybank, won the silver in a time of 11.80.
Yazid Parlan of Maybank, who holds the javelin national record of
73.74m, could only manage 54.78m for the silver medal.
The gold was won by Mohamed Salim, also of Maybank, with a throw of
57.50m which was far from the championship record of 67.10m.
M. Ramachandran of Maybank won the 10,000m in a time of 30:45.21 while
K. Baskaran of BBMB took the silver in 32:32.19.
Results - MEN Div 1 100m: 1 Watson Nyambek (BBMB) 10.34, 2 Hamberi Mahat
(Maybank) 10.42, 3 Sport Suprano (Maybank) 11.13; 10,000m: 1 M.
Ramachandran (Maybank) 30:45.21, 2 K. Baskaran (BBMB) 32:32.19, 3 M.
Arumugam (Maybank) 33:11.85; Javelin: Mohamed Salim (Maybank) 57.50, 2
Yazid Imran (Maybank) 54.78, 3 Gan Chee Keong (Public) 43.50.
Div 2 10,000: 1 M. Rajendran (Arab Malaysian) 38:46.83, 2 M.
Krishnamoorthy (EON) 43:19.13, 3 Yazid Isa (Arab Malaysian) 43:23.97; 400m
hurdles: 1 Le Ban Tat (BOC) 60.32, 2 Maizuri Mahayuddin (Perwira) 61.24, 3
Geoffrey Edward (EON) 63.39.
WOMEN Div 1 100m: 1 G. Shanti (Maybank) 11.70, 2 Josephine Job (Maybank)
11.80, 3 Yew Chai Ping (Ban Hin Lee) 11.90; 400m hurdles: 1 S. Rathimalar
(Maybank) 68.61, 2 Hii Siew Ngiik (Maybank) 71.33, 3 Almawati Kassim
(Public) 72.66; Long Jump: 1 Yip Ching Wan (Ban Hin Lee) 5.00, 2 Josephine
Job (Maybank) 4.98, 3 Fong Sin Lay (BBMB) 4.93; Shot put: 1
Khazarulishikin Mohamed (Maybank) 10.83, 2 Angela Ling Huang (Hock Hua)
10.52, 3 Lee Yen Ling (Maybank) 10.13.
Div 2 100m: 1 Joey Lai Oi Ming (Std Chartered), 2 Irene Ong (Citibank)
14.4, 3 Phuan May Wah (OCBC) 15.0; Shot put: 1 Mashiela Salim (Perwira)
8.27, 2 Mazura Othman (BSN) 7.19, 3 Noreedah Mohamed (BOC) 6.85.

Vasu books his Asean Games ticket


S. VASU finished second behind Romzi Bakar in the 400m of the inter-bank
athletics championship yesterday but it was good enough to book a ticket
for the Asian Games in Bangkok.
Vasu clocked 50.24 for the fifth slot in the 4x400m squad.
The rest of the team are Romzi Bakar, D. Nadarajan, Saiful Zainal and
Yazid Parlan.
Romzi, of Maybank, took the 400m gold in 48.27, much slower than the
national record of 46.56. The meet record is 47.1.
Vasu was the only good news in the meet that is supposed to be the last
avenue to qualify for the Games.
N. Manimagalay, who was supposed to run in the 400m turned up an hour
"This is definitely the last trial for the athletes to make the Asian
Games squad," said national chief coach J.V. Jayan.
Manimagalay, who clocked 54.56 for the Jakarta Sea Games gold and holds
a personal best of 53.71, said: "Why should I run when I know that I equal
the third placing mark of 52.35 to make the Asian Games?"
Meanwhile, Watson Nyambek will head for Auckland to run in the New
Zealand Open on Nov 21.
Watson missed his national mark of 10.30 by 0.04 seconds on Friday.
His coach, Mumtaz Jaafar, feels he needs the exposure.
"Watson has tremendous potential but he is easily awed by the presence
of big names at the starting block," said Mumtaz.
"If and when he overcomes this fear, there is no stopping him from
winning medals for the country."
"It is not that he does not have potential. It is just that he is still
a boy at heart and this might be a problem at the Asian Games when he
lines up with the Japanese and the Koreans. RESULTS
Div 1 - Men's 400m: 1 Romzi Bakar (Maybank) 48.27, 2 Amir Adam (Maybank)
51.05, 3 A. Nandakumar (BBMB) 52.68; 1,500m: 1 M. Ramachandran (Maybank)
4:01.27, 2 M. Shanmuganathan (Maybank) 4:06.11, 3 B. Balakavalan (Ban Hin
Lee) 4:20.79; 5,000m: 1 M. Ramachandran (Maybank) 15:19.00, 2 M. Arumugan
(Maybank) 15:23.55, 3 K. Baskaran (BBMB) 16:21.00; 10km walk: 1 B.
Thrukumaran (Maybank) 48:06.98, 2 Narinder Singh (BBMB) 48:07.18, 3 G.
Saravanan (BBMB) 49:19.08; 4x100m: 1 Maybank 42.79, 2 BBMB 44.95, 3 Public
49.79; Pole vault: 1 Lee Chin Hien (Maybank) 3.50m, 2 Gan Chee Keong
(Public) 3.30m, 3 Mohamed Rafee (Public) 2.8m; Shot put: 1 Petri Ghani
(Maybank) 14.24m, 2 T. Tharmarajah (Public Bank) 11.83m, 3 Mohamed Rodzi
(Maybank) 11.11m; Long jump: 1 Ahmed Hudaib (Oman) 7.28m, 2 Rommy Rijun
(BBMB) 7.20m, 3 Zulkeply Ami (Public) 6.99m.
DIV 2 - 400m: 1 Maizuri Mahayuddin (Perwira) 52.86, 2 V. Ramesh (EON)
54.21, 3 Moses Ganesan (Arab Malaysian) 54.60; 1,500m: 1 S. Baskaran
(Southern) 4:50.89, 2 Jonason Lorsamy (EON) 4:56.20, 3 Mohamed Nazri (BOC)
5:01.10; 5,000m: M. Rajendran (Arab Malaysian) 18:58.25, 2 S. baskaran
(Southern Bank) 19:17.27, 3 Ratan Singh (BOC) 20:16.63; 10km walk: 1
Mohamed Fardil (BSN Commercial) 1hr 03:39.82, 2 V. Neduchevan (Standard
Chartered) 1hr 03:39.82, 3 U. Bagwandi (BOC) 1hr 05:19.71; Long jump: 1
Yusree Sijam (Perwira Affin) 6.34m, 2 Yii Ching Ming (Standard Chartered)
6.15m, 3 Mohamed Dahari (Arab Malaysian) 6.13m; Shot put: 1 Norazaha Ahmad
(Perwira Affin) 12.02m, 2 Chakran Ah Nong (Pacific) 11.57m, 3 Zakaria
Zainal (BOC) 9.73m.
WOMEN'S DIV 1 - K. Soloseeni (Maybank) 56.00, 2 P. Kuganeswari (BBMB)
57.00, 3 Almawati Kasim (Public) 65.40; 1,500m: K. Latha (Maybank)
5:27.72, 2 Nancy Lai (Hongkong Bank) 5:40.73, 3 Lim Lay Sin (Ban Hin Lee)
6:02.56; 5,000m walk: 1 Nancy Lai (Hongkong Bank) 27:22.05, 2 Sadra Jacob
(Public) 32:30.41, 3 Tan Gaik Teng (Ban Hin Lee) 34:05.64; Discus: 1
Angelina Ling (Hock Hua) 31.40m, 2 Lee Yen Ling (Maybank) 30.30m, 3 Ang
Sau Ping (Ban Hin Lee) 29.78m.
DIV 2 - 400m: 1 Michelle Lau (Citibank) 76.00, 2 Kakyati Hashim (Arab
Malaysian) 77.00, Sue Fang Kiew (Standard Chartered) 78.00; 1,500m: Carol
Ng (Standard Chartered) 6:10.59, 2 Lucy Lim (OCBC) 6:33.68, 3 Nor Aishikin
(Citibank) 6:57.54; 5,000m walk: 1 Adeline Stanley (Arab Malaysian)
36:51.43, 2 Vera Yap (Standard Chartered) 38:04.00, 3 Maureen Berokon
(Standard Chartered) 41:03.23; 4x100m: 1 Standard Chartered 58:24.4, 2
Arab Malaysian 59:19.0, 3 Citibank 62:51.0; High jump: 1 Jennifer Chan
(Southern Bank) 1.20m, 2 Lilian Lo Fui Ping (Standard Chartered) 1.15m, 3
Rafidah Asir (Citibank) 1.15m; Discus: 1 Nurshuila Zalina (Arab Malaysian)
25.28m, 2 Noreedah Mohamed (BOC) 19.46m, 3 Mahiela Salim (Perwira) 19.04m.

Inter-bank loses its glitter


THE inter-bank athletics championships ended at Merdeka Stadium yesterday
on a pathetic note. Not a single championship record was re-written and,
worse still, the event seems to have lost its glitter and meaning.
The national athletes who competed, won hands down, no qualms there, but
the manner in which they treated the championships, once on par with the
MAAU Open, confirms the meet's impending demise.
So much so, it did not come as a surprise when the president of the
Banks Sports Council, Dom Amy Hussain, announced they were looking at a
merger with the commercial, finance and insurance sector.
"We need to have a bigger pool of athletes and the only way to achieve
it is to have a joint championship with the finance, commercial and
insurance sector. If we continue as a closed championship, it will soon
serve no purpose," said Dom.
High jumper Loo Kum Zee, who set a national record of 2.24m on his way
to the 1995 Sea Games gold medal in Chiangmai, won the gold yesterday with
a jump of 2.00m. He was way off his Chiangmai record and never looked like
bettering his mark in the meet.
Although Loo retained the Sea Games gold in Jakarta last year, he has
failed to clear 2.10m in the last two years. This year, his best effort
was 2.15m at the MAAU Open.
At the 1994 Hiroshima Games, four athletes - hurdler Nur Herman Majid,
long distance specialist M. Ramachandran, Loo and P. Jayanthi - made the
list and only Nur Herman returned with a medal with a blistering 13.73s
run in the 110m hurdles.
Watson Nyambek, however, is looking good for a medal in Bangkok next
Yesterday, the Sarawakian ran the 200m `just for conditioning' and
surprised all with a blistering 21.65s.
The national record is 20.92s clocked by Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan in 1968.
Watson, according to coach Mumtaz Jafar, has yet to reach his peak but
going by his 10.34s in the 100m on Friday, he is definitely a medal
prospect at the Asian Games. RESULTS
RESULTS - MEN Div 1: 200m: Watson Nyambek (BBMB) 21.65, 2 Hamberi Mahat
(Maybank) 22.17, 3 Sport Sunarno (Maybank) 22.55; 800m: 1 A. Nandakumar
1:59.07, 2 Mathews David (Maybank) 2:00.14, 3 R. Ragurama (Hongkong Bank)
2:07.13; 1,500m (veteran): 1 S. Sukumaran (Public Bank) 5:08.32, 2
Zolkeple Ismail (RHB) 5:23.36, 3 Abdul Hamid (Hongkong Bank) 5:31.27; 110m
hurdles: 1 Nur Herman Majid (BBMB) 15.68, 2 Shamry Ali (Maybank) 15.74, 2
Azman Khairuddin (Hongkong Bank) 18.35; 4x400m: 1 Maybank 4:10.44, 2
Public Bank 4:45.84, 3 Ban Hin Lee 4:52.64; 20,000m walk: 1 Narinder Singh
(BBMB) 1hr 37:02.78, 2 R. Muniandy (Hongkong Bank) 2hr 18:59.97; Discus: 1
T. Tharmarajah (Public Bank) 43.30m, 2 Mohamed Rodzi (Maybank) 39.52m, 3
Petira Ghani (Maybank) 37.74m; High Jump: 1 Loo Kum Zee (Maybank) 2.00m, 2
Zulkifli Amin (Public Bank) 1.83m, 3 Azman Khairuddin (Hongkong Bank)
DIV 2 - 200m: 1 Mohamed Surani (Perwira Affin) 23.42, 2 Suhaimi Sidek
(Arab Malaysian) 23.82, 3 Mahathir Ali (OCBC) 24.23; 800m: 1 Mohamed
Jamiron (Southern) 2:41.25, 2 Ng Pak Choon (Citibank) 2:38.92, 3 V. Rakesh
(EON Bank) 2:24.91; 1,500m (veteran) Elyas Mohamed (Perwira Affin)
4:56.43, 2 M. Kanesan (Bank of Commerce) 5:20.02, 3 Goh Sin Nyah (Bank of
Commerce) 5:28.60; 110m hurdles: 1 Geoffrey Edward (EON Bank) 16.53, 2
Abdullah Fauzi (Citibank) 16.85, 3 Omran Omar (Southern Bank) 19.21;
4x400m: 1 Perwira Affin Bank 3:39.39, 2 EON Bank 3:41.46, 3 Pacific Bank
3:49.51; 20,000m walks: 1 U. Bagwandi (Bank of Commerce) 2hr 2:34.93;
Discus: 1 Wong Chee Ching (OCBC) 29.53m, 2 Norazaha Ahmad (Perwira Affin)
29.36m, 3 Syed Faizal (Pacific Bank) 28.83m; Triple Jump: 1 Abdullah Fauzi
(Citibank) 13.31m, 2 Aham Nazri (Bank of Commerce) 11.68m, 3 Elyas Mohamed
(Perwira Affin Bank) 11.47m.
WOMEN Div 1 - 200m: 1 G. Shanti 24.96 (Maybank), 2 P. Kuganeswari (BBMB)
25.71, 3 Carol Lucia Alfred (Maybank) 25.79; 800m: 1 K. Soloseeni
(Maybank) 2:10.94, 2 K. Latha (Maybank) 2:33.47, 3 Nancy Lai (Hongkong
Bank) 2:40.01; 100m hurdles: 1 Hii Siew Ngiik (Maybank) 15.08, 2 Almawati
Kassim (Public Bank) 17.18, 3 Kok Kah Wei (Public Bank) 20.50; 4x400m: 1
Maybank 3:23.17, 2 Ban Hin Lee 3:39.58, 3 Public Bank 3:46.07; 3,000m
Steeplechase: 1 K. Latha (Maybank) 12:33.07, 2 Sandra Jacob (Public Bank)
15:24.50, 3 Malinda Nataniel (Public Bank) 16:03.73; Javelin: 1 Masliza
Shaari (Maybank) 39.90m, 2 Ang Sau Ping (Ban Hin Lee) 27.00m, 3 Joyce Ong
(Public Bank) 25.88m.
DIV 2 - 200m: 1 Cecilia Ng (Perwira Affin Bank) 33.56, 2 Phuah May Wah
(OCBC) 33.51, 3 Joey Lai Oi Ming; 800m: 1 Lucy Lim (OCBC) 3:06.76, 2
Michelle Lau (Citibank) 3:07.87, 3 Nor Aishikin (Bank of Commerce)
3:13.24; 4x400m: 1 Arab Malaysian 5:06.39, 2 Standard Chartered 5:12.04, 3
Citibank 6:26.77; 3,000m Steeplechase: 1 Lucy Lim (OCBC) 14:15.63;
Javelin: 1 Nursuhaila Azlina (Arab Malaysian) 28.08m, 2 Mohamed Norazmati
(Pacific Bank) 22.05m, 3 Mashiela Salim (Perwira Affin Bank) 20.84m.

Mad rush in Manila


THE Putra Cup starting in Manila on Thursday will not only be the final
hurdle for the national golfers to make the Asian Games contingent but
also a test of the effectiveness of a four-year development programme.
The team of Rahizam Ramli, Zalizan Mat Har, R. Nachimuthu, A. Dorairaj
and five other golfers have undergone a four-year comprehensive training
programme to prepare them for the Asian Games in Bangkok and the
Eisenhower Cup in Santiago, Chile on Nov 19-22.
However, to make the Asian Games, they must at least return as runnersup
from Manila.
"The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) accept the challenge thrown by the
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM). Our golfers have been training hard for
the past four years and their results this year speak for themselves,"
said programme chairman A.S. Khamis.
"All nine national golfers have won at least one tournament this year
and averaging scores in the 70s. We are confident they will fulfil the
second placing requirement set by the OCM."
The only `problem' is that when the Games' entries close at midnight on
Friday, the golfers would have just ended their second round.
"We have made arrangements with the OCM to use the second round scores
as a guide. By then, we will know where the team stand and can make a fair
judgement on how they will finish," said Khamis.
The four Putra Cup members, along with Airil Rizman, Faisal Bee, M.
Sasidaran, Samsudin Dingkil and Sahal Saedin, have been put through a new
training format for the past year where they attend two weeks of
centralised training per month under head coach Andrew Argus and national
coach Valric Harris Zainal.
MGA have also rented an apartment in Kelana Jaya to house the golfers
and foster camaraderie.
"They train mostly at the Seri Selangor and Kota Permai golf clubs but
we have an understanding with Tropicana and other golf clubs so that they
will have the benefit of playing at a variety of greens."
For the Eisenhower Cup, youngster Airil will replace Dorairaj. Airil, a
student at Mara Institute of Technology (ITM), is ranked fourth and
knocking on the door of the senior team.