Monday, January 29, 2007

Sara aims to do better


COMMONWEALTH Games gold medallist G. Saravanan has set a realistic target
of bettering his national record at the Asian Games in Bangkok.
His mark of 14:10.05 was good enough for a Commonwealth Games medal but
he will have to dig deeper into his reserves if he wants to return with a
50km walks medal from Bangkok.
"I know it would be tough competing against the best in Asia because my
time is not good compared to the rest of Asia, that is why I have set a
target of lowering my national record," said Saravanan after receiving an
incentive from the National Association of Malaysian Athletes (NAMA).
NAMA president S. Muthiah said the association are proud of Saravanan's
achievement at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and hope the incentive
will spur him to do better at the Asian Games.
Saravanan is confident the Malaysian AAU and the Olympic Council
Malaysia will work out an amicable solution to the controversy surrounding
a Proton Perdana.

Allen targets four gold medals at Asiad


FOR eight years, chief coach Sid Allen has always played down the national
keglers' chances in international tournaments. Yesterday, he caused a stir
when he announced his four-gold target at the Asian Games in Bangkok next
After a meeting with Asian Games chef-de-mission Dr Zakaria Ahmad, Allen
said the women are good for three gold medals while the men will return
with one.
"I have been with the national team for eight years now and the present
batch of keglers are the best ever. They have the ability to win four
golds at the Asiad," said Allen.
Zakaria had predicted a modest two-gold haul from the entire Malaysian
contingent, so if Allen is to be believed, Malaysia are in for a good
harvest in Bangkok.
"I have seen the Taiwan and South Korean keglers train and although they
are good, I still feel the Malaysians have a slight advantage," said
The Korean keglers have been training fulltime for two years now and
have almost perfected their game.
"I have been told the Koreans were barricaded in a hostel for two years
without even telephones to communicate with the outside world. They are
dead serious about winning medals at the Asiad and will be the toughest
Allen said the men's team of Kenny Ang, Ben Heng, Alex Liew, Daniel Lim,
Lai Chuen Lian and Vincent Low will find the going tougher than the women.
"Lai Kin Ngoh, Shalin Zulkifli, Sharon Low, Sarah Yap, Low Poh Lian and
Karen Lian are at their peak and if the lane conditions in Bangkok suit
them, they will be unbeatable," he said.
Although the bowlers have had a hectic competition year with the
Commonwealth Games taking the biggest toll on their energy, Allen said
instead of a burnout, the team have become stronger with each tournament.
"I dare say that at next year's Brunei Sea Games, we will return with
all the eight golds at stake," said a confident Allen.
Other than Ang and Shalin, who will be competing in the AMF World Cup in
Japan next week, the rest will compete in the Genting World Kuala Lumpur
International Open championships at Genting Bowl in Subang Jaya on Nov 20-
The annual RM42,000 singles tournament is part of the bowlers'
preparation for the Asiad.

Rampangajouw steers Cobra to victory


COBRA Black lived up to their top billing when they defeated Blackhawk 14-
10 for the Cobra 10s rugger title at Utara ground in Petaling Jaya
However, Cobra could do nothing right until Eeniasi Laqure, a Fijian,
landed a try in the dying minutes of the first half. Nabil Marzuki
converted for a crucial seven-point lead.
Blackhawk kept Cobra at bay in the second half and there was a fierce
exchange of tackles right up till the final whistle when Rosli Omar,
capitalising on a Laqure mistake, perfected a try. But Nazri Mohamed Nor
failed to convert.
Nazri earned a penalty in the dying minutes but the post denied the
Hawks. Just when the crowd thought that all was lost, Cobra's Jude
Rampangoue charged over for a try which Nabil converted to give them
Blackhawk coach Capt Zaini Kabul attributed their defeat to the missed
"We almost had Cobra cornered but when Nazri failed to convert the
penalty I knew time was against us."
Cobra, who won the Jonah Jones Sevens earlier, will be gunning for a
hat-trick of titles when they take part in the Penang 10s on Dec 5-6.
"Our goal is to win the Penang 10s too," said Cobra coach Boon Hoon Che.
Results - Cup championship q-finals: Cobra Black bt RAAF Tigers 54-0;
BBMB Knights bt SMS Old Boys 5-0; Blackhawk bt RSC 29-5; JLJ DiRaja bt
Bandaraya Dragons 26-5.
Semifinals: Cobra bt BBMB Knights 33-0; Blackhawk bt JLJ DiRaja 3-0;
Final: Cobra Black bt Blackhawk 14-10.

Element of surprise from Hidayat?


HIDAYAT Hamidon was expected to win the snatch gold at the Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games but instead surprised all with a gold in the clean and
jerk, and a silver in the combined total.
At the Asian Games in Bangkok, Hidayat will again be banking on the
element of surprise when he lifts in the 69kg category.
But Hidayat, with his hallmark confident smile, will have to dig deep
into his reserves to even win a bronze.
"It would be great to win a medal in Bangkok because since Malaysia made
a debut at the 1954 Games until the 1994 Hiroshima Games, weightlifting
has only won one bronze medal," said Hidayat.
"And that was 40 years ago in Tokyo. It would be a feather in my cap to
lift a medal.
"For this I have put some extra hours in training."
The 22-year-old Hidayat is working harder than usual under Russian coach
Slava Lelikov. For a start, he has been put back on a strict diet
programme by Lelikov to shed the extra pounds gained during the break
after the KL Games.
"I visited visit my family in Indonesia during the break and ate a
little more than usual. But under the diet programme, it won't be long
before I'm back to my ideal weight."
Hidayat and Matin Guntali, who won three bronze medals at September's
Commonwealth Games, are the two weightlifters picked by the Olympic
Council of Malaysia (OCM) for Bangkok.
Hidayat will lift in the 69kg category and Matin in the 56kg.
At the recent World Championships at Lahti, Finland, China's Wan Jianhui
broke the International Weightlifting Federation's (IWF) standard by 0.5kg
with a snatch of 158kg in the 69kg.
Plamen Jeliazkov of Bulgaria went up to lift a world record of 160kg.
At the Asian Games, Hidayat will battle against lifters from China,
Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
"I will not put myself under any undue pressure and will lift for the
pure joy of lifting.
"Matin and I are in the right frame of mind and will treat the Asiad
with the same determination and spirit as the Commonwealth Games.
"Medals or not, we will surely try to crack national records."

`Flying Dayak' Watson loses in trials


OMAN long jumper Ahmad Hudewib Al-Moamari beat Watson Nyambek to the 100m
tape at the National Sports Council track in Bukit Jalil yestarday but
Malaysia AAU president Datuk Khalid Yunus saw a silver lining in the race.
"It is good that he lost to the Oman runner because it would only spur
him on to do better," said Khalid after the track and field trials which
involved Oman, Kuwait and Malaysia.
"If he runs with the local boys, it is a known fact that he will win and
there is no challenge for him to clock better."
Ahmad clocked a hand-timed 10.3 while Watson and the rest of the field
did 10.4.
Women sprinter G. Shanti did not have any decent opposition so S. Vasu
was roped in as a pacer in the 100m run.
Shanti clocked 11.4 and looked capable of dipping lower if she did not
slow down in the final 10 metres.
Also at the trials were high jumper Loo Kum Zee and walker Yuan Yufang.
Loo did 2.15m while Yufang clocked 13.05 in the 3km warmup.
The Oman and Kuwait runners have been in Malaysia for close to two
months now as they are preparing for the Asian Games challenge in Bangkok.
* ATHLETES bound for the Asian Games will undergo drug tests before
leaving for Bangkok.
Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Loke Yuen Yow, who visited the sepak takraw
players and the gynnasts at the training camp in Bukit Jalil, said:
"Drug testing is actually carried out from time to time, especially
before a championship begins."
Meanwhile, Bangkok-bound Malaysian athletes for next month's Asian Games
were told to give priority to national interests and leave the question of
monetary rewards to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and National
Sports Council (NSC).
Dr Zakaria Ahmad, Malaysia's chef-de-mission for the games, said they
must strive to give their best to make the country proud and to make a
name for themselves in the games whose standard is higher than the
Commonwealth Games.
He said it could not be denied that there were athletes in the past who
were more concerned about the rewards than giving their best in sports
tournaments. (END)

Matin should stay home, says Koh


MATIN Guntali revived weightlifting in Malaysia when he lifted a silver
medal at the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games and then went on to win
three bronze medals at the Kuala Lumpur version of the Games in September.
Matin has been selected for the Bangkok Asian Games with Hidayat Hamidon
but he should have declined selection, said Malaysia's first Commonwealth
gold medallist Koh Eng Tong.
"I planned to retire after the KL Games but when the Olympic Council of
Malaysia (OCM) selected me for the Asian Games, I accepted it as a
personal challenge. Now I feel good for another two Commonwealth Games,"
said Matin, 34.
With the inclusion of Matin, up-and-coming Rahman Ahmad was sidelined.
"Matin is a good lifter but age is not on his side," said Koh.
"I know for a fact that at 34, weightlifters tend to lose their touch
and even though the mind is willing, the body loses its strength. He will
find it harder to add the kilos on the barbell.
"Matin should have declined and allowed Rahman to compete at the Asian
Games and even if Rahman does not win any medals, he will gain the much
needed exposure."
Rahman, 23, still holds the national record of 107kg in the 54kg snatch
while Matin holds the clean and jerk record of 135kg which he lifted at
the KL Games.
Although it is too late to rally for Rahman for the Asian Games, Koh
said the selectors could learn from this.
"They should not rely on ageing stars because by doing so they are
neglecting the youth who will lead Malaysia into the next century," said
"The National Sports Council (NSC) must start preparing young athletes
for the 2002 Olympics and the 2006 Asian Games which Malaysia hope to
But Coach William Yeo feels that Matin is good for another 10 years of
active competition.
"He might not return from the Asian Games with a medal, but he is surely
good for another two commonwealth Games. Watch him at Manchester, he will
be at his best then," said Yeo.

Nurul Huda, Saravanan named year's Olympians


NATIONAL shooter Nurul Huda Baharin and walker G. Saravanan won the 1998
Olympian Award yesterday for their sterling performances at the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games in September.
Nurul and Saravanan received RM10,000 and a medal each from Yang Di-
Pertuan Agong Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur.
The award was a timely boost as the duo will be representing the country
at the Asian Games in Bangkok next month.
Nurul, 24, won the individual air rifle gold despite wearing a cast on
her arm. A few weeks before the KL Games, she broke her arm in a
motorcycle accident.
Her grit and determination won Malaysia's first and only shooting gold
medal. Her 493.3 points is a new Commonwealth Games record.
Nurul, of Kedah, took up competitive shooting in 1995 and caught the
nation's attention when she won golds in the individual sport rifle three
position and team event at the Jakarta Sea Games last year.
She proved her worth again winning three gold medals at the Langkawi
Commonwealth Shooting Championship last year.
Nurul also received the SAM-Benson and Hedges '97 award and the '97
National Sports Award together with teammate Roslina Bakar.
While Nurul was a clear winner among nominees Thye Chee Kiat, Carolyn Au
Yong, El Regina Tajuddin and Sarina Sundarajah of rhythmic gynastics,
Saravanan faced a tough challenge for the award.
He edged bowler Kenny Ang who won two gold medals; weightlifter Hidayat
Hamidon who won a gold and a silver; and champion boxer Sapok Biki for the
Saravanan, from Penang, came out tops with his 4:10.5 effort to win the
gruelling 50km walks.
Meanwhile, the 1998 IOC Trophy for Sports Ethics was awarded to the
Ministry of Education for their sports and physical education programmes.

Nurul confident of gold


NURUL Huda Bharin's arm is still giving her problems but the Kedah-born
shooter is confident of pulling off an upset at the Asian Games.
She is still undergoing physiotherapy for her arm which was broken a
week before the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. The broken arm didn't
prevent her from winning the air rifle gold.
Nurul is back in training and is shooting practice rounds of 493. She
had shot a record 493.3 for her Commonwealth gold.
"I feel good. As for the rest of the field, I don't know how good they
are," said the policewoman after receiving the Olympian of The Year Award
on Friday.
"But this is how I like it. The less I know about the rest, the more
confident I will be when the time comes to shoot."
The other shooters for Bangkok are Emran Zakaria, Abdul Mutalib, Aziz
Brahim, Roslina Bakar and Sarihati Awang.

No surprises expected from Adun's lads


MALAYSIA have never won a boxing medal at the Asian Games and Bangkok is
expected to be no different.
Sapok Biki, the best Malaysian bet for an outside bronze, fractured a
finger during training and the hopes are now on Rakib Ahmad, Adnan Yusoh
and B. Muruguthevan.
The task of facing some of the best boxers in the world is surely
intimidating, if not daunting, but coach Adun Pasu is confident his
charges will acquit themselves well.
"We all know that the Asian Games field is tougher than the Commonwealth
Games, but one bronze is within our reach," said Adun who declined to name
the hopeful.
Besides having to endure the steely fists of the Thais and Indonesians,
the Malaysian fighters will come up with fighters from Iran, Uzbekestian
and South Korea.
The Thais, who won only three golds at the previous Games in Hiroshima,
have set an ambitious target of 24 gold medals and three are expected to
be won from boxers.
Bantamweight Somluck Khamsing, a national hero since he won Thailand's
first Olympic gold medal two years ago, is his country's best hope.
The Thai prediction is no mere talk as they have been preparing the past
two years.
The Malaysians head for Bangkok on Nov 12 and Adun has lined up some
sparring sessions with Thai fighters.
Adun, who trained the Thailand national team from 1989-1994 before his
appointment by the National Sports Council (NSC), said the boxers will be
more than adequately prepared.
However, the Thai coach was being realistlic when he said that Malaysia
should not place much hope on the coming Asian Games and instead prepare
for the 2006 Games which Malaysia hope to host.

Athletes low on confidence


DEPUTY Sports Minister Datuk Loke Yuen Yow has visited all Asian Games-
bound athletes and he believes that they lack confidence.
"There is no reason the athletes should feel inferior because they have
just competed against some of the world's best at the Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games," said Loke after visiting the hockey, squash, swimming
and cycling contingents yesterday.
"But I do sense its (lack of confidence) presence in almost all the
"That is why I tell them to rely on the Malaysia Boleh! motto to
overcome their fears.
"We have world-class squash players and our women are tipped to win gold
in Bangkok, if they don't succumb to pressure.
"As for hockey, swimming and cycling, our athletes will find the going
extremely tough and only a high level of confidence can see them through."
Chef-de-mission Dr Zakaria Ahmad, whose initial target was two golds,
has increased it to four after visiting the athletes.
"After visiting all the athletes and checking on their preparations, we
have set a new target of four golds which is not beyond our reach.
Anything more will be a bonus," said Zakaria.
For the Asian Games, the NSC paid for the rentals at the Bukit Jalil
Sports Complex because most associations can't afford the high cost of
rental imposed by the Merdeka Stadium Board.
"It has been great training at the National Squash Centre at Bukit Jalil
as the facilities are world class, but once the athletes return from
Bangkok, we will head for the Jalan Duta courts to train as the rental at
Bukit Jalil is too steep," said Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia
(SRAM) executive director Kol (rtd) Wong Ah Jit.
"It would be a waste actually, if the national athletes don't utilise
the billion Ringgit facilities.
"We have made several suggestions to the Merdeka Stadium Board on how to
fully utilise the squash courts. We even agreed to bring in more business
but have yet to get a reply from them. So it is definitely back to the
Jalan Duta courts for us."

Cheah escapes after apology


THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) took into consideration Cheah Soon Kit's clean
track record and a letter of apology, dated Dec 4, when they decided not
to take any action against the shuttler for skipping training.
Cheah, who arrived minutes after the BAM Exco ended their meeting, had a
closed door discussion with BAM president Datuk Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan
before the announcement.
"The matter has been resolved amicably. Actually it was just a family
quarrel which was blown out of propotion. With the letter of apology, the
BAM Exco let him off the hook without any action," said Fadzil.
Cheah, 30, a veteran of three Asian Games, was not selected for the
Bangkok assignment because his partner Choong Tan Fook suffered an eye
injury during training. The injury ruled him out for three weeks.
The pair of Pang Cheh Chang-Cheah Soon Thoe were selected instead.
Piqued by his exclusion, Cheah stopped attending training since Nov 19
when it was disclosed that he was out of the Games squad.
"The matter is now closed and all the parties have agreed to forget and
start afresh. This will be taken as a learning process in the BAM family,"
said Fadzil.
Cheah had apologised to the management committee and the panel of
coaches for skipping training.
"I regret not seeking a clarification on why the decision to exclude me
was made. On my own, I thought of the worse possible scenario which upset
me greatly," read his letter.
"I hope the BAM Exco accept my apology and I pledge to abide by my
contract with BAM in future. This also includes attending training when
Cheah declined to go into details and said in future if he is in doubt,
he will consult the panel of coaches.
"Although the BAM Exco let Cheah off the hook this time, this does not
mean that we condone such behaviour. Cheah, or any other player, will face
disciplinary action if they go missing without reason," said Fadzil.
National coach Morten Frost Hansen was relieved that the matter has been
"We need to focus on the Asian Games which will be a tough assignment.
With the matter put to rest, the shuttlers can leave for Bangkok today on
a happy note."
When asked about Cheah's future with the national side, Frost said he
will play a crucial role in the Malaysian Open next year in July and the
ABC Championships which Malaysia will host on Sept 22-26.
"He will probably resume training with the team after the Asian Games
and we will work out a plan to make our presence felt at the Malaysian
Open and the ABC Championships," said Frost.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Unknown clawed their way to the top


TERENGGANU coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim described the Malaysia Cup Final
against Terengganu tomorrow at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium as a
revival of Malaysian soccer.
Rahman said with the upset of favourites Negri and Sabah in the
semifinals and the advancement of a Premier Two team to the coveted Cup
Final, the future of Malaysian soccer was bright.
"The two teams were never given a chance in the early days but they
still clawed their way to the top," said Rahman.
"Terengganu never had it easy and we had to fight to the top of the
Premier Two and then play in the qualifiers before marching into the
Malaysia Cup Finals. This is the kind of attitude the national team must
have to make their name in the international arena."
Perak team manager Datuk Raja Ahmad Raja Zainuddin played down the
Laszlo Repasi-Karl Weigang tussle with two words: "No problems."
He refused to comment on the issue although a police report has been
filed by Repasi.
"I don't know what happened because even though I was at the field after
the alleged scuffle, nobody said a thing about it to me.
"In fact, the team met Perak players from the 70s to motivate them after
training but not a word was said about the issue.
"I only read about it in the papers and I will probably comment on it on
Monday after speaking to both parties," said Raja Ahmad.
On the final, Raja Ahmad said: "I am speaking for both teams when I say
that playing at the National Stadium, which is a first for soccer, is a

Rahman: We prefer the underdogs tag


TERANGGANU coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim prefers the underdog tag when they
take on Perak today.
And his reason is simple.
"We were never the favourites right from the beginning and there is no
need to place any pressure on my men at this juncture.
"They have promised to do their best and I am confident of a good
showing, that is enough for me."
Team manager Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said his men will triumph because they
have faced and overcome many hurdles on the way to the final.
"Our aim is to create Malaysia Cup history at the National Stadium. The
fact that a Premier Two team fought all the way to the top should be
enough to satisfy any manager," said Che Mat Jusuh.
"We want to go one step further and bring home the Cup."
Terengganu have come a long way since Rahman was appointed coach and
after the Malaysia Cup, he will concentrate on rebuilding the national
"We have selected 31 players for centralised training which will
commence a week after the final.
"Four more players will be selected from Terengganau and Perak for a
total of 35 trainees.
"The team will be trimmed to 21 and we will work towards qualifying for
the next Asian Games and winning gold at the 2001 Sea Games in Malaysia."
After turning the tide in favour of Terengganu, it would be interesting
to see what Rahman can do for national soccer.

SportExcel running on empty


SPORTEXCEL, founded in 1991 for promoting grassroots development, is being
slowly bled to death.
In the words of SportExcel executive director Teng Mui Ngee: "We have
started digging into our fixed deposits to run the show, which means we
will not last long."
Bowler Shalin Zulkilfi, squash star Ong Beng Hee and Asian Games
champion Nicol David, the entire Putra Cup golf squad, and cricket
sensation Arul Suppiah are some of the SportExcel graduates.
"SportExcel are low on funds and unless we can raise some money fast,
the development of junior programmes and athletes next year will be
drastically reduced."
The economic downturn has forced major sponsors to pull out, and if this
trend continues, there will only be enough money to pay for overheads.
"The junior circuits will go on but the associations will have to
sacrifice a bit, like supporting payments for travelling allowances, for
food and even reducing prize monies for events."
SportExcel, the brainchild of Olympic Council of Malaysia president
Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, was designed to promote youth development and
one of their most successful circuit is golf. But the list is longer and
it goes back to the days of cyclist M. Kumaresan and hurdler Nurherman
Majid who have, at one time or another, contributed medals at
international meets.
SportExcel have existed remarkably well alongside the national sport
associations and even earned praise from the National Sports Council and
Cricket and athletics were the latest to join the SportExcel family this
year while the established circuits are bowling, squash, diving, cycling,
shooting and golf.
"Although we will be running on a shoe-string budget, we have plans to
increase the air-gun circuit to three legs with a grand final at the
Subang Shooting Range.
"Also, we have plans to run a swimming and synchronised swimming circuit
next year. But it all depends on how much money is available in our
"As for the golf circuits, they are quite independent because we have
individual sponsors for each of the five legs."
SportExcel should not just rely on the sponsors to run the circuits but
tap into those who have graduated into the senior ranks to keep the
foundation moving.
Not that these athletes should be asked to contribute in cash but an
alumni should be formed so that the athletes, some of whom are world
class, could pay back by imparting their knowledge of the sport and coach
the juniors after they have stopped competing.
Kudos to SportExcel for their unwavering pursuit of youth development in

Maba still out hunting for young talent


THE Malaysia Amateur Basketball Association (Maba) are eyeing two golds at
the 2001 Sea Games, and with it will ride the future of basketball in
"That will be the starting point for basketball in Malaysia, after that
we will target for medals at the 2006 Asian Games which Malaysia are
bidding," said a confident Maba president, Datuk Loke Yuen Yow.
As for 1998, basketball was among the "almost there" sport and is best
Although faced with a dearth of new talent, the women cagers were one
step ahead of their male counterparts.
At the Jakarta Sea Games, the women ended a 10-year drought by beating
defending champions Thailand in a close encounter. So close that for the
watching VIPs, Sports Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin and chef-de-mission
Datuk Seri Megat Junid Megat Ayob, the match was a nail-biting affair.
On the other hand, the Malaysian men, who clawed their way to the final,
found it hard to contain the superior Filipinos and settled for silver.
That was as good as the year went for the national cagers.
Malaysia are currently not among the Asian basketball powers and did not
even qualify for the Bangkok Asian Games, but Maba feel there is still
The introduction of the Malaysian Basketball League for women was one of
the steps towards the realisation of the association's objectives.
Three women's teams joined the five men's in this year's edition of the
MBL but at the end of the day, it was noted that there is much work to be
done if the women want to win medals at a higher level.
For a start, Maba did not even have enough women cagers to form three
teams. They had to source players from the junior ranks to field decent
Loke has single-mindedly pursued the objective of finding tall cagers in
Malaysia for the past five years; never mind the lukewarm response his
earlier programmes have received.
"We will go to the States and villages again and again until we have a
big pool of tall players. Lodging and scholarships will be provided for
those selected and they will be taught the basics of basketball," said
To achieve their target and get a wider coverage, Maba organised a
State-wide three-on-three on a multiracial basis and teams could only
compete if they had two non-Chinese cagers in their side.
But all these lofty plans came to naught.
Malaysia were ranked fourth in Asia back in 1977 but it has been
downhill since. Back then the mistake was placing too much emphasis on the
national team with no plans for a back-up pool - and that is still the
problem today.

Van Huizen in limbo


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) must make a decision soon on the
status of Stephen van Huizen as national coach.
And if they want to land his services, it must come with the assurance
of a two to three-year contract and job security.
MHF have chosen to remain silent on the issue but time is running out on
them because next year, Malaysia are down to play a string of important
internationals starting with the Six-Nation tournament in Egypt in early
Then, there is the Dubai Invitation at the end of February and the
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in April.
Centralised training begins next month and it is imperative the issue of
Van Huizen's position is solved by then.
If it's not, word is that MHF would appoint caretaker coach Yahya Atan -
who helped with the preparation of the Asian Games challenge - to take
charge of the team.
After Van Huizen's return from Bangkok, there has been speculation that
he wants to return to his employers, Bank of Commerce (BOC), and continue
training at club level.
BOC is believed to have given him an ultimatum on whether he wants to
continue his banking career or opt out to be national coach.
The news was relayed to van Huizen a few days before the squad headed
for Bangkok on Dec 4.
MHF are keen to have a discussion with BOC to iron out matters before
taking their case to the National Sports Council (NSC).
"Right now, we have not made any decision because we have yet to meet
his employers. MHF have not heard anything from Van Huizen himself, we
have only read about his intentions in the newspapers.
"After the year-end holidays, we will meet BOC to get a clearer
picture," said MHF secretary S. Satgunam.
Since MHF have proven themselves to be fickle-minded when it comes to
local coaches, the danger of finding himself jobless after the Azlan Shah
Cup looms large in Van Huizen's mind.
"The MHF understand Van Huizen's dilemma. He has a tough choice to make
and we will try to help him make a decision soon."
Certain quarters have blamed the poor outing in Bangkok to the stand
taken by BOC but Van Huizen denied the allegations.
"I did not inform anybody on the issue except the team manager (R.
Yogeswaran), so the players did not know," Van Huizen was reported as
Malaysia bungled with a draw against Japan in the opening match while in
the fifth-placing playoff, Malaysia beat China 1-0.
* TERENGGANU will host next year's national Under-15 boys' hockey
tournament in Kuala Terengganu.
The non-availability of a proper pitch had also hampered the preparation
of the State squad, he said.
Hamzah said the new dessoturf pitch at the Batu Buruk Stadium is
expected to be ready in February.

The mind is willing but the body is weak


HIDAYAT Hamidon and Matin Guntali returned emptyhanded from the Asian
Games in Bangkok, but nobody was annoyed with their performance.
Hidayat in the 69kg, and Matin, in 54kg, were not medal prospects at the
Asiad. But the duo went with the hope of finishing among the top six,
which they failed. That was no surprise really.
The unexpected and the unexplained is the way the National Sports
Council (NSC), who played a pivotal role in grooming these weightlifters;
and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), in whose hands rest the
selection for international assignments.
Undeniably, both tend to rely on `time-tested' athletes. But all is not
lost in the sport, at least as far as Hidayat and younger lifters like
Abdul Rahman are concerned. The 22-year-old Hidayat has age on his side
while Matin, 34, should have retired after winning three bronze medals at
the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
It might seem cruel to many, especially since Matin was responsible for
the revival of the sport in Malaysia when he lifted a silver medal at the
1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games and proved his mettle again in Kuala
But the crux of the matter is the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation and
the NSC should stop relying on `old hands' and instead start exposing new
"The National Sports Council (NSC) must start preparing young athletes
for the 2002 Olympics and the 2006 Asian Games, which Malaysia hope to
"They should not rely on aging stars because by doing so, they are
neglecting the youth who will lead Malaysia's challenge into the next
century," said Malaysia's first Commonwealth gold medallist Koh Eng Tong.
It is a known fact, among the lifters, that at 34, weightlifters tend to
lose their touch and even though the mind is willing, the body is weak.
As the body ages, it becomes increasingly harder to add the kilos on the
Defying all odds, Matin has announced his plans to actively compete for
another 10 years, with the Manchester 2002 Commonwelath Games his main
Weightlifting was a struggling sport when it was incorporated into the
Jaya '98 programme in 1993, which was mooted to prepare for the KL Games
and it produced champions like Hidayat and Matin.
But the programme must not stop with these achievements, and NSC
director-general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad promised as much.
NSC have 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 excellence in the States.
NSC bought equipment and stationed coaches at centres in Terengganu,
Johor, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak. They also extended help to centres in
other States with a Chinese coach looking after Rompin and a Bulgarian in
Malacca while local coaches look after the 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, according to Mazlan.
Weightlifting is a specialised sport which needs sport scientists with
credentials, like present national coach Slava Lelikov, to groom the
Also, 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 proposal is still being discussed and looks promising.
With the undivided attention of the NSC on the sport, coupled with the
assistance from the IWF, the future of weightlifting looks bright - if we
don't repeat the mistake of banking on old muscles again.

Fifa give Halim due recognition


HALIM Abdul Hamid, the referee who officiated at the World Cup '98 in
France, received a tremendous career boost when he was promoted to full
Fifa referee.
Halim, who has been an assistant Fifa referee since 1993, made his name
in France where he officiated three preliminary round matches and one
second round match.
FA of Malaysia (FAM) director of referees, George Joseph, confirmed
Halim's appointment and said that with the latest appointment, Malaysia
now have six Fifa referees.
The five established Fifa referees are Nazri Abdullah, Nik Ahmad Yaakub,
S. Selvarajah, Zainal Abidin Yaacub and Sukri Mat Amin.
"Halim was promoted after his good performance at the France World Cup
where he received good marks for the four matches that he officiated,"
said Joseph in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Halim came under the spotlight when he handled the second round match
between England and Argentina.
It was an exciting match where England playmaker David Beckham received
marching orders. Halim acquited himself well in this key match.
In the preliminaries, Halim officiated the Morocco-Norway, Colombia-
Romania and Cameroon-Chile matches.
Before becoming a fulltime referee Halim, who comes from Kangar, did try
his hand as a soccer player and represented the Armed Forces in the Semi-
Pro League from 1986-1989.
Meanwhile, Nazri will not be able to do World Cup duty, no thanks to
Fifa rules. The retirement age for Fifa referees is 45 and Nazri, born on
Jan 23, 1955, will have one more season before retirement.
This has effectively ruled him out of possible duty at the 2002 World
Cup to be co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.
Nazri, however, had officiated at the pre-World Cup. He refereed the
England-San Marino match in 1993.
Fifa referees: Mohamed Nazri Abdullah, Nik Ahmad Nik Yaakub, S.
Selvarajah, Zainal Abidin Yaacub, Sukri Mat Amin.
Assistant Fifa referees: Ishak Ismail, M. Elagkoven, Kassim Kadir Bacha,
Ghani Ishak, Azimi Abdullah, Ismail Salleh, Mohamed Lazim, Awang Hamat.

Asum in the good books


THE successes of Lim Keng Liat and Elvin Chia at the recent Asian Games in
Bangkok have set the wheels of fortune in motion for the Amateur Swimming
Union of Malaysia (Asum).
The elusive Asiad gold medal that Malaysia had been chasing for years
was finally delivered by Lim in the 100m backstroke at the Thammasat
University Aquatics Centre in Bangkok.
Buoyed by that success, the National Sports Council and Asum now want
more. And in their scramble to unearth more calibre swimmers, they have
listed 30 names for full-time training and the chance for more
international exposure.
The NSC are also ready to open the lid of their coffers for Asum.
"Since swimming is compulsory for the Asian Games and the Olympics, the
NSC are keen to promote the sport on a larger scale," said NSC director
general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad. "For a start, we have told Asum to provide us
with a plan and we will appoint a project manager who will eventually draw
a blueprint for the 2001 Sea Games.
"But we will not stop at Sea Games level. The plan will be extended for
the 2008 Olympics."
Swimming is not the only sport the NSC are keen to promote. Athletics,
another compulsory sport for the Asian Games and the Olympics, is also on
the list.
"We did not do well in athletics at the Bangkok Asiad but that does not
mean we will neglect the sport. We have instructed the Malaysian AAU to
submit their plans for the future," said Mazlan.
Lim reversed the sagging fortunes of swimming in breathtaking fashion as
his triumph not only gave Malaysia their the first gold medal but it was
also the first time a Malaysian swimmer had won in the pool at the Asian
Games. He even set a Games and national record of 55.53s.
Mazlan declined to reveal the amont of money the NSC will be pumping
into Asum.
"We have yet to agree on the amount because it'd depend on Asum's plans.
But we certainly want to improve the status of swimming and athletics to
prepare for our 2006 (Asian Games) and 2008 (Olympics) bids," said Mazlan.
Chia, who won a bronze in the 100m breaststroke, and Lim, who also won a
silver in the 200 backstroke, will continue training overseas.
For next year, the major tournaments they will be taking part in are the
World Cup in Hong Kong in April, and the Pan-Pacific meet in Sydney.

Six bound for German stint


GERMANY is becoming a favourite training ground for Malaysian hockey
If the latest arrangement by German coach Paul Lissek is accepted by the
Malaysian HF, six juniors from the Project 2001 squad will get the chance
to play in the German National Hockey League as well as in a Four-Nation
tournament next year.
Lissek, who whipped up a respectable Malaysian team in two months for
the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, wants to inculcate `German thinking'
in the Malaysian juniors to prepare them for the 2001 Junior World Cup.
"We received a fax from Lissek yesterday in which he proposed that six
juniors play in the German League to prepare for the Asian junior
championship in 2000 (which will also double up as the Junior World Cup
qualifiers in Malaysia)," said National Sports Council director general
Datuk Mazlan Ahmad.
"The NSC have agreed in principle to his suggestion."
The six to be recommended for the stint are Chua Boon Huat and Suhaimi
Ibrahim (Red and White Munich); K. Keevan Raj and K. Logan Raj
(Monchengladbach); Madzli Ikmar and Syayrim Uda Karim (Black and White
All the players featured in Lissek's Commonwealth Games training
programme although Madzli and Syayrim did not make the final 16.
Monchengladbach will be handled by Lissek, Red and White Munich by
German team manager Braum Gartner while Black and White Neuss by German HA
vice-president Walther Longess.
"All the teams are in the Division One Southern League and the plan is
similar to the one in 1997, which saw five seniors play with Germans
"I believe the stint was furitful as the five seniors returned better
"Right now, we have several players who might not be able to play for
the country in the near future, so we have decided to send the juniors
The six juniors will head for Germany in early March to prepare for the
first half of the League, which is from April to the end of May.
During the break, the players will return to Malaysia and train with the
national team from June to July.
At the end of July, they will return to Germany to play in the League as
well as in a Four-Nation tournament in England in August.
"Lissek has arranged for a Four-Nation among Malaysia, Germany, England
and Poland. The NSC will send 12 more players from the 2001 Project squad
to form a team for that tournament," said NSC hockey co-ordinator Ariffin
This will be the second attachment stint for national hockey players. In
the previous stint in 1997, S. Kuhan, R. Shankar, Kerpal Singh, Nor Azlan
Bakar and Chairil Anwar Aziz played in the three-month Bundesliga as part
of their preparations for the World Cup in Utrecht.
Malaysia failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup in Milton Keynes,
England last year for the first time after finishing fifth in the Asian
Junior Cup two years ago.

Penang, KTJ stroll into semis


THE Milo-National Schools Under-18 women's soccer at the Police Depot
ground in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur, was a wet but lively affair.
The constant drizzle failed to stop Penang Combined Schools and Kolej
Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ) from booking their tickets to the semifinals at the
same venue today.
They will meet Perlis Combined Schools and Sultan Ibrahim High School of
Johor respectively.
Yesterday, Penang Schools started attacking Tuanku Ampuan Durah School
from the whistle.
Tuanku Ampuan cracked under pressure when left winger Fatimah Talib made
a pass to the penalty area which resulted in a goalmouth melee. Norfaezah
Ngah took control of the ball and scored Penang's first in the seventh
In the 27th minute, a Penang player handled the ball in the penalty box
and the referee pointed to the spot. Tuanku Ampuan's Wan Norzamzalina has
the goalkeeper diving in the wrong way.
After the breather, Penang's Siti Salwa Khalid made a good pass to
Srimarziwati Pahrurazzi who kicked in their second goal.
After that goal, Tuanku Ampuan players looked lost and let in an easy
goal in the 55th minute. The match winner was Diana Talib.
At the adjacent field, Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ) hammered Tunku Ampuan
Najihah High School (TAN) 7-1 for a place in the semis.

KTJ struggle, easy for Penang


KOLEJ Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ) from Mantin, Seremban, had to wait until the
sudden-death penalty shootout to make the final of the Milo-National
Schools Under-18 Girls' soccer at the Police Depot ground in Kuala Lumpur
At the adjacent field, Penang Combined Schools had a relatively easy
semifinal when they beat Perlis Combined Schools 3-0.
Sultan Ibrahim High School (SIHS) from Johor had their first look at
goal in the sixth minute and Rozana Roslan chipped the ball over KTJ
goalkeeper Yeo May Chua for the lead.
In the 20th minute, KTJ's Lydia Tulip made a solo run from midfield to
beat SIHS goalkeeper Tengku Mariam for the equaliser.
After the breather, good defending by KTJ's Tan Kelee and May Chua
denied an attacking SIHS the winner on numerous occasions.
The match went into extra time but both teams failed to score.
In the penalty shoot-out, only KTJ's Lydia and SIHS's Rozana managed to
score, the others either shot wide or straight at the goalkeeper.
The match went into sudden death and STJ skipper Suriani Kempe took them
into the final.
The scorers for Penang combined schools were Normasturatul 'Ain (5th,
48th) and Hernani Halyas (21st).
In the morning, Tuanku Ampuan Durah School from Seremban beat Tunku
Ampuan Najihah High School, also from Seremban, 2-0 for fifth placing.
TODAY - 3rd placing: Perlis Combined Schools v SIHS (8.30am); Final: KTJ
v Penang Combined Schools (4.30). - both at Police Depot ground.

Andersonians shut out


NISHEL Kumar and Azman Shamsuddin saw Tampin District through to the
semifinals of the MHF-Milo National Junior League yesterday with a
handsome win over last year's runners-up Andersonians at the Sultan Azlan
Shah Stadium yesterday.
Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak), Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA)
of Penang and Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) are the other
Tampin District went ahead in the 34th minute when they received a
penalty stroke which Nishel tucked away nicely.
In the 49th minute Azman Shamsuddin, who scored two goals against Sultan
Abu Bakar College (SABC) of Johor on Saturday, scored a field goal to give
Tampin a 2-0 lead.
Andersonians pulled one back when Ho Kok On scored off a penalty corner
in the 62nd minute.
In the other matches, Olak defeated Pahang Sports Council (PSC) 7-1 at
the Kuantan Stadium while PJMC defeated Klang Municipal Council (KMC) 7-2
at the Petaling Jaya Stadium.
PJMC's Samsul Kamal started the rout in the eight minute off a field
goal and went ahead to score a hat-trick in the 35th and 64th minutes.
KMC's Mohamed Sharul made a solo run from midfield to pull one back in
the 14th minute. However, despite goals from Mohamed Faizal (24th),
Mohamed Hafiz (29th) and Samsul (51st) PJMC failed to break a fighting
performance from KMC who scored their second goal through Arifin Hasim.
After the break, PJMC's Mohamed Zabidi (55th), Hafiz (59th) and Samsul
sealed the match.
At the Kuantan Stadium, the Olak players who attained their names on the
score sheet were Shahrizal Mastor, Mohamed Faizal (two goals), Katar
Batcha, Mohamed Amin (two goals) and Kamal Affendy.
Mohamed Ali scored the sixth goal in the Leaque for Pahang Sports

Tampin drawn to meet champions ESA in the semifinals


TAMPIN District, who upset last year's runners-up Andersonians 2-1 at the
Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh on Sunday, will have to bring out their
best again in the semifinals of the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior League hockey.
They meet Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) of Penang while
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) play Old La Sallians of Klang
(Olak) for a place in the final.
ESA beat Tampin 5-0 in the earlier matches.
"It will be an uphill task but if the players produce the form against
Andersonians, we have a good chance of making the final," said Tampin team
manager Jusvir Singh after the semifinals draw at the Bukit Jalil Hockey
"Tampin did not do well in the earlier part of the League because we met
the top teams in MPPJ, Olak and ESA. Once the players got their act
together, we even managed to upset Andersonians so nothing is impossible."
Tampin is a place where many national and former national players were
produced and for this League they have national trainee S. Nishel Kumar,
who has scored nine goals thus far, and a host of talented players to bank
on for the crunch against ESA.
Olak team manager Joseph de Silva said: "I'm happy with the draw, we
drew 1-1 with MPPJ in the preliminaries. Now we have a chance of becoming
double champions."
Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Datuk P. Alagendra
announced at the draw that the RM500 per-win reward in the preliminaries
have been extended for the semifinals and the final as well.
"There will be no gate collections for the final, we hope the fans will
turn out in force," he said.
FIXTURES - June 20 s-finals, 1st leg: PJMC v Olak (PJMC Stadium, 5.0);
ESA v Tampin (Universiti Sains Malaysia, 5.0).
June 22 - 2nd leg: Olak v PJMC (PJMC Stadium, 5.0); Tampin v ESA (Bkt
Jalil, 5.0).
June 28 - 3rd (3.30); Final (5.30) - Bukit Jalil.

Olak aim to stay unbeaten


LEAGUE champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) are yet to lose a match
in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior League hockey and they aim to keep the record
in the first leg of the semifinals against Petaling Jaya Municipal Council
(PJMC) at the PJMC Stadium tomorrow.
Their only draw was against PJMC and team manager Joseph de Silva said
his players are ready for a win this time around.
"Today (yesterday) we trained on penalty corners. That is our weakest
point, we have only scored two goals from the 57 we received in the
"With the League title in our hands, we are confident of winning a
double this year. Morover nine former Olak players are in the PJMC team
this year. We should be able to read their game and know what to expect,"
said de Silva.
Olak can also rely on skipper Syayrim Uda Karim, who has scored eight
goals thus far, Mohamed Faizal (7) and Kamal Affendy (5) to do the damage.
And if Olak become double champions, there is more than the RM25,000
prize money to look out for. Team president Datuk Jeffrey Ng Keng Keong,
who is away on a business trip to South Africa, said earlier that they can
expect something rewarding.
PJMC are also yet to lose a match in the League but they have not been
consistent. They drew 1-1 with Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) only to
bounce back with a convincing 5-2 win against Tampin District in the next
"We expect a tough match and are prepared for it. The players have been
training well for the past few days and Olak can expect a handful," said
PJMC coach Avtar Singh.
"Our recent training has centred around penalty corners. We have only
scored 12 of the 61 we received."
Penalty corners have been the sore point of the League, and the 12 PJMC
have scored is the best percentage. Most other teams have only about four
per cent conversion rate to show.
"We may not field Mohamed Zabidi and Mohamed Hafiz in the first leg
because they are injured. If they don't recover in time it will be a great
loss because Hafiz is the top scorer in the League with 15 goals and
Zabidi has scored three."
OLAK: Roslan Jamaluddin, Katar Batcha, Mohamed Radzi, Mohamed Faizal,
Mohamed Amin, Mohamed Madzli, Kulvinder Singh, Mohamed Badrul, Syayrim Uda
Karim, Mohamed Ezral, Redzuan Ponirin, Sukhwinder Singh, Mohamed
Fakaaruddin, Shahrizal Mastor, Rahal Hafizan, Saiful Azhar, Kamal Affendy,
Zairi Tamin.
PJMC: Adzarin Shah, S. Suresh, Ahmad Zanawi, Rozhan Razman, Fakrul
Adabi, Mohamed Faizal, Sharizal Shamsudin, Mohamed Redzuan, Khairul Nizam,
Azrul Affendy, Mohamed Hafiz, Azlan Saufi, Chua Boon Huat, Mohamed
Rashidan, Samsul Kamal, Mohamed Zabidi, Azizi Mutalib, Ng Su Khiam.

Underdogs Tampin aim to shut out hot-shots ESA


AS the MHF-Milo-NSC National Junior Hockey League reaches its climax,
Tampin District will go into their semifinal as underdogs, but the team
from Negri Sembilan feel they have an excellent chance of upsetting
defending champions Electrical Switchgears Automation (ESA) in the first
leg at the Universiti Sains Malaysia pitch today.
Tampin qualified for the semifinals despite making a shaky start to the
season and team manager Jusvir Singh believes his players have what it
takes to go far.
"We have no `imports' in our team, all the players are from Tampin
District itself," said Jusvir.
And the homegrown talent are beginning to show promise. They even
managed to upset one of the pre-tournament favourites, Andersonians, 2-1,
to make the semifinals.
"We lost 5-0 to ESA in the preliminary rounds but that does not bother
us, the underdog tag suites us fine as there will be no pressure on my
boys when they take to the field," said Jusvir.
"Without the no-offside ruling, anything is possible. If we manage to
hold them to a draw, the second leg is going to be an exciting one."
Tampin top scorer S. Nishel Kumar, with nine goals to his credit, is
likely to be checked and will have a tough time making any attempt at
goal. They also may not field Talent Squad trainee Suhaimi Ibrahim who did
not turn up for two matches.
"Although he has apologised we are not happy with his excuse. We cannot
condone indiscipline even if he is a national player," said Jusvir.
"Certainly, he is an asset and we will have to reconsider his appeal
tomorrow (today)."
ESA, last year's double champions, lost the League title to Old La
Sallians of Klang (Olak) and are expected to go all out for the overall
"We did hand Tampin a sound beating in the earlier match, but the semis
are a different ball game. Tampin have improved since and I have told my
boys not to be overconfident," said ESA team manager S. Kali Kavandan
"We will play our normal game but Tampin can expect a tough fight."
ESA have only lost to Olak and hammered Penang Juniors (7-0) and Bukit
Jalil Sports School (9-0)in their last two matches. If their upward trend
is anything to go by, Tampin are in trouble.
Their top scorer is fullback Dexter Kang Tai Chin with six goals, but ESA
will not rely on him alone to perform as they have 11 other players who
have made the goalscorer's list.
TAMPIN: Kumar Subramanian, Hazazie Hashim, Mohamed Niza Herme, Arul
Kumar, Ali Afdah, Candra Zulkifli, Mohamed Taqrish, Mohamed Azman, Hasnor
Hafiz, S. Nishel Kumar, Suhaimi Ibrahim, S. Sarawanan, Mohamed Fairuz,
Noreffendy Ramli, Norazlan Rahim, S. Sethupathi, Vijayan Govindaj, Mohamed
Kamarul, Raymond Chee, Mohamed Faries.
ESA: Mohamed Najib, Shazidi Yusoff, Shahzan Amir, K. Logan Raj, S.
Kathiresan, K. Keevan Raj, S. Santakumaran, S. Devan, Mohamed Rodzhanizam,
Mohamed Danir, M. Thayalan, Dexter Kang Tai Chin, M. Neruji, V. Asandan,
D. Baskaran, M. Jiva, Shahrin Zainal, Sanjeet Mohan, K. Ganesh, Syahrizal
Today - S-finals 1st leg: PJMC v Olak (PJMC Stadium, 5.0); ESA v Tampin
(Universiti Sains Malaysia, 5.0).
Sunday - 2nd leg: Olak v PJMC (PJMC Stadium, 5.0); Tampin v ESA (Bukit
Jalil, 5.0).
June 28 - 3rd placing (3.30); Final (5.30, Bukit Jalil Stadium).

Olak look good, Tampin promising


TAMPIN District held Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) of Penang to a 1-1 draw in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior League semifinals first leg at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Stadium in Penang yesterday.
At the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, League champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) stamped their mark with an easy 3-0 win over
Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC).
This draw strengthens Tampin's chances of making the final when they
host ESA at the Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium in the return leg tomorrow.
Tampin, who only had one penalty corner and two shots at goal yesterday, took the lead in the 57th minute through a field goal from Mohamed Fairuz.
Their joy was shortlived when ESA's V. Vasandan hammered home a penalty corner two minutes later.
ESA controlled the match and had 12 penalty corners and 10 shots at goal
but good defending by Tampin denied last year double champions full
Olak started from the whistle and received a penalty corner in the first
minute. Redzuan Ponirin's thundering shot whizzed past PJMC goalkeeper Adzarin Shah for the lead.
After that goal, PJMC came back strongly to pin Olak in their own half
for 15 minutes but good defending by goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin and
defender Kulvinder Singh shut them out.
Cheered on by a capacity crowd, Olak scored their second goal in the
19th minute when Syayrim Uda Karim pushed home his ninth goal of the
League. The score stood at 2-0 at half-time.
In the 44th minute, a good one-two by Hairul Anuar and Syayrim split the defence for Sukhwinder Singh to seal the match.
"Although two of our regulars did not play yesterday, we won because we
played as a team," said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.
"Mohamed Fakaaruddin is down with fever while Mohamed Faizal injured his leg. I had to field two reserves and they played their hearts out.
"And in the return leg, we aim to go all out and make the final with a
comfortable margin.
"Our dream of winning the double is taking shape slowly," said Joseph.
PJMC coach Avtar Singh said the players failed to score because they did
not make use of the penalty corners that came their way.
"We received eight penalty corners but the players took direct shots at
goal, Olak's Roslan had an easy time stopping them.
"I told them before the match that Roslan is one of the best and they
must take indirect shots but that did not happen. A three-goal lead will
be hard to chase but Olak can expect a tough time tomorrow, we wil give
our best," said Avtar.
Tomorrow: S-finals 2nd leg: Olak v PJMC (PJMC Stadium, 5.0); Tampin v ESA (Bukit Jalil, 5.0); June 28 - 3rd placing (3.30); Final (5.30) - Bukit

Pressure on Olak, says Avtar


PETALING Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) have three goals to chase but the
pressure is expected to be on Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) in the MHF-
Milo-NSC Junior League hockey semifinals second leg today.
They must maintain their form if they want to make the final because
PJMC have the material to pull off an upset.
PJMC have a host of good players but they have been on a roller coaster
ride since the League started.
They beat Andersonians 6-1 and Penang Juniors 8-0 only to draw 2-2 with
Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA). They also managed 1-1 draws with
a weak Sultan Abu Bakar College (SABC) and whipping boys Bukit Jalil
Sports School (BJSS).
"A three-goal margin is hard to overcome but don't expect us to give up
meekly. Olak will have to bring out their best as we will fight till the
end," said PJMC coach Avtar Singh.
And with injured League topscorer Hafiz Hussin up and running, PJMC have
the capabilities of causing an upset.
Olak, who will march in with a comfortable 3-0 lead, are also no
"When we won the League title, I told my boys to go for the overall
title and we are just two steps away now. PJMC are a good side but we have
the advantage," said Olak assistant team manager Joseph de Silva.
"We have also brushed up on our penalty corner setpieces, it has been
our sore point but we did turn the first leg into our favour with a first
minute penalty corner goal. We hope to score early in the return leg too."
In the other semifinal, success for Tampin District, who held ESA of
Penang 1-1 in the first leg on Friday, did not come overnight.
They started the League campaign on a shaky note and lost 3-2 to Olak,
drew 2-2 with SABC and lost 5-2 to PJMC.
"The players were just getting used to each other then," said Tampin
team manager Jusvir Singh.
"Most of them come from Datuk Taha Secondary in Gemencheh and Tunku
Besar Secondary in Tampin and had not played as a team for long."
But once they started moving as a team, they beat Klang Municipal
Council (KMC) 4-1 and Pahang Sports Council (PSC) 3-0.
"We have achieved our target of making the semis, making the final will
be a bonus. We will go all out for full points.
"I have told my players to enjoy themselves, there should be no pressure
to deliver. But that does not mean we will slacken our pace. ESA can
expect a tough fight."
Coached by V. Vikraman and Roslan Mohamed, Tampin are capable of
shutting out last year's double champions ESA if they play their normal

Hafiz, up and running now


HAFIZ Hussin from Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) has scored 15
goals in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League but on Friday, he was
unable to stop Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) from winning by a
comfortable 3-0 margin.
No, he has not lost his touch. He injured his leg in the earlier matches
and as a result, was seen limping against Olak.
"I felt very bad not being able to help my teammates in the first leg of
the semifinals, I will try my best to score in the second leg today," said
The 19-year-old League topscorer, who has been given a clean bill of
health for the return leg, played with the PJMC senior side for three
years before joining the juniors and attributes his abilities to
"Playing with the seniors was a valuable experience, they play a fast
game and we have learnt that there is no place for individualism," said
"Team spirit is what wins matches."
And Hafiz has been a team player in the League, running up and down with
the ball, he thinks nothing of making a pass in the semicircle if he sees
his teammates unmarked.
"I scored nine field goals because there is a good understanding between
the PJMC forwards, if they didn't make the openings I could not have
scored so many."
The left inside played for Sri Serdang Secondary and has helped his
school win the Inter-Schools and Inter-District titles.
"Playing at school level was fun, now it is serious business. I hope I
am able to help my employers make the final. It is going to be an uphill
battle but we have not thrown in the towel yet. We need to score early if
we want to see action in the final."
Hockey is not his only love, Hafiz is an all-rounder. He plays soccer,
sepaktakraw and is an active athlete: "But my aim is to play hockey at the
national level."
With the League topscorer award as good as his, as his nearest
challenger is on nine goals, his aim does not seem to be that far off.

Plucky Olak and ESA reach final


(Olak win 5-2on aggregate)
(ESA win 3-1on aggregate)
PETALING Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) played their hearts out but it was
not good enough to deny League champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) a
place in the final of the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League at the PJMC
Stadium yesterday.
And at the Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium, Electrical Switchgear Automation
(ESA) of Penang pulled up their socks in the second half to beat Tampin
District 2-0.
Olak started with a bang, and just like the first leg of the semifinal
where they won 3-0, they scored a field goal in the first minute through
Sukhwinder Singh.
After that goal, PJMC came charging back with numerous chances at goal
but failed to equalised until the 31st minute when Hafiz Hussin converted
a penalty stroke.
With two minutes to go before half-time, Hafiz scored his 17th goal of
the League to give PJMC the lead for the first time.
But luck was not with them as just after the breather, Olak's Mohamed
Amin scored a penalty stroke to equalise 2-2. Though the scoreline stood
until the final whistle, it was Olak who qualified for the final on a 5-2
"I am proud of my players because they played their very best out there.
We did all the right things but a three-goal margin is hard to chase. Luck
was also not on our side," said PJMC coach Avtar Singh.
As for Olak, they are just a step away from winning a double this
"If the boys play like the way they did against PJMC today (yesterday) we
have a good chance of winning another title," said Olak assistant team
manager Joseph de Silva.
At Bukit Jalil, Tampin pinned ESA in the semicircle for a good part of
the first half with hardworking skipper S. Nishel Kumar causing the most
It took Tampin ten minutes into the game to sound the board but just as
the ball rolled over the line, umpire Brian Fernandez penalised ESA for an
infringement and instead gave away a penalty corner.
Five minutes later Tampin's Noreffendy Ramli took an on-the-turn shot at
goal only to miss the top bar by inches.
ESA, however, were a fresh side when play resumed and goals by V.
Vasandan (54th) and K. Ganesh (67th) were enough to take them into the
final with a 3-1 aggregate.
"Tampin were a tough side to beat and I am glad we played as a team and
made the final," said ESA team manager Kali Kavandan.
"Now we have a chance to settle old scores with Olak. We lost the League
title to them but aim to keep this one."
FIXTURES: June 28 - 3rd placing (3.30); Final (5.30) - Bukit Jalil
Hockey Stadium.

Gold medal target for schoolboys


MALAYSIA aim to bring home a gold medal from the Asean Schools Sepaktakraw
Championships in Surabaya, Indonesia, on July 21-28.
Chief coach Syed Akhir Syed Rahman is confident that his charges will
better the silver medal won in Brunei last year.
"Last year we lost to Thailand in the final but we are better prepared
now, our target is to win gold," said Syed at the Bukit Jalil Sports
School yesterday.
Twenty-five players were selected after the National Schools
Championships in Johor Baru, where Malacca won the team event and Kedah
the inter-regu title, and started their second phase of centralised
training at Bukit Jalil on Monday.
The players will train until tomorrow and 12 will be shortlisted to form
four regus. Three regus will take part, the fourth will be on standby.
"Most of them have not played together so right now we are trying them
out with various partners."
"At the end of the day we will select the best 12 and if we meet
Thailand in the final, since they are still the best, we hope for an
upset," said Syed.
TRAINEES - Tekong: Mohamed Yazid, Mohamed Fauzi, Syahrulnizam Said,
Bunawan Zulkifli, Azrul Hisham, Nordanial Hamzah, Saipullah Seman, Mohamed
Hirman; Apit Kanan: Azam Heider, Zulkhuari Rahman, Mohamed Faizal, Mohamed
Shahril, Rahim Adnan, Putra Ghani, Joshua Erang, Norhaidi Zinor, Mior
Angah, Mohamed Isa; Apit Kiri: Sharil Rashid, Mohamed Rahmat, Mohamed
Asmawi, Norakmal Firdaus, Sufian Johari, Mazlan Burhan, Rukman Mustapha.
TEAMS: Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines, Singapore, Laos.

More than the cash at stake for ESA and Olak


LAST year's double champions Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) and
League champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) will have more than just
the RM25,000 in mind when they square off in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior
League final tomorrow.
If ESA win they become the first team to bag the overall title back-to
back and if Olak triumph, they will become the third team to win both
titles in the same year.
Yayasan Negri Sembilan were double champions in 1995 and ESA equalled
this feat last year while Olak look a good bet for the same tomorrow.
"Although we beat ESA 1-0 for the League title, I have told my players
not to be overconfident because anything can happen in the final," said
Olak assistant team manager Joseph de Silva.
"The boys have been training hard the past few days and morale is high,
winning a double is what they want now."
With the second title just a step away, Olak have suffered a setback
when they lost top scorer Syayrim Uda Karim to two yellow cards but de
Silva does not think it is a major setback.
"Yes, we will miss Syayrim in the final but hockey is a team sport and
my boys have been playing to perfection. Teamwork will see us through
again. The teams who have relied on a few selected players have ended the
League empty handed," added de Silva.
Olak have had a dramatic rise to the top. They finished seventh three
years ago and were sixth last year.
"The team was formed because I noticed many talented players did not
have the avenue to sharpen their skills.
"Once it was formed, we won many six-a-sides and other hockey carnivals
in Klang. That was when we decided to have our own youth development
programme and it has paid off handsomely." he said.
Goalkeeper Saiful Azhar is a product of the programme and the Malaysian
Hockey Federation Talent Squad player is one of Olak's aces in their deck.
A pillar of confidence between the posts, he and former Andersonians
goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin have done a good job so far.
"But good goalkeepers alone are of no use if their team is weak. Saiful
was 13-years-old when he started playing for Olak and has come a long way
since then," he added.
ESA will have a tough job prising open the Olak defence and coach Bob
Rajendran is fully aware of it.
"Yes, this is one match (against Olak) we are looking forward to. I can
safely say that it is going to be an explosive affair," said Rajendran
after the semifinals.
"ESA have been playing well, the only thing they haven't been doing is
making use of all the chances available. We must improve on penalty
corners, we have missed too many in the League."
ESA will rely on K. Keevan Raj, K. Logan Raj, Mohamed Rodhanizam and
Dexter Kang to do the damage.
The overall title comes with a RM25,000 purse but if the match goes into
sudden-death and penalty flicks, the prize money will be shared.
The fight for third placing is expected to be just as interesting.
Tampin District and Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC) both have the
players to pull off a win.
TOMORROW - 3rd placing: Tampin v PJMC (3.30); Final: Olak v ESA (5.30) -
Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tampin and PJMC capable of providing the sparks


THE fight for third placing between Tampin District and Petaling Jaya
Municipal Council (PJMC) in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior League hockey at the
Bukit Jalil Stadium today is expected to be just as keen as the final.
PJMC are one of the better teams in the League but inconsistency has
cost them dearly.
They have capable players such as League top scorers Hafiz Hussin, Azrul
Affendy and Samsul Kamal while Tampin's aces are Nishel Kumar, S.
Sarawanan and Azman Shamsuddin.
In the preliminaries, they beat Andersonians 6-1 and Penang Juniors 8-0
only to draw 2-2 with Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) of Penang and
1-1 with Sultan Abu Bakar College from Johor and Bukit Jalil Sports
PJMC's Hafiz has scored 17 goals in the League and with one more match
in hand, he looks set to walk away with the top scorer's award.
His closest contenders are Nishel and Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak)
skipper Syayrim Uda Karim with nine goals each.
Syayrim will not play in the final against ESA today due to a one-match
suspension while Nishel will have a mammoth task of scoring nine goals
against PJMC if he wants to topple Hafiz.
"We started the League on a shaky note but the players got their act
together and reached our target of making the semifinals," said Tampin
team manager Jusvir Singh.
"Our president Datuk Dr R.L. Anandan, an active hand behind our
`success', is very pleased with the boys and we have decided to keep the
team intact for the coming year. We will only miss the services of Nishel
and S. Arul Kumar who will be overaged."
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) Talent Squad player Suhaimi Ibrahim,
suspended for one match by the Tampin Disciplinary Board for not attending
two matches, will play against PJMC and is expected to provide the extra
"Although we lost 5-2 to PJMC in the preliminaries, we have improved
much since and if the boys play their hearts out, third placing will be
good for the record," said Jusvir.
PJMC will find in-form goalkeeper S. Kumar tough to beat. They will also
have to improve on their penalty corners if they want to finish third.
"Although we have one of the best penalty corner conversion percentage
in the League, it is still not good enough. We must improve further," said
PJMC coach Avtar Singh after losing to Olak in the semis.
PJMC: Adzarin Shah, S. Suresh, Ahmad Zanawi, Rozhan Mohamed, Fakhrul
Adabi, Mohamed Faizal, Sharizal Shamsudin, Mohamed Redzuan, Khairul Nizam,
Azrul Affendy, Hafiz Hussin, Azlan Saufi, Chua Boon Huat, Mohamed
Rashidan, Samsul Kamal, Mohamed Zabidi, Azizi Mutalib, Ng Su Khiam, Yaacub
Yusof, Sharizam Mat Zian.
TAMPIN: S. Kumar, Hazazie Hashim, Niza Herme, S. Arul Kumar, Ali Afdah,
Candra Zulkifli, Mohamed Taqrish, Azman Shamsuddin, Hasnor Hafiz, Nishel
Kumar, Suhaimi Ibrahim, S. Saravanan, Mohamed Fairuz, Noreffendy Ramli,
Norazlan Rahim, S. Sethupathi, G. Vijayan, Mohamed Kamarul, Raymond Chee,
Mohamed Faries.
TODAY - 3rd placing: Tampin v PJMC (3.30); Final: Olak v ESA (5.30) -
Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium.

ESA gain sweet revenge over Olak


ELECTRICAL Switchgear Automation (ESA) turned on the heat in the second
half to win 2-0 and deny League champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak)
a double in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior League hockey final at the Bukit Jalil
Stadium yesterday.
In the earlier match, Tampin District beat Petaling Jaya Municipal
Council (PJMC) 3-2 for third placing at the same venue.
It was sweet revenge for ESA, last year's double champions, as Olak were
the ones who denied them the League title.
The first half was centred around midfield as both teams took the
cautious approach. While Olak had no penalty corners, ESA received six but
four were wasted as Mohamed Danir failed to push the ball more than one
After the breather, ESA threw caution to the wind but in-form Olak
goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin stopped them time and again.
In the 36th minute, ESA received their seventh penalty corner and this
time their set-piece worked. K. Keevan Raj took an on-the-turn shot only
to be denied by Roslan.
Olak got back into the match after that but Sukhwinder Singh's shot
missed by inches.
In the 43rd minute, ESA perfected another penalty corner set-piece which
Keeven calmly hammered home.
Olak were a lost side after that and ESA were rewarded for their
persistance in the 58th minute when K. Ganesh made a solo run and sounded
the board.
Man-of-the match K. Logan Raj played a pivotal role in ESA's victory,
running up and down tirelessly to push his teammates to the maximum.
The battle for third placing saw yellow cards flashed at Tampin
goalkeeper S. Kumar and PJMC goalkeeper Sharizam Mat Zian for rough
PJMC went ahead in the 27th minute when a penalty stroke was awarded off
Kumar's yellow card infringment. League topscorer Mohamed Hafiz moved in
to score his 18th goal.
In the 34th minute, Tampin equalised when Noreffendy Ramli scored a
field goal.
After the breather, Sharizam brought down Mohamed Fairz in the
semicircle and a stroke was awarded to Tampin. Nishel Kumar tucked in for
the lead.
In the 51st Noreffendy cracked a penalty corner for his second and
Tampin's third goal.
PJMC's Samsul Kamal pulled one back in the 69th minute but it was too
late to deny Tampin.
"We had numerous chances at goal and could have won by a bigger margin,
but Olak goalkeeper Roslan was a hard man to beat today," said Esa coach
Bob Rajendran.
"I am glad the boys played to instruction, they were simply great."
The defeat did not go down well with Olak assistant team manager Joseph
de Silva. "Too many penalty corners were awarded against us," he said.
RESULTS - Final: ESA 2 Olak 0; 3rd: Tampin District 3 PJMC 2.
ROLL OF HONOUR - Topscorer: Hafiz Hussin (PJMC, 18 goals); Best Player
of the League: Syayrim Uda Karim (Olak); Best Goalkeeper: Roslan
Jamaluddin (Olak); Most Promising Player: Wan Mohamed Zarir (Bukit Jalil
Sports School); Fairplay: Tampin District; Man-of-the-Match: K. Logan Raj

`Poor' teams must prepare from now


ELECTRICAL Switchgear Automation (ESA) of Penang and Old La Sallians of
Klang (Olak) won a title each after the dust settled on the MHF-Milo-NSC
Junior League Hockey on Saturday.
Olak pipped ESA for the League title and the Penang-based ESA exacted
the revenge in the overall title battle. But they were not the only
The League, which kicked off on May 2, can claim top honours for it
achieved its target of being a platform for the betterment of our hockey.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and National Sports Council (NSC) have
selected 27 players for this purpose.
The players were selected to form the national Under-19 squad.
Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Penang Juniors and third-placed
finisher Tampin District are the other victors.
BJSS, although at the receiving end most of time, have youth on their
side and the Most Promising Player award went to their Wan Mohamed Zarir.
Zarir is one of those selected by MHF and NSC for the national Under-19
Penang Juniors are in the same category as BJSS. They are said to be the
back-up for overall winners ESA while Tampin District have contributed
three players for the Under-19 team.
The disappointment of the League were last year's runnersup Andersonians
who failed to shine, but they deserve credit for putting up a team
although most of their `big names' were pinched by other teams.
And although only 10 teams competed, there were 12 in 1995, the total
prize money was increased from RM54,000 to RM73,000. Teams were also
provided with full hockey attire which reduced their preparation cost by
at least RM7,000.
And the RM500 purse for each win was also introduced.
But sadly, the increase in prize money and the attire subsidy were
announced just before the League kicked-off and most `poorer' teams were
caught off guard and did not have the time to put together a side.
Maybe they can start preparing now for next year.

National athletes not made at universities


UNIVERSITIES are not where national athletes are made, they come from
schools, said Universiti Malaya (UM) director of sports Chua Ah Tok in
Petaling Jaya yesterday.
"We don't produce national athletes, the handful that come our way have
already made their name earlier. We just prepare them further," said Chua.
"It is unfair to compare local university athletes with those in the
United States (US) because we have a different education system.
"Here we need a minimum qualification to make the cut, excelling in
sport alone is not enough to guarantee a seat in university."
In the US, top basketball, American football and baseball players are
given certain privileges so that they can play at university level.
"There is very little time to train and take part in competitions if an
athlete is studying to become an engineer or a doctor, only a few can make
time. People like national hockey player Brian Jayhan Siva are hard to
come by.
"Somehow, he managed to do both at the same time. Most other athletes
stop active participation once they move into their second and third years
when their grades take a dip."
Meanwhile, Malaysia may not send athletes to the World University Games
in August in Sicily Italy.
This is because UM will only get the mandate to run things from
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) this week and this, according to
Chua, leaves them with little time to prepare matters.
UKM are vet to select athletes.

MSSC want more hours for PE class


THE Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSC) are pressing for more hours
for Physical Education (PE) in schools.
They have sent in a proposal to Deputy Education Minister Datuk Khalid
Yunus to do away with the present practice of combining PE with the
Kesihatan (health) classroom subject.
"Right now it is called the Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan (physical
education and health) and the students are required to exercise and play
games one week while the next week it is a classroom subject," said MSSC
director Ahmad Othman.
"This arrangement is not conducive if we want to see schools produce
more good athletes. That is why we want more time for PE and the only way
to do that is to make Kesihatan a subject of its own."
Reactions from PE teachers from various schools, who refused to be
named, appeared to be mixed.
"It is a good move because right now, PE is not taken seriously and more
attention is on the classroom subject since they are tested in the
mid-year examinations," said a teacher in Ampang, Selangor.
"And the week when PE is taught, many students don't even bring shorts
and T-shirts to play games. If it is a separate subject, more attention
can be devoted to arrest this problem.
"Although extra-curricular activities are carried out in the evenings
only a handful turn up because most have to attend tuition classes while
some students live too far away to make the return journey.
"Only those who are really keen bother to return to school in the
evenings and practice for inter-schools and inter-district sports
"If we have more time during school, I believe there will be a bigger
pool of athletes to select from."
A PE teacher in Petaling Jaya thinks it is a bad move.
"As it is, the time-table is quite congested. I don't think there is
enough time or experienced teachers to go around if PE and health are
separated," she said.
The 39th Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSC) athletic meet will be
held on July 19-22 in Kangar, Perlis.
This means the local meet, which was to have served as a selection
platform for the Asean Schools Athletics Championships in Penang on July
7-11, will be held after the Asean meet and MSSM have had to conduct
special selections for Penang.
"We had to resort to this because of the World Youth Cup Finals," said
MSSC director Ahmad Othman.
"Although the normal practice is that athletes who excel in the local
meets are selected for the Asean meet we had to resort to special
selections because the Utama Stadium Kangar was picked to host the first
round of the Cup."
Kangar hosted the Group E matches which involved Argentina, Hungary,
Australia and Canada.
Meanwhile, Perlis assistant director of education Sulaiman Ismail said
yesterday that there will be changes in the MSSC athletics meet this year.
"We have decided to do away with the Under-16 and Under-20 categories
and replaced them with the Under-15 and the Under-18 instead," said

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pos aim to deliver


POS Malaysia, a hockey power back in the 60s and 70s, will be making their
debut in the Malaysia Hockey League tomorrow at the Bukit Jalil Hockey
Stadium with a simple aim.
"In sport, winning is not everything. Dedication, discipline and
commitment are also vital. I hope the Pos Malaysia team will bear that in
mind when they take to the field," said Pos Malaysia sports council deputy
president Khalil Daud at their signing ceremony yesterday.
"We have been active in sport for a long time and have tried our hand in
soccer but were not very successful. I hope the hockey team will fare
"Although we are making our debut, we have a strong lineup with a host
of former national and Yayasan Negri Sembilan players to carry the Pos
Malaysia flag."
At the ceremony, Pro-Specs brand manager Manmohan Singh handed over
hockey attire to the players.
"We are also co-sponsors for Tenaga Nasional, Engineering and Electrical
Corps and Kuala Langat. They are not the top teams in the League but then
we are not interested in instant results. We are more than happy to
contribute towards the development of hockey in Malaysia," said Manmohan.
"In the Junior League, Pro-Specs sponsored Old La Sallians of Klang and
they rose from the sixth placing in 1996 to become League champions. That
is the sort of development we are interested in."
POS MALAYSIA: Mohamed Nasihin Nubli, Noradili Samah, Conrad Roy
Fernandez, Mohamed Firdaus, S. Sivakumar, I. Vishnu, Khairuddin
Kamaruddin, Sivanantha Prasad, Azroy Majid, Balbir Singh, Rosdi Pilus,
Daniel Kassim, Gan Wei Kuang, Calvin Ronnie Fernandez, Raja Ahmad, P.
Ganesan, Perry Khoo, Nor Azmi, Lee Sien Lam, N. Kunaraja.

It will get better after the '98 Games


THE Bukit Jalil Sports School can accommodate 600 students and has about
350 under its wings now, ample space for more athletes but sadly not
enough sporting facilities.
"Right now the situation is quite cramped, we have the best student
athletes in the country under one roof but are forced to train elsewhere
because the school lacks facilities," said Ministry of Education sports
division director Ahmad Othman.
"But we hope all this will change when the curtain falls on Commonwealth
Games next year because then we will be surrounded by the best facilities
the nation can offer to develop BJSS students."
After the Games, the school will be surrounded by a hockey stadium,
indoor stadium, soccer stadium with tracks for athletics and a swimming
"The word now is that once the Games end, the facilities will be
privatised and might be beyond our reach, I hope the authorities will give
priority to BJSS students if that happens.
"Right now the students train around Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Putra
Malaysia in Serdang have been very kind to us," said Ahmad.
"The lack of facilities have also deprived us of some good athletes,
because when parents visit the school and find that we only have a multi
purpose hall and squash courts, apart from the cement hockey pitch outside
our compound, they are reluctant to their children. But all this will
change soon."
The lack of facilities has not stopped BJSS students from producing
their best.
"Last year we took part under the Bangsar Zone and BJSS students swept
most of the Inter-Zone medals so they were "kicked out" and made into a
separate zone this year. The BJSS Under-14 soccer team, who played under
the Police banner in the Nike Cup, also made the school proud when they
won gold," said Ahmad.
BJSS students undergo a spartan time-table daily. Physical activities
begin at 6.30am to 8.30am and this is followed by normal classroom
lessons. After school at 2.0 the students train under their respective
coaches. Motivational courses are sometimes held at night.
"Students based at BJSS are not only required to be good in sport, one
of the criteria for selection is academic excellence. But sometimes we do
take in an average student if they are exceptionally good in sport," said
And when the Malaysian Schools Sports Council take part in their second
Malaysia Games in Selangor, they will be looking towards BJSS students to
deliver the medals. Right now BJSS caters for 12 sports: athletics,
gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, squash, swimming, archery, hockey,
netball, volleyball, football, sepaktakraw and basketball.
"There are plans to include more sports under BJSS but we will need the
help of the National Sports Council and the respective associations to
provide coaches with expertise.
"Right now only swimming, squash and archery associations provide us
with coaches, we hope more will come forward soon."

Case of the `missing' Commonwealth squad


THE Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSC) gymnastics meet on May 25-28
saw about 400 gymnasts taking part at the Bukit Jalil Sports School but
not a single 1998 Commonwealth Games trainee was among them.
No, they were not on strike but their "withdrawal" was made known at the
eleventh-hour which left many parents fuming.
"My daughter trained hard and was looking forward to the MSSC meet, and
the sad part was that we heard about our withdrawl from the Media. The
officials did not inform us," said a parent who declined to be named.
The Commonwealth Games trainees were supposed to compete in a special
category because in the words of MSSC organising committee secretary
Jaafar Ibrahim: "They are too advanced to compete at school level."
That was before they were told to skip the meet and concentrate on
training for three British tournaments which were around the corner.
The trainees' absence however, did not put a damper on the MSSC meet.
Ten-year-old Selangor lad Azzam Azmi was the toast of the meet after
winnning seven gold medals. He improved on his five gold and two silver
medal haul he won last year.
He won golds in the floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, high bar,
parallel bar, vaulting and the overall individual gold.
"It could have been eight, if my teammate did'nt fall ill on tournament
day," said a confident Azzam after the meet.
"It would be nice if I could take part in the Commonwealth Games, but
then I am too young and inexperienced. Maybe the next Games."
Former '98 Games trainee Rudy Amry from Pahang was the Boys' Under-18
overall winner with five golds and one silver and he is keen to get back
into the fold: "My aim is to take part in the Commonwealth Games, I will
not give up hope."
At the meet, Pahang showed their might when they won the Boys' Under-12,
Under-15 and Under-18 team titles.
In the Girls' Under-18 rhythmic gymnastics, Perak's Dorcus Lee took home
five golds in the hoops, rope, ball, individual title and overall team
After the meet Ministry of Education sports division director Ahmad
Othman said: "We hope to have a bigger pool of gymnasts for international
tournaments once the Bandar Penawar Sports School in Bukit Tinggi, Johor,
starts its term with 100 students in January 1998."
Games trainees - Boys: Nurul Azman, Zulkarnian Majid, Mohamed Fadil,
Heng Wah Jin, Onn Kwang Tung; Girls: Au Li Yen, Lim Wai Chi, Ernadia
Os'hara Omar, Che Ku Norsaadah, Yulie Fitri, Cheng Siew Ting, Zarina
Zaini, K. Kavita.

Favourable response from HK juniors


THE Grand Finals of the SportExcel-Milo Junior Squash circuit has received
a favourable response from Hong Kong juniors.
Hong Kong will be represented by three girls and nine boys and Singapore
will send three players for exposure at the Jalan Duta Courts on July 10-
The Grand Finals was scheduled to be held on July 24-27 but since the
World Junior Women's Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be held
on July 26-Aug 8, the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM)
decided to use the circuit as a warm-up for the women.
"The timing is very good, the circuit is just right to prepare the women
for the World Championships," said SRAM executive director Lt Kol (R) Wong
Ah Jit.
Leong Siu Lynn, Daphine Ting, Nicol and Cheryl David will represent
Malaysia at the World Championships. They will head for Brazil on July 20.
"Siu Lynn is in Australia for the Adelaide City Open and will give the
circuit a skip, this means plain sailing for Nicol in the Under-19,
barring upsets."
Nicol, 14, is in the Under-19 because, according to Wong, "she is too
good for the Under-16."
Michael Soo is the favourite for boy's Under-19 title and Teng Keng Guan
of Perak in the Under-16.
Last year, the overall winner in the Under-19 was Ricky Lee and the
Under-16 was won by Abdul Adzim. Sharon Wee won the girls' Under-19.
"The girls' Under-16 is a recent inclusion and Teng Ooi Ean from Perak
looks the likely winner," said Wong.
The draw for the Grand Finals will be held today.

No sweat for Soo in opening match


TOP seed Michael Soo from the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia
(SRAM) toyed with Penang's Abdul Adzim before walking into the second
round of the SportExcel-Milo-NSC Grand Finals at the Jalan Duta courts
Soo won the first game 9-5 and looked tired in the second. Adzim made a
gallant fightback but Soo held him off to win 10-8.
In the third game, Soo forced Adzim to make numerous errors and romped
home 9-0 winner.
RESULTS - Men's Under-19: Michael Soo (SRAM) bt Abdul Adzim (Pg) 9-5,
10-8, 9-0; Roger Ngan (HK) bt V Kumaresan (Sel) 10-8, 9-3, 9-1; Mohamed
Rizal bt (Sin) bt Kevin Khaw (SRAM) 9-2, 9-3, 9-0; Kenny Ng (SRAM) bt
Billy Chan (HK) 9-5, 9-4, 9-3; Aaron Soyza (SRAM) bt Marcus Yeap (SRAM) 9-
4, 9-6, 9-1; Vincent Cheung (HK) bt Low Kok Ping (Sel) 9-0, 9-1, 9-0; Max
Ng (SRAM) bt Ynn Ka Ho (HK) 10-9, 2-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-0; Mohamed Azlan (SRAM)
w.o. Lo Wei Tzen (Sel).
Under-16: Paul Ng (HK) bt Tan Wern Sern (Pg) 9-2, 9-0, 9-0; Kelvin Ho
(Sel) bt Mak Wai Ying (SRAM) 9-7, 5-9, 9-4, 9-1; Wong Wan Sun (SRAM) bt
Joel Neoh (Sel) 9-4, 9-7, 9-1; Looi Fon Sow (SRAM) bt Liaw Wei Loong (Pk)
2-9, 9-6, 9-6, 9-6; Aaron Chee (Sel) w.o. Herbert Chin (sel); (Sel); Looi
Hong Ling (SRAM) bt Razneil Tajuddin 9-2, 9-1, 9-0; Clive Harris (HK) bt
Ho Kok Hoong (sel) 9-3, 9-6, 9-2; Teng Kean Guan (Sel) bt Ray Paramalingam
(pg) (Pg) 9-1, 9-5, 9-1.
Under-14: So Pak Hei (HK) bt Eugene Ho (KL) 9-0, 9-0, 9-3; Ashwin Neesan
(SRAM) bt Kong Xuan (pg) 9-0, 9-2, 10-8, 9-6; Dick Lau Siu Wai (HK) bt
Kapil Neesan (SRAM) 9-1, 9-2, 9-4; Woo Yew Hong (SRAM) bt Roger Loh (sel)
(Sel) 0-9, 9-6, 10-8, 8-10, 9-6; Justin Jee (SRAM) bt Timothy Arnold
(SRAM) 0-9, 10-8, 9-2, 9-7; Kenneth Liew (SRAM) bt Koh Zhen Xiang (sel)
(Sel) 9-0, 9-4, 9-2; Nathan Raja (SRAM) bt Teng Tong Sern (pk) (Pk) 9-5,
2-9, 8-10, 9-4, 9-2; Choi Ting Yin (HK) bt Hee Xow Wern (Pg) 9-0, 9-0, 9-
Girls' Under- 16: Janice Way (Sin) bt Swarmalata (Sel) 9-0, 9-1, 9-1;
Sahar Jasmina (Pg) bt Lo Wei Teing (Sel) 9-0, 9-1, 9-1; Teng Ooi Ean
(SRAM) w.o. Lam Ee Wei (Pg); Sally Looi (SRAM) bt Lim Yoke Wah (Pk) 9-4,
9-2, 9-6; Pamela Lee (HK) bt Lau Siu Ying (HK) 9-4, 9-2, 9-7; Lau Siu Ying
(HK) bt Teng Mei Yee (PK) 9-2, 9-5, 9-4; Choi Man Shan (HK) bt Leong Yie
Mun (PK) 9-6, 9-1, 9-0; Kong Yi Zhen (SRAM) bt Tham Shin Mun (PK) 9-6, 9-
0, 9-2.

Nicol, Cheryl in semifinals


NATIONAL players and sisters Nicol and Cheryl David will square off in the
semifinals of the SportExcel-Milo-NSC Grand Finals at the Jalan Duta
courts in Kuala Lumpur today.
Nicol breezed past Lim Sook Yong of Kelantan 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 while Cheryl
David humbled Jasmine Tiw of Singapore 9-4, 9-2, 9-2 in the quarterfinals
THIRD RD RESULTS - Boys' Under-19: Michael Soo (SRAM) bt Roger Ngan (HK)
9-1, 9-0, 9-1; Mohamed Rizal (Sin ) bt Kenny Ng (SRAM) 9-2, 9-7, 9-4;
Vincent Cheung (HK) bt Aaron Soyza (SRAM) 9-0, 9-3, 9-3; Azlan Iskandar
(SRAM) bt Max Ng (SRAM) 9-0, 9-0, 9-2.
Under 16: Looi Hong Ling (SRAM) bt Wong Wan San (SRAM) 9-6, 4-9, 9-7,
10-8; Looi Fon Sow (SRAM) bt Aaron Chee (Sel) 9-7, 9-3, 9-5; Teng Kean
Guan (SRAM) bt Clive Harris (HK) 9-2, 9-3. 9-5; Paul Ng (HK) bt Kelvin Ho
(Sel) 9-2, 9-2, 9-0.
Under-14: So Pak Hei (HK) bt Ashwin Neesan (SRAM) 9-0, 9-2, 9-3; Dick
Lau Siu Wai bt Woo Yew Hong (SRAM) 9-10, 9-4, 9-2, 9-6; Kenneth Liew
(SRAM) bt Justin Jee (SRAM) 8-10, 9-2, 5-9, 9-6, 9-2; Choi Ting Yion
(SRAM) bt Nathan Raja (SRAM) 9-0, 9-0, 9-3.
Girls' Under-19: Nicol David (SRAM) bt Lim Sook Yong (Kel) 9-0, 9-1, 9-
0; Daphine Ting (SRAM) bt Sahabanu Mamat (Kel) 9-2, 9-7, 9-0; Cheryl David
(SRAM) bt Jasmine Tiw (Sin) 9-4, 9-2, 9-2; Geraldine Read (SRAM) bt Tricia
Chuah (SRAM) 9-0, 2-9, 9-3, 10-8.
Under-16: Janice Wong (Sin) bt Sahar Jasmina (Pg) 9-6, 9-0, 9-6; Teng
Ooi Ean (SRAM) bt Sally Looi (SRAM) 9-3, 9-3, 9-3; Pamela Lee (HK) bt Lau
Siu Ying (HK) 7-9, 9-0, 9-5, 9-3; Kong Yi Zhen (SRAM) bt Cho Mun Shan 9-0,
9-0, 9-4.