Thursday, February 15, 2007

More exposure for the Games


SUKOM Ninety Eight Berhad and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd yesterday
launched an advertising campaign to give more visibility to the
Commonwealth Games.
The Games logo will now be prominently displayed on 40 buses and 200
taxis with the message "Come up to the Games" in the Klang Valley, Penang,
Ipoh, Johor Baru and Malacca.
"This contribution is Carlsberg's commitment to lend support and promote
Malaysia as an international venue of sporting activities," said Carlsberg
managing director Datuk Jorgen Bornhoft.
Carlsberg were one of the first companies to sign with Sukom, pledging
RM5 million for the Games.
"Our budget for this form of transit advertising is RM900,000 and we
have a bigger budget for other promotional activities. As the first Asian
capital to host the last Games of the 20th century, we are happy to be
able to help promote the second largest sporting event in the world," said

Nicol cruises into two semifinals


IT was a walk in the park for Nicol David in the Under-19 and Under-16
categories in the Malaysian Junior Open at the Jalan Duta courts
Nicol hardly broke a sweat as she thrashed Singapore's Tan Hui Shan 9-1,
9-1, 9-0 and Leong Yie Mun 9-1, 9-1, 9-1 in the Under-16 age-group.
Today, Nicol will play sister Cheryl in the semifinals of the Under-19
and Karen Lau Siu Ying of Hong Kong in the last four of the Under-16.
In the Boys' Under-19 quarterfinals, Aussie Kane Ingham beat Ng Teng
Kuan 9-2, 9-0, 9-6 while Kenny Ng beat Ong Poh Kwang of Singapore 10-8, 9-
1, 9-2.
RESULTS (all q-finals) Malaysian unless stated - Boys' Under-19: Kane
Ingham (Aus) bt Ng Teng Kuan 9-2, 9-0, 9-6; Teng Kean Guan bt Ray
Paramalingam 9-3, 9-0, 9-0; Wong Wan San bt Low Kok Ping 9-0, 9-1, 5-9, 9-
3; Kenny Ng bt Ong Poh Kwang (Sin) 10-8, 9-1, 9-2.
Under-16: Marcus Yeap bt Aaron Chee 9-1, 9-4, 9-6; Navin Samarasinghe
(SL) bt Kenny Khoo 9-6, 9-3, 9-3; Kelvin Ho bt Ray Paramalingam 9-6, 9-1,
9-5; Junaid Nanthani (Ind) bt Loo Fon Sow 9-3, 9-5, 9-1.
Under-14: Soo Pak Hei (HK) bt Mihir Seth (Ind) 9-0, 9-2, 5-9, 9-3; Roger
Loh bt Anurag Gill (Ind) 10-9, 9-7, 9-0; Sahil Vora (Ind) bt Theng Tong
Sern 9-4, 9-1, 5-9, 9-4; Siddarth Suchde (Ind) bt Ashwin Nesan 9-1, 9-4,
Under-12: Kwong Yu Shan (HK) bt Rushaph Vora (Ind) 9-0, 9-4, 9-3;
Hillman Ruzainee bt Clavito Supsup 9-2, 9-6, 9-7; Karan Path Sethi (Ind)
bt Hilmi Ramzee 9-6, 9-5, 9-2; Kapil Nesan bt Mohamed Afrizal 9-6, 9-6, 9-
Girls' Under-19: Nicol David bt Tan Hui Shan (Sin) 9-1, 9-1, 9-0; Cheryl
David w.o Geraldine Read; Serene Lee (Sin) bt Tricia Chuah 9-5, 9-5, 9-4;
Daphine Ting bt Tan Wah Siew 9-1, 9-1, 9-2.
Under-16: Nicol bt Leong Yie Mun 9-1, 9-1, 9-1; Karen Lau (HK) bt Sahar
Jasmina 9-5, 9-3, 9-0; Teng Ooi Ean w.o. Lum Shih Loong; Tricia Chuah bt
Lim Yoke Wah 9-3, 9-7, 9-1.
Under-14: Teng Ooi w.o. Sharmila Andy; Sally Looi bt Delia Arnold 9-3,
9-2, 9-3; Lim Yoke Wah bt Supriya Balsekar (Ind) 9-6, 9-7, 3-9, 9-5; Sahar
Jasmina bt Theng Mei Yee 9-6, 9-0, 9-2.

Ng gets birthday wish with first title


KENNY NG fulfilled his birthday wish when he won the Under-19 title of the
Malaysian Open junior squash championships at the Jalan Duta courts
yesterday, reports Jugjet Singh.
Ng, who turned 17 yesterday, downed Australia's Kane Ingham 7-9, 9-5, 9-
1, 9-5 for his first major title.
"This is this my first junior title in three years of competing. I'll
now concentrate of making the national junior squad and play in the world
junior championships this year," said Ng.
Ng was leading 7-2 in the first game at one stage but allowed Ingham too
much space and eventually lost 9-7. But the second and third games were a
breeze for Ng, who wrapped up the third 9-1 and fourth to win.
In the girls' Under-19 and Under-16 finals, Daphine Ting and Tricia Chua
respectively were no match for Nicol David, who breezed past them 9-3, 9-
4, 9-2 and 9-4, 9-2, 9-2.
RESULTS (all finals - Malaysian unless stated) - Boys' Under-19: Kenny
Ng bt Kane Ingham (Aust) 7-9, 9-5, 9-1, 9-5: Under-16: Marcus Yeap bt
Navin Samarasinghe (S Lan) 7-9, 10-8, 9-2, 9-3; Under-14: Soo Pak Hei (HK)
bt Siddarth Suchde (Ind) 4-9, 9-5, 9-6, 9-1; Under-12: Kwong Yu Shun (HK)
bt Kapil Nesan 9-2, 10-9, 9-0.
3rd-4th placings - Under-19: Wong Wan San bt Teng Kean Guan 5-9, 9-6, 9-
2, 8-9, 9-2; Under-16: Navin Samarasinghe (S Lan) bt Junaid Nanthani (Ind)
9-7, 9-5, 9-2; Under-14: Suhail Vohra (Ind) bt Roger Loh 4-9, 9-3, 9-7, 9-
2; Under-12: Karan Path Sethi (Ind) bt Hilman Ruzainee 9-6, 9-5, 9-0.
Girls' Under-19: Nicol David bt Daphine Ting 9-3, 9-4, 9-2; Under-16:
Nicol David bt Tricia Chuah 9-4, 9-2, 9-2; Under-14: Teng Ooi Ean bt Sahar
Jasmina 9-3, 9-2, 9-1.
3rd-4th placings - Under-19: Cheryl David bt Serene Lee (Sin) 9-3, 9-4,
9-3; Under-16: Karen Lau (HK) bt Teng Ooi Ean 9-4, 9-3, 4-9, 9-7; Under-
14: Lim Yoke Wah bt Sally Looi 9-4, 8-10, 10-9, 9-1.

Cautious KL deny Police with late strike


KUALA LUMPUR beat Police 1-0 at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras yesterday,
reports Zakri Baharudin.
They had to rely on midfielder Azlan Meri to score the last winner in
the 80th minute.
The teams were playing at a cautious pace at the start with KL having
most of the possession in the first five minutes.
The visitors gave KL a good scare in the 10th minute when Mast Opunene
fired a shot from 30 metres out that flew just above the bar.
KL had a chance to go up 15 minutes later through a freekick just five
metres from the penalty box on the left.
P. Saravanan swung a rounder heading for the left post but keeper Nasir
Ibrahim just got his fingers to it.
In the 34th minute Adilson Roque managed to breach the Police defence
and unleashed a thunderous shot which forced goalkeeper Nasir Ibrahim to
pull off a diving save.
Roque was once again orchestrating KL's next attempt five minutes to the
whistle. The Brazillian sent in a deep cross from the left which K.
Nanthakumar met with a brilliant header only to be deflected by a Police
The score remained a dull 0-0 at halftime.
It was only 10 minutes before fulltime that KL broke the Police defence.
Roque floated in the ball from the right corner and Azlan Meri, who
replaced the injured Liew Kim Tu, came in from behind and headed the ball
into the net.
* KEDAH defeated Kelantan by a solitary goal at Darulaman Stadium in
Alor Star, writes J. Naidu.
They broke the deadlock in the 55th minute with a well-taken goal by
Nidzam Adzha Yusof.
After a few exchanges, Kedah came up well in the eighth minute when
newcomer Rafidi Abdul Rashid tested goalkeeper Kamaruzaman Mohamed with a
dip shot.
The ball rebounded off the keeper and defender Kane Mamadou, who got to
the ball, fumbled and blew away a good chance for his side to take the
* JOHOR pulled off a 2-2 draw against Perlis at the Utama Stadium with a
late equaliser, reports Sharanjit Singh.
Perlis started on the offensive and had Johor in trouble early.
Kiatisuk Senamuang had a big hand in organising the Perlis attack and
was rewarded in the 12th minute.
Perlis were awarded a free-kick after Zamri Jamlus was knocked down just
outside the Johor penalty box.
Kiatisuk took the kick and the ball was helped into the net off a
deflection by the Johor wall.
Johor banged in the equaliser in the 36th minute, the goal coming
against the run of play when Bakhtiar Othman took possession at the
halfway line.
Perlis began a desperate search for more goals and managed to go ahead
again two minutes from halftime.
Kiatisuk again came to his team's rescue when he skilfully beat two
Johor defenders to blast home his second goal of the game.
However, it was Johor who converted a chance which came their way late
in the game.
Darren Stewart blasted inside the penalty box in the 86th minute.
* NEGRI Sembilan and Malacca played to a lacklustre 1-1 draw at the
Paroi Stadium, reports Jugjet Singh.
There was no urgency, and both sides took their time.
Scott Ollerenshaw and Gus Cerro hardly went out of their way to
challenge 50-50 situation and Malacca player looked like they were afraid
of getting injured.
Negri stepped up the pressure and were rewarded in the 13th minute off
their second corner of the match.
Pedro Oliviera received the pass from the left but he allowed the ball
to pass between his legs for Affendi Julaihi to release a thundering shot
which went crashing into the net.
With 11 minutes on the clock, S. Sivaram of Malacca received the ball
just outside the box and made an attempt which was palmed away by Negri
goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad but the ball landed at Dipreye's feet and he
scored the equaliser.
* It was Perak all the way as they set aside NS Chempaka 3-1 at the
Perak Stadium, reports P. Chandra.
Janos Krecska gave Perak the early lead in the 28th minute and they were
hardly ruffled when Rizal Harun equalised in the 44th minute.
It was more a case of experience triumphing as Perak played a cool game.
Noel Kipri restored the lead in the 73rd minute and P. Gunasekaran
extended it in the 80th.

Nidzam denies Kelantan


KEDAH defeated Kelantan by a solitary goal at Darulaman Stadium in Alor
Star, writes J. Naidu.
They broke the deadlock in the 55th minute with a well-taken goal by
Nidzam Adzha Yusof.
After a few exchanges, Kedah came up well in the eighth minute when
newcomer Rafidi Abdul Rashid tested goalkeeper Kamaruzaman Mohamed with a
dip shot.
The ball rebounded off the keeper and defender Kane Mamadou, who got to
the ball, fumbled and blew away a good chance for his side to take the
Mamadou was again presented with a sitter in the 11th minute but he
kicked the ball over the bar.
In the 43rd minute, Kelantan, who were defending well, finally had a
chance to score but Wan Rohaimi Ismail's dipping shot hit the bar.
Kedah opened accounts when Nidzam picked an overhead pass from Radhi Mat
Din, beat a defender and scored.
They became aggressive after this goal but Kelantan, despite being a
Premier Two outfit, matched them stride for stride.
* JOHOR pulled off a 2-2 draw against Perlis at the Utama Stadium with a
late equaliser, reports Sharanjit Singh.
Perlis started on the offensive and had Johor in trouble early.
Kiatisuk Senamuang had a big hand in organising the Perlis attack and
was rewarded in the 12th minute.
Perlis were awarded a free-kick after Zamri Jamlus was knocked down just
outside the Johor penalty box.
Kiatisuk took the kick and the ball was helped into the net off a
deflection by the Johor wall.
Johor banged in the equaliser in the 36th minute, the goal coming
against the run of play when Bakhtiar Othman took possession at the
halfway line.
The attacking midfielder headed straight for the Perlis goal, beating
three defenders before slotting home the equaliser.
Perlis began a desperate search for more goals and managed to go ahead
again two minutes from halftime.
Kiatisuk again came to his team's rescue when he skilfully beat two
Johor defenders to blast home his second goal of the game.
Both teams had an equal share of posessions in the second half.
However, it was Johor who converted a chance which came their way late
in the game.
Darren Stewart blasted inside the penalty box in the 86th minute.
* NEGRI Sembilan and Malacca played to a lacklustre 1-1 draw at the
Paroi Stadium, reports Jugjet Singh.
There was no urgency, and both sides took their time.
Scott Ollerenshaw and Gus Cerro hardly went out of their way to
challenge 50-50 situation and Malacca player looked like they were afraid
of getting injured.
Ollerenshaw had two good looks at goal in the first six minutes of play
but fumbled the first and shot straight at Malacca goalkeeper Zainal Rabin
in the second.
Negri stepped up the pressure and were rewarded in the 13th minute off
their second corner of the match.
Pedro Oliviera received the pass from the left but he allowed the ball
to pass between his legs for Affendi Julaihi to release a thundering shot
which went crashing into the net.
Negri were in control of the first half and troubled Malacca defenders
John Onwudegwu and Edward Dipreye but Ollerenshaw, who had clear chances
at goal, was a pale shadow and failed to score.
In the 30th minute, Dipreye brought down Gus Cerro and the referee
awarded a free-kick but Olivera's low shot hit the side post and went out.
With 11 minutes on the clock, S. Sivaram of Malacca received the ball
just outside the box and made an attempt which was palmed away by Negri
goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad but the ball landed at Dipreye's feet and he
scored the equaliser.
* It was Perak all the way as they set aside NS Chempaka 3-1 at the
Perak Stadium, reports P. Chandra.
Janos Krecska gave Perak the early lead in the 28th minute and they were
hardly ruffled when Rizal Harun equalised in the 44th minute.
It was more a case of experience triumphing as Perak played a cool game.
Noel Kipri restored the lead in the 73rd minute and P. Gunasekaran
extended it in the 80th.
* KUALA LUMPUR beat Police 1-0 at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras yesterday,
reports Zakri Baharudin.
They had to rely on midfielder Azlan Meri to score the last winner in
the 80th minute.

Guinness play big role in Jonah Jones 7s


JONAH Jones Rugby 7s, scheduled in September, received a shot in the arm
when Guinness came in as the main sponsor for the clubs division while
Malta for the schools and universities.
The tournament, entering its 36th year, will see 40 teams in action at
the Royal Selangor Club (RSC) field in Bukit Kiara. Of the 40, 16 will be
from schools, eight from universities and 16 from clubs.
"There will be no prize money nor the national side during the 7s but
that is what the Jonah Jones is all about. We want to promote rugby at the
grassroots and to do that we have to start at club and schools level,"
said the managing director of Red Archer Sdn Bhd Richard Dutton.
Red Archer have been hired by RSC to manage the tournament
"We believe with proper management and better organisation, the standard
of rugby in Malaysia will improve further. We were encouraged by the fact
that Jonah Jones is designed to encourage local participation and make it
truly a Malaysian game," said Michael van der Poel, marketing director of
Guinness Anchor Marketing.
Guinness have been associated with rugby in Malaysia for more than 30
years. They have been sponsoring the Guinness League from the sixties, the
Guinness Cup since 1968 and the Agong's Cup since 1984.

MAAU name 35 in Games lineup


MALAYSIA Amateur Athletics Union president Datuk Khalid Yunus yesterday
announced a no-surprise list of athletes for the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth
Games, reports Jugjet Singh.
"We will submit a list of 35 athletes for the consideration of the
Olympic Council of Malaysia. Out of the number, 15 have met the qualifying
mark while the rest are borderline cases," said Khalid in Paroi yesterday.
Watson Nyambek, G. Shanti, R. Ganeswaran and A. Munusamy are some of the
familiar faces while the teams for the men's and women's 4x400m relay are
still being studied by the MAAU selection committee.
"We will place the men's and women's 4x400m on the list just to let OCM
know that we will take part in the event, but the runners for the teams
have not been tried yet. We will name the right combinations later," said
The selection criteria for the various events are based on the 1994
Victoria Games' times and distances. Watson's 10.31s at the Pahang Open
and 1996 Malaysia Games beat the 16th fastest qualifier in the '94
semifinals, who clocked 10.49s.
Confirmed athletes - Men - Watson Nyambek (100m), R. Ganeswaran (200m),
Romzi Bakar (400m), R. Nandakumar (800m), A. Munusamy (1,500m), M.
Ramachandran (5,000), Loo Kum Zee (high jump), Zaki Sadri (long jump),
Yadid Imran (javelin), Narinder Singh (20km walks) and 4x400 (Romzi,
others yet to be named).
Women: G. Shanti (100m), Hii Siew Ngiik (100m hurdles), Annastasia Karen
(10km walks), Yuan Yu Fang (10km walks), Cheng Tong Lean (10km walks),
4x400 (M. Manimagalay, K. Soloseeni, S. Rathiamalar, P. Kuganeswari, Carol
Lucia Alfred - combination not confirmed).

Watson, Shanti scorch the lanes


WATSON Nyambek and G. Shanti sailed away with the sprints golds at the
56th Negri Sembilan Open at the Paroi Stadium yesterday.
Watson clocked a hand timed 10.3 to crack the meet record while Shanti
also cracked the meet record with 11.5 seconds for the gold. Both had no
close challengers, Shanti won by a clean five yard margin.
"I am happy with the time but I could have done better if I had someone
to chase. Instead all the others were behind so I actually took my time
because there was no pressure," said Watson.
Watson started off the block slowly, and later admitted that he had to
work extra hard in the first 50m but once he got ahead of the rest, he
took it easy.
Results: Men's 100m: 1 Watson Nyambek (Bankputra) 10.3, 2 Hamberi Mahat
(Maybank) 10.4, 2 Tan Kok Lim (SAAS) 10.4; 1,500m: 1 A. Munusamy (Sel)
3:34.48 (meet rec), 2 Charles Suresh (Telekom) 4:05.1, 3 P. Arumugam (Joh)
4:12.1; 400m: Romzi Bakar (Maybank) 47.8, 2 D. Nadarajah (Pg) 48.5, 3 R.
Ramesh (Pcotd) 48.9; 110m Hurdles: 1 Nor Herman Majid (Bankputra) 14.5
(equalled meet rec), 2 Kam Sin Chuan (Joh) 15.1, 3 Kong Chan Kick (Pcsmk,
Jln Ipoh) 15.7; Shot put: 1 Mohamed Nazar (Pk) 15.74m, 2 Eliasin Etin
(Pctoad) 12.47m, 3 Nik Mazaid (SAAS) 12.44; Javelin: 1 Yazid Imran
(Maybank) 68.66m, 2 Hing Mok Lai (Joh) 57.82, 3 Mohamed Salim (Joh) 57.82;
Triple Jump: 1 Zulkefli Amin (Pah) 14.66, 2 Koong Chan Keck (Pcsmk, Jln
Ipoh) 14.2, 3 Poh Chee Sing (SAAS) 14.6; 4x400m: 1 Pctoad 3:23.6 (meet
rec), 2 Malacca 3:379, 3 Bankputra 3:45.0.
Women's 100m: 1 G. Shanti (Maybank) 11.5, 2 Josephen Job (Sab) 12.4, 3
K. Barathy (Pk) 12.5; 400m: 1 N. Manimagalay (Pah) 55.5, 2 K. Soloseni
(Maybank) 56.41, 3 Kuganeswari (Bankputra) 56.9; 1,500m: 1 M. Hemalatha
(Pah) 5;04.8, 2 Norlida Ismail (SAAS) 5:11.5, 3 S. Jeyaanthi (Joh) 5:24.8;
100m Hurdles: 1 Mok Siew Wei (SAAS) 14.2, 2 Hii Siew Nyok (Maybank) 14.4,
3 V. Vaskee (Gel) 15.3; Long Jump: 1 Fong Lew Tze (SAAS) 5.39m, 2 Wan
Noraini (Pah) 5.23m, 3 Masliza Shaari (Maybank) 5.01m; Javelin: 1 Delina
Marcus (Sab) 41.40m, 2 Nurul Fuziah (joh) 36.20m, 3 Siti Mariam (SAAS)

Hashim: Observer flogging report baseless


SUKOM Ninety Eight yesterday described `as rubbish' an Observer report
that athletes would be flogged if they are tested positive for
recreational drugs such as cannabis and cocaine during the Commonwealth
Sukom executive chairman Jen (rtd) Tan Sri Hashim Ali said in Kuala
Lumpur the London-based newspaper was ill-informed and there is no truth
in its report.
"There is no law which says that addicts will be whipped. I don't know
what their (Observer's) agenda is. Does he (the writer) want to frighten
the athletes not to come here?" asked Hashim.
The paper quoted Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) secretary David
Dixon and Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board director Ahmad Zuhuri in its
"In sports, if you are tested positive for banned drugs, the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) or individual international sports
federation rules prevail. The athlete is stripped of his medal and
suspended," said Hashim.
Expressing shock at the report which appeared in the Observer's May 24
edition and written by Sports Editor Alan Hubbard, Hashim said the writer
has got his facts wrong.
"The Malaysian law is clear. Only those caught or pushing hard drugs
face the mandatory death penalty.
"As far as sport is concerned, the usual punishment is meted out if an
athlete fails a test."
Hashim said in Malaysia, even addicts are not flogged or hanged.
Instead, they are sent to rehabilitation camps.

BAM should look towards pairs pool


THE BA of Malaysia should look for a larger pool of doubles players to
beef up to the current squad.
Nusa Mahsuri coach Misbun Sidek, who was posed the question on the
return of the Thomas Cup squad from Hong Kong, said this should be the
priority if Malaysia are to challenge strongly for international honours.
"We have good pairs right now but what about a backup plan? What happens
when these players retire?
"Look at Indonesia, they have many doubles players just waiting for a
chance to topple the first choice players," said Misbun at Sultan Abdul
Aziz Shah international airport yesterday.
"We need replacements who can beat Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock and
the others in their prime.
"If the present batch retires, they will not be able to taste immediate
When asked about Roslin Hashim, who was a revelation in the Thomas Cup,
Misbun predicted he would be at the peak of his prowess in six months.
"He is physically strong and has proven he can play under pressure in
Hong Kong. Right now, I'll concentrate on sharpening his skills. He will
become a player to be reckoned with in six months' time."
Youth and Sports Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was on the same
flight with the squad, said they would receive RM84,000 for their
"Also, a few Malaysian businessmen in Hong Kong got together and
contributed HK20,000 (RM9,800) to the squad. I am very proud that all the
players played their hearts out and did the country proud," said

Sukom to CGF: Let us sell tickets overseas directly


SUKOM Ninety-Eight will appeal to the Commonwealth Games Federation to
allow them to conduct direct ticket sales overseas instead of going
through agents appointed by the Commonwealth Games Association.
Sukom executive chairman Jen (rtd) Tan Sri Hashim Ali, who chaired a
Sukom Board meeting at the Mines Resort yesterday, said currently, CGF
rules do not permit Sukom to sell tickets directly.
Also present were CGF president Michael Fennel and general secretary
David Dixon.
"As a result, ticket sales overseas have not been encouraging. So far,
only nine active agents are selling tickets," said Hashim.
"If CGF allow us, the man in the street will be able to book his Games
tickets through the internet."
Hashim said some overseas agents are not only selling tickets but are
offering packages which include accommodation and transport.
"This is not proper as budget tourists might not be able to afford the
package. Some would want to stay with their friends."
To date, local bookings amount to 31,187 while bookings from overseas
are 28,920.
"We hope to sell about 1.2 million tickets before September. The local
bookings may be slow because Malaysians tend to adopt a wait-and-see
attitude. We expect good sales around August."
On the Queen's Baton, Hashim said the international leg will begin in
Wellington, New Zealand, on June 11 and criss-cross the globe with Toronto
(June 29) and Canberra (July 2) as stopovers. It will make its way to
Singapore and then to Brunei.
"From Brunei, the Baton will make its way to Kota Kinabalu, where we
have planned for an elaborate local run which will take 65 days.
"Pahang will hand the Baton to Kuala Lumpur on Sept 9 and on Sept 11, it
will arrive at the main stadium in Bukit Jalil for the opening ceremony."
The athletes who will carry the Baton into the main stadium have yet to
be named.
On doping control procedures for the Games, Hashim said the samples
taken would be sent to the laboratory in Penang and the results of the
tests would be given directly to CGF's drug committee chairman.
"The results are confidential and it's up to CGF to make whatever
decision based on the reports. Whether they are going to make (them)
public or not is up to them," he said.

KL get to celebrate at last


OLYMPIC 2000 ... 1 K LUMPUR ... 2
THE match belonged to Olympic 2000 but Kuala Lumpur walked away with their
first win in Premier One at Merdeka Stadium last night.
Olympic took the lead in the 48th minute but their celebrations lasted
only a minute. Before they could re-organise themselves, P. Sarawanan was
in the right place at the right time to put KL on level terms.
Although the Olympic players were fitter, played with more drive and
determination, they were let down by some terrible shooting.
The Olympic side used long balls to trouble KL in the opening 10
minutes. When Khalid Jamalus was brought down in the box in the fifth, the
handful of fans joined in the calls for a penalty.
The linesman, however, raised his flag to indicate an offside.
Off a counterattack, KL forward S. Paidiya Rau received the ball in the
box but Jamsari Sabian denied him by pulling off a diving save.
The match picked up steam with both sides having good chances at goal
but poor finishing was the order of the day.
Olympic earned a corner in the 23rd minute but Khalid's header sailed
over by centimetres.
KL then slowed the pace and it seemed as though they were willing to
settle for a draw.
Their best chance before halftime came when G. Muthu made a fine run
down the left but there were no takers for his cross.
The pace picked up again on resumption. In the 48th minute, defender
Yuzaiman Zahari sent a long ball to an unmarked Khalid, who chipped over
KL goalkeeper Azmin Azran. The ball graced the foot of the post and went
A minute later, Yuzaimam brought down K. Nanthakumar just outside the
box and was flashed the yellow card. Sarawanan curled in the ball from the
freekick and it beat goalkeeper Jamsari for the equaliser.
In the 63rd minute, Khalid was replaced by V. Saravanan and Olympic
opted to defend than attack. KL seized the opportunity and took the fight
to the Olympic box for a good 10 minutes but wild shooting denied them.
Adilson Roque, who flirted in and out for much of the match, made a good
pass in the 78th minute to an unmarked Paidiya Rau, who beat a defender
and goalkeeper Jamsari for KL's winner.
KUALA LUMPUR: Azmin Azram, Zolkipli Sameon, M. Karunakaran, M. Chandran,
S. Paidiya Rau, Ghani Malek, K. Nanthakumar, Adilson Roque, G. Muthu, Tan
Cheng Hoe, P. Sarawanan.
OLYMPIC 2000: Jamsari Sabian, Ahmad Fadli, Chia Ching Kar, S.
Jayaprakash, Rosle Derus, Chow Chee Weng, Fazillah Mamat, Azlan Hussain,
Das Gregory, Yuzaiman Zahari, Khalid Jamlus (V. Saravanan).

Olak draw ESA in semis


LEAGUE champions Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) are drawn to meet
Electrical Switchgears Automation (ESA) of Penang in the semifinal of the
National Junior Hockey League, and Olak look good to be crowned double
champions this year.
In the other semifinal, Johor Sports Council (JSC) will meet Malacca
Municipal Council (MMC).
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary S. Satgunam, who picked the
semifinals draw at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday, was pleased that the
League has produced many goalscorers.
"A total of 288 goals were scored in the 66 matches and this is a very
good record," said Satgunam.
"Also, there were no serious cases of indicipline and only 47 yellow
cards were flashed. The umpires did not even have to take out their red
card at all."
If the League statistics are anything to go by, Olak, who beat ESA 2-1,
hammered JSC 4-0 and beat MMC 5-3, have no challengers for the title.
The semifinals will be held on a home and away basis.
Olak's Syayrim Uda Karim is the topscorer with 16 goals to his name.
Fixtures - S-finals 1st leg June 3: Olak v Esa (Pandamaran Stadium), MMC
v JSC (Malacca Hockey Stadium).
2nd leg: June 5 - ESA v Olak (Universiti Sains Malaysia), JSC v MMC (Tun
Razak Stadium).
Final: June 7 (Tun Razak Stadium).
All matches at 5:30.

Sarawanan the favourite


THE Kuala Lumpur AAA will organise a 50km walk selection for the Kuala
Lumpur Commonwealth Games on Sunday at the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens.
About 20 athletes are expected to take part and G. Sarawanan is the
favourite to win the event. Sarawanan broke the Jakarta Sea Games record
when he clocked 4:14:00.shaved almost 40 seconds with 4:14:00.
The quarter-century-old mark of 4:53:16 was set by Kyaw Myint of Myanmar
in the 1973 Games, then called the Seap Games, in Singapore.
For comparison, Poland's Robert Korzeniowski took the World
Championships gold at Athens last year with a blazing 3:44.46.
"We will be organising the event for the Malaysia AAA to select two
athletes for the '98 Games. Since this is a very serious event and there
are very few athletes in the country who can go the distance. We are
expecting about 20 athletes to take part and only about 10 to finish the
race," said KLAAA secretary S. Vegiyathuman.
The 50km walk is a new Games event and there are no previous qualifying
marks to compare to, but Sarawanan's Jakarta time is good enough a
yardstick for Malaysia.
"His timing is very good, we expect him to win a medal at the Games.
Also, we would like to request the public, if possible, to avoid the roads
near the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens on Sunday morning so that the athletes
will not have to dodge traffic," said Vegiyathuman.

League champs Olak cautious


LEAGUE Champions Olak are a class above the other teams who will feature
in the semifinals of the National Junior League which will begin on June
But they are not leaving anything to chance as they eye the double.
"Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) are a very unpredictable side
and can pull off an upset," said Olak coach Phaphiber
"But my players have been preparing well and I can safely say that the
Overall title is also ours."
Phaphiber, who turned out for Kedah in the early 70s and Kuala Lumpur in
1979, said although the League took a one-month break, Olak players have
not stopped playing regular hockey the past four months.
Eight Olak players represented Selangor in the Malaysian Schools
tournament in Terengganu where they won the title, while 11 donned the
Selangor colours and finished runnersup at the Malaysia Games.
"The rest of the teams have had a good rest, but not Olak. We have
become stronger with each tournament and although ESA won the Overall
title last year, they are not the same side and have lost much of the
Olak won the League title in 1997, and this time around, they have a
strong claim for Overall title as well.
The other semifinal will be between Malacca Municipal Council (MMC) and
Johor Sports Council (JSC).
JSC are a pleasant side to watch and they played well organised hockey
to finish third on the standings with eight wins, one draw and two
However, they will be a much weakened side in the semifinals as some of
their players have left to further their studies in local universities.
Fixtures: Semifinal, 1st leg - June 3: Olak v Esa (Pandamaran Stadium),
MMC v JSC (Malacca Hockey Stadium).
2nd leg - June 5: ESA v Olak (Universiti Sains Malaysia), JSC v MMC (Tun
Razak Stadium).
Final - June 7: (Tun Razak Stadium).
All matches at 5:30.

Fennell enjoys a smooth ride on the LRT


COMMONWEALTH Games Federation (CGF) chairman yesterday took the Light Rail
Transit (LRT) from the Bukit Jalil station to downtown Kuala Lumpur and
gave it the thumbs up.
This is the new STAR line connecting Bukit Jalil - the home of the main
stadium and the Games Village - to Kuala Lumpur.
It is scheduled to begin operation from July 1.
Fennell, who will be back to witness the pre-Games in July, was
impressed with the ride.
"I have read and seen pictures of the system but to take a ride and see
for myself was a different experience. I am sure the Commonwealth Games
delegates and athletes who visit the city will be surprised to find a
hassle free way to travel," he said.
"This system is clean, efficient and tidy. I was told that athletes and
delegates will receive free tickets for return trips. This will surely
promote Malaysia."
* TWENTY athletes were to have joined Fennell at 9.30am for the LRT ride
to the Sultan Ismail Station in the city but they didn't turn up.
Fennell waited for half an hour before he went on the ride with the
"I don't know what happened. I am sure there is a logical explanation,"
said Fennell.
When Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Sieh Kok Chi was
contacted, he said the National Sports Council were to have arranged for
the athletes to take the ride.
"We were approached by CGF's Affendi Razali to get the athletes and we
informed NSC liaison officer Ahmad Shapawi," said Sieh.
"I don't know what happened."
NSC are looking after the Games athletes.
"The message to the athletes must have got tangled along the line," said
Shapawi's explanation was that none of the athletes were available.
Meanwhile, Fennell suggested that Sukom Ninety Eight provide incentives
for early bookings:
"The public would only be willing to spend their money now if there is a
discount or certain prizes to be won by early bookings," he said.
"If not, they would wait and buy them during the Games because the
venues are large and there is no likelihood of a sellout."

Thiru steals the thunder


NATIONAL walker B. Thirukumaran upset record holder G. Sarawanan in the
50km walk at the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens yesterday.
The Commonwealth Games 50km trials, held by the Kuala Lumpur AAA on
behalf of the Malaysia AAU, saw 16 athletes take part but only four lasted
the distance.
"I took part just to keep fit. The idea was to stop on reaching the 20km
mark but I felt good and continued," said Thirukumaran, a 20km specialist.
He went the distance barefooted and clocked 4:21:09 to beat Sarawanan,
who was timed at 4:27:23. The national record of 4:14:00 was clocked by
Sarawanan when he won the 50km gold at last year's Jakarta Sea Games.
K. Pusparajah was third in 4:28:33 but MAAU will only select two for the
"I hope to take part in the 20km as well as the 50km walk in the
Commonwealth Games," said Thirukumaran, who did not look the least tired
after the gruelling race.
On the other hand, Sarawanan was so exhausted after the finish that he
had to receive medical attention.
"The last time Thirukumaran took part in the 50km was five years ago, so
the win was a pleasant surprise," said his coach Wang Lin.
Wang said both walkers clocked impressive times. "They could have done
better if not for the heat. During the last 10km, around 11:30am, the sun
was scorching hot and this slowed them."

Muhyiddin takes a swipe at hockey boys


SPORTS Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday unveiled a limited
edition RM50 polymer banknotes to commemorate the Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games - and then took a swipe at the national hockey team.
"They have been a letdown. Before the World Cup, we had targetted them
to at least make the semifinals of the KL Games.
"But after their poor finishing at the World Cup in Utrecht, the team
clearly needs a serious overhaul."
Muhyiddin will request the National Sports Council (NSC) to have a
meeting with the Malaysian HF to review the debacle. He is even willing to
attend the meeting.
His call for a review came a day after German coach Paul Lissek said he
will drop `a few passengers' from the team when he takes over from Volker
Knapp on June 12.
Malaysia won one match in the World Cup - against Poland - to finish
second from the bottom.
"Lissek will have to work hand-in-hand with the local coaches to get the
team in shape for the Commonwealth Games. Canada, Australia, Pakistan and
England will be featuring in the Games and it will be embarrassing if
Malaysia are hammered at home in September," said Muhyiddin.
On ticket sales, Sukom Ninety Eight Berhad executive chairman Tan Sri
Hashim Ali said their request to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)
to conduct direct overseas sales has been rejected.
"CGF feel that for now, Sukom should let the Commonwealth Games
Associations conduct the sales and if the sales are still slow, only then
will they step in," said Hashim.
It is understood that sales in Australia have been slow because the
Australian CGA are selling the tickets as a package deal, which includes
accommodation and travel.

Malacca move closer to final


OLAK .......... 5 ESA ......... 2
MALACCA MC .... 2 JOHOR SC .... 0
IT took a penalty corner hit by Nizam Ahmat and a spark of brilliance by
Zaharin Zakaria to help Malacca Municipal Council (MMC) take a commanding
2-0 lead over Johor Sports Council (JSC) in the National Junior League
Hockey semifinals first leg at the Taman Perbandaran Stadium in Bukit
Serindit, Malacca yesterday.
In the other other semifinal, Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) took a
comfortable 5-2 first leg lead over Electrial Switchgear Automation (ESA)
at the Pandamaran Stadium.
MMC could have recorded a bigger margin win had they capitalised on the
nine penalty corners awarded to them compared to JSC's four.
Easily, MMC's best players were their 18-year-old skipper Chua Boon Huat
and Zaharin, 17.
Assisted by Mirizwan Nawawi, the younger brother of national player
Mirnawan, they were behind most of MMC's attacks.
JSC had to defend for most of the match as MMC pushed forward.
JSC could have taken the lead in the 10th minute had Nor Azman Mohamed
converted his penalty corner.
The second half saw the MMC dominating the attack with Zaharin Zakaria
continuously harrassing the JSC defence.
Zaharin, who played on the right flank, dazzled the home fans and the
JSC defenders with his dribbling skills.
When he was fouled in the 53rd minute, the umpire blew for a penalty
corner. Zahrin pushed the ball to Chua who made a neat pass to Nizam
Nizam did not make any mistake when he launched a powerful shot from the
left to beat JSC keeper M. Khuzmir Mustaffar Kamar.
JSC pushed forward for the equaliser but their attack was easily broken
by MMC defenders.
MMC launched a counter-attack in the 62nd minute which saw S. Saravanan
passing to Zaharin who dribbled past a few defenders to extend the lead.
Olak took it very easy against ESA in their semifinal.
They took a comfortable 5-0 lead with about 20 minutes to go but let ESA
score two goals and keep alive their hope of making the final on Saturday.
Syayrim Uda Karim, the topscorer of the tournament with 18 goals, scored
in the 19th minute off a superb penalty corner setpiece to give Olak the
lead and in the 26th minute Mohamed Rajee took his time and hammered home
another setpiece.
Before these goals, the Olak players looked like they were not
interested in a win.
After the breather, Shahrizal Mastor made a fine run along the left
flank and tapped to an unmarked Mohamed Faizal.
Faizal drew ESA goalkeeper Najib Effendy out and flicked into goal in
the 45th minute.
Faizal got his name on the scoresheet again when he changed play to the
right and dribbled past three defenders and hammered home.
Syayrim scored his second and Olak's fifth a minute later.
ESA, who have consistently made the semifinals of the Junior League for
the past four years, replied through S. Devan in the 55th and 65th minutes
to close the gap for the second leg playoff at the Universiti Sains
Malaysia Stadium tomorrow.
ESA team manager S. Kali Kavandan looks at the return leg as a
challenge: "If we can score two goals past Olak on their own turf, I think
the boys can pull off an upset in the second leg," he said.
Tomorrow - s-final return leg: ESA v Olak (Universiti Sains Malaysia),
JSC v MMC (Tun Razak Stadium).
Sunday - Final: (Tun Razak Stadium).
* Note: All matches at 5:30.

MHF announce the usual post-mortem


MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Datuk Seri P. Alagendra
said they will wait for a post mortem of the national hockey squad's
performance at the World Cup before taking any decision.
"It is too early to make any judgement," said Alagendra after watching
Old La Sallians of Klang and Electrial Switchgear Automation play in the
Junior League semifinal at the Pandamaran Stadium yesterday.
"I will give those who went with the hockey squad to Utrecht one week to
compile their side of the story before making changes, if any.
Those who will help compile the report are team manager S. Kali
Kavandan, assistant coaches Yahya Atan and Steven van Huizen, and team
doctor Dr. Ramlan Aziz.
Coach Volker Knapp finished his contract with the team on May 31.
"I know the team played below par in the World Cup and everybody wants
quick answers but MHF will wait for the report."
The hockey team, who returned home yesterday, finished second from
bottom when they beat Poland 5-4 in the placing match.
In their group matches, they lost 7-2 to Pakistan, 3-1 to England, 8-0
to Australia and 3-0 to Spain. They drew 1-1 with Poland.
In the placing matches, they lost 3-1 to New Zealand and beat Poland.
Kali said they were not expected to make inroads against the world's
"I can say that except against Australia, the boys played good hockey,"
said Kali.

Olak can't ignore no-offside ruling


THE National Junior League semifinals second leg look like foregone
conclusions, but Electrical Switchgear Automation (ESA) and Johor Sports
Council (JSC) beg to differ.
On Wednesday, Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) beat ESA 5-2 while Malacca
Municipal Council (MMC) beat JSC 2-0.
But since the no-offside ruling came into efect, Olak and MMC will have
to produce better hockey to reach the final.
Olak are an interesting team to watch but once they take a commanding
lead, their players tend to take things for granted and this could spell
trouble for them.
"Yes, I admit that we could have beaten ESA by about eight goals in the
first leg and confirm our place in the final on Sunday. But once we were
5-0 up, the players started relaxing and ESA scored two quick goals to
cushion the return leg," said Olak assistant manager Joseph de Silva.
Syayrim Uda Karim will surely be a marked man when Olak journey to
Universiti Sains Malaysia for the return leg today for he has scored 18
goals in the tournament and is the clear winner of the Topscorers Award.
But Olak are a well rounded side and many in their forwardline can
Marking out Syayrim will not be enough.
"I have many juniors in the side and this is actually a side for the
future. A defeat will not break hearts but Olak better come prepared
because the USM pitch has always brought luck to us. We are still in the
running," said ESA team manager S. Kali Kavandan.
Kali has three 14-year-olds in his side, including his son Mano Raj.
JSC, one of the early favourites, lost much of their bite when a few of
their players received offers to further their studies but losing 2-0 in
Malacca is no great shakes.
"We have to do better during the penalty corners to beat a side like
Malacca,"said JSC coach Balbir Singh.
Today - s-final return leg: ESA v Olak (Universiti Sains Malaysia, 5.0),
JSC v MMC (Tun Razak Stadium, 5.0); Sunday - Final: (Tun Razak Stadium,

Malacca MC sail through


MMC .... 2 JSC .... 0
(MMC win on 4-0 agg)
MALACCA Municipal Council (MMC) paid a heavy price in qualifying for the
National Junior League final at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Skipper Chua Boon Huat received his second yellow card and will not play
against Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak) in the final at the Tun Razak
Stadium tomorrow.
Johor Sports Council (JSC), who lost the first leg 2-0, were never in
the match and it took two penalty corners yesterday to douse their fire.
MMC took the cautious approach and defended for the first 10 minutes,
allowing JSC much room to move.
Christopher Jerard received a pass on the left in the 15th minute and
came face to face with Johor goalkeeper Khuzmir Mustaffar.
He fired in a thundering shot, but while the ball missed the goal by
inches, his stick flew into the net. The steady drizzle continued until
the final whistle and sticks flew in every direction.
MMC received their fourth penalty corner in the 20th minute and Chua
dribbled past first runner S. Shanker to give Malacca the lead.
Chua was a pillar of strength for Malacca as they made numerous forays
into JSC's half but poor finishing denied them more goals.
After the breather, MMC received their seventh penalty corner and after
a neat stop, a well-placed push by Chua found Mirhardy Nawawi who
confirmed Malacca's ticket to the final.
In the final minute of play, Chua tackled a Johor player from behind and
received a yellow card which put him out of the final.
Said MMC coach Eugene Lee: "Chua played an instrumental role in guiding
MMC to the final. It would not be fair if he has to watch from the
"We will submit an appeal to the technical committee tomorrow (today) to
reduce his yellow card to a green so that he can play in the final. In my
opinion, the fault was a minor one."
But Lee took the risk when he continued playing Chua even when Malacca
had a commanding 2-0 lead.
"I knew it was dangerous playing him but I had no choice because two
other players, Mirhardy and Chan Hock Choon, also had bookings so I rested
Tomorrow - 3rd-4th placing: JSC v ESA (3.30); Final: Olak v MMC (5.300.

Yellow cards skippers put on ice


TODAY'S National Junior League final will be a tale of two absent
captains. Just like any natural-born leader, both men led the charge from
the front and have paid for their selfless valour.
In this case, Malacca Municipal Council skipper Chua Boon Huat will join
his Old La Sallians Klang counterpart Syayrim Uda Karim on the sidelines
after accumulating two yellow cards. Ironically, both players collected
their decisive cards in Friday's semifinals second leg.
There is still hope for Chua as the Junior League technical committee
will meet at 2.0pm today to decide on MMC's appeal to reduce the yellow
card to a green card offence.
Should the appeal be successful, Chua will be able to lead his team for
the final.
As for Syayrim, who has poached 18 goals for Olak, he can kiss the
League goodbye because he will be overaged next year.
As with every protest, the match umpire plays an important role and in
this case, Brian Fernendez holds the key for MMC.
Cards aside, the final is expected to be an explosive affair as both
teams will be eyeing more than just the overall title.
League champions Olak will be gunning for a double while MMC would want
to make their maiden appearance in the League memorable. MMC's victory
will also rekindle interest in the once hockey-mad State.
Yesterday, Olak team manager Joseph de Silva down-played Syayrim's
"Sure, Syayrim's loss is a blow to us but then, we are not a one-man
side. We have beaten them (MMC) on their turf and we can do it again,"
said a confident de Silva.
In the preliminaries, Olak beat MMC 5-3 in a highly charged match and
provided ample evidence that they possess firepower in every department
when five individual players scored the goals. Syayrim was one of them.
MMC on the other hand, are a hardworking side but have the annoying
tendency of muffing the easiest of chances. But they have no problems
scoring from impossible angles.
In what is expected to be an evenly contested tie, JSC will take on
Electrical Switchgears Automation in the third placing match.
Today - 3rd-4th placing: JSC v ESA (3.30); Final: Olak V MMC (5.30) -
both at Tun Razak Stadium.

Vaskee closes in on Zaiton's record


THE Kuala Lumpur AAA Open at the Merdeka Stadium yesterday was devoid of
any big name as most of the national athletes decided to skip it and
prepare for next week's Perak Open.
The silver lining was V. Vaskee of Great Eastern Life who collected
2,677 heptathlon points from four events. She won gold in the high jump
(1.70m), 100m hurdles (15.37s), 200 (27.45) and silver in the shot put
"If Vaskee continues her fine performance today in the long jump,
javelin and 800m, she might just crack Zaiton Othman's national record of
5,175 points set in 1981 in Manila," said KLAAA secretary S. Vegiyathuman.
National athletes G. Shanti and Yazid Imran were the clear winners in
the 100m and javelin but Shanti's 12.08 was way off the meet record of
RESULTS: Men's 100m: 1 Tan Kok Lim (SAAS) 10.94, 2 Mohamed Kamarudizaman
(SAAS) 11.16, 3 Arif Junet (Forces) 11.24; 800m: 1 Charles Suresh
(Telekom) 1:56.80, 2 Manimaran (Sel) 2:00.01, 3 Mahendran (Pah) 2:00.04;
400m hurdles: 1 Indra Yaman (Police) 58.50, 2 Nashrat Kamal (Jln Ipoh)
60.62, 3 Geoffrey Moore (Indi) 61.44; 5,000m: 1 M. Arumugam (Maybank)
15:06.74, 2 Ganesan (Pah) 15:15.28, 3 Niranthajodhi (Lac) 15:31.57
10,000 walk: 1 Shahrul Haizy (Telekom) 45:19.10, 2 N. Vinayagam (GEL)
46:26.48, K. Mahadevan (Telekom) 48:40.46; 50km walk: 1 K. Pushparajan
(Pah) 4:28.33; 4x400m: 1 SAAS 42.49, 2 Armed Forces 43.19, 3 Sentosa
47.41; Javelin: 1 Yazid Imran (Maybank) 67.06m; Pole vault: Rastam Nawi
(SAAS) 3.40m; Shot put: 1 Faizol Harun (SAAS) 13.37m, 2 Nik Azaid (SAAS)
13.34m, 3 Abdul Fatah (SAAS) 12.27m.
WOMEN: 100m: 1 G. Shanti (Maybank) 12.08, 2 Fan Sau Fai (Jln Ipoh), 3
Irnie Hazliza (SAAS) 13.30; 800m: 1 Norasheela Khalid (SAAS) 2:21.20, 2 T.
Jayanthi (GEL) 2:26.23, 3 K. Uma (MBA) 2:26.03; 5,000 walk: 1 Teoh Tay Wah
4x400m: 1 SAAS a 50.54, 2 SAAS b 54.60, 3 Motorola 63.19; Long jump: 1
Fong Len Tze (SAAS) 5.62m, 2 Wan Noraini (SAAS) 5.43, 3 Norhaya Akmal
(SAAS) 5.20m; High jump: 1 Zuraini Hashim (SAAS) 1.59m, 2 Azlina Nasir
(SAAS) 1.56m, 3 Eik Nguk Moi (SAAS) 1.35m.

It's Olak again!


OLAK .... 2 MMC .... 1
THE absence of skipper Syayrim Uda Karim was hardly felt as Old La
Sallians of Klang were crowned the MHF-Milo-NSC National Junior double
champions at Tun Razak Stadium last night.
The League champions started slowly but once they settled down, Malacca
Municipal Council (MMC) found themselves in a dither, largely due to the
absence of skipper Chua Boon Huat, whose appeal to reduce a yellow card
offence to green was rejected by the tournament's technical committee.
Nevertheless, Chua received the Most Outstanding Player award.
The first half belonged to Olak but good defending by MMC goalkeeper S.
Kumar denied them the lead. MMC could hardly take the ball out of their
own semicircle for a good 20 minutes but Olak, who received two penalty
corners, just could not find the target.
In the 25th minute, MMC finally crossed the centre line and won their
first penalty corner. A neat tap by Norhanafi Omar found Chan Hock Choon
and Olak goalkeeper Saiful Azhar had to stretch to the limits to save the
Olak skipper Mohamad Nadzli had the best chance in the 30th minute when
he went solo on the left but Kumar charged out and stopped him at the top
of the semicircle.
The match degenerated to a crawl in the final five minutes and both
teams looked relieved when the halftime horn sounded.
When play resumed, Olak again took the game to MMC's semicircle and
earned their third penalty corner in the first minute. The first attempt
by Nadzli hit goalkeeper Kumar's pads and rebounded.
A goalmouth melee ensured and Faizal Daud hammered to the top of the net
for the lead. MMC were shaken out of their slumber and S. Sarawanan came
face-to-face with Saiful in the 40th minute but he missed a golden
opportunity to equalise.
Kumar was in his element to stop Olak from increasing their lead. In the
56th minute, MMC went on one of their rare forays with Zaharin Zakaria
charging into the semicircle. Eleven Olak players were in the semicircle
and there was utter confusion but Zaharin stayed calm to slam in the
Olak never gave up, and seven minutes later Muhamed Amin made a neat
pass to Redzuan Ponirin at the top of the semicircle. Redzuan sent a shot
which saw Kumar diving the wrong way. Olak received RM40,000 for their
"Credit belongs to all the Olak players who played their hearts out in
the tournament. The RM40,000 that came with the overall title will be
shared among the players. It is their money," said Olak assistant team
manager Joseph de Silva.
Malacca coach Eugene Lee was not disappointed despite the defeat. "This
scratch team made the final on their first attempt, what more can a coach
ask for?"
The fight for third placing was so intense that Electrical Switchgears
Automation (ESA) and Johor Sports Council (JSC), who were held 1-1 at full
time, took the match into penalty shootout.
ESA went home winners 7-6 and the RM10,000 that came with it. ROLL OF HONOUR
Best Goalkeeper: Saiful Azhar (Olak).
Most outstanding player: Chua Boon Huat (MMC)
Topscorer: Syayrim Uda Karim (Olak)
Man of the Match: Amin Rahim (Olak)
Fairplay: Kedah Sports Council

Annastasia, Vaskee break meet records


FIVE meet records were shattered on the second day of the Kuala Lumpur AAA
Open at Merdeka Stadium yesterday.
V. Vaskee of Great Eastern Life smashed the meet record of 4,075 points
when she amassed 4,402 points in the heptathlon while national athletes
Annastasia Karen Raj and Wong Tee Kue had no challengers in the walks and
hammer throw respectively.
Annastasia improved on the meet record with a time of 22:43.8 in the
5,000m while Wong hurled the hammer to a new distance of 55.82m.
The old mark for the walk was 23:00.9s and hammer 51.40m.
The other meet records broken were by Shanmuganathan of Maybank in the
3,000m steeplechasee with 9:05.47 (old, 9:08.09) and Fong Len Tze of
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Secondary, Kajang, (SAAS) with 2.60m in the pole
RESULTS - Men's 200m: 1 N. Manimagalay (NSC) 24.80, 2 K. Soloseeni
(Maybank) 25.64; 400m: 1 Romzi Bakar (Maybank) 48.16, 2 Yazid Parlan
(Forces) 48.70, 3 D. Nadarajah (Pg) 49.27; 110m hurdles: 1 Nur Herman
Majid (BBMB) 14.45, 2 Kam Sin Chuang (SAAS) 15.07, 3 Zana Azizol (MSSEL)
3,000m steeplechase: 1 Shanmuganathan (Maybank) 9:05,47 (meet rec), 2 T.
Arul (SAAS) 9;31.63, 3 V. Vignesparan (GEL) 10:37.01; 5,000m walk:
Annastasia Karen Raj (MBA) 22:43.8 (meet rec), 2 Nancy Lai (HSBC) 26:00.5,
3 Teoh Tay Wah (Telekom) 26:42.3; High jump: 1 Kam Siu Chuang (SAAS)
1.90m, Goh Suan Nyok (SAAS) 1.90m, 2 Yip Meng Chee (SAAS) 1.85m; Long
jump: 1 Zaki Sadri (NSC) 7.36m, 2 Wan Nazri (Maybank) 7.18m, 3 Juraimi
Ismail (Forces) 6.94m.
Hammer throw: 1 Wong Tee Kue (Police) 55.82m (meet rec), 2 Jaswinder
Singh (Police) 38.77m, 3 Faisol Harun (SAAS) 37.23m; Discus: 1 T.
Tharmarajah (PBB) 42.72m, 2 Faisol Harun (SAAS) 35.81m, 3 Zulkifli Ramli
(SAAS) 26.99m.
WOMEN - 400m: 1 K. Soloseeni (Maybank) 57.45, 2 K. Uma (Police) 63.32, 3
S. Vasugi (LAC) 68.54; Javelin: 1 Yap Mui Yee (GEL) 24.19m; Hammer throw:
1 Lue Siau Beng (SAAS) 28.02m, 2 Angela Ling Hung (Police) 26.30m;
Heptathlon: 1 V. Vaskee (GEL) 4,402 pts (meet rec), 2 Siti Mariam Tobias
(SAAS) 3,341 pts, 3 Koh Siew Chin (Jln Ipoh) 2,801.
Shot put: 1 Angela Ling Hung (Police) 10.34m, 2 Lee Wan Yuen (GEL) 9.46,
3 Lue Siau Beng (SAAS) 9.35m; Pole vault: 1 Fong Len Tze (SAAS) 2.60m
(meet rec), 2 Nik Suhaila (SAAS) 2.50m, 3 Bernedete Lawrence (SAAS) 2.40m.

Olak a rags-to-success story


THE banner OLAK BOLEH said it all for Old La Sallians of Klang in the just
concluded MHF-Milo-NSC National Junior League.
The League and Overall champions faithfully trudged the old and
discoloured banner from match to match and during the final on Sunday, a
Malaysian HF official said: "If you compare Olak's old, handmade banner to
Malacca Municipal Council's printed one, you can conclude that the club
don't have much money to spare."
How true, but Olak proved that money does not make champions. The
millions spent on the national hockey team went down the drain in Utretch
while cash-strapped Olak were crowned double champions back home.
"The reason why Olak players have managed to come so far is not because
we had the facilities to train them ... it was the reverse. The players
knew Olak could not afford to give them anything but training, so they
played for the winner's purse," said Olak assistant team manager Joseph de
Some would argue that Olak have been playing as a team for four years,
but so have the Malaysian team.
"Only half the team will be eligible to play next year but that won't
worry us because many players have approached us to join the team. We are
willing to train as many as possible with our small budget.
"Our biggest sponsor is team president Datuk Jeffrey Ng Keng Keong, who
was instrumental in our success in the Junior League."
The trophies that Olak won are not sitting pretty in a cabinet but
travelling from school to school.
"Today (yesterday), four of our players from the Sekolah Tunku Ampuan
Rahimah were honoured during the school assembly. We are also planning to
hold a similar assembly at the Anglo Chinese School (ACS) because Redzuan
Ponirin, who scored the vital goal in the final, is from ACS."
MMC were another story. A team that started from scratch to a team that
showed class in their debut final.
"Although we lost the overall title to Olak, there was no shame in
defeat because we lost to a better team. Next year, we will be more
prepared to mount a stronger challenge," said MMC coach Eugene Lee.
MMC and Johor Sports Council are the only silver lining in the Junior
When the League was incepted in 1995, Yayasan Negri Sembilan won both
the titles while a year later, it was Electrical Switchgears Automation
(ESA) who did a double.
Last year, Olak won the League while ESA won the Overall title. The
other teams were there to make up the numbers.

Meets to choose squad


THE national artistic gymnasts will take part in three tournaments before
the squad for the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games is finalised.
Games chef-de-mission Datuk Khalid Yunus, who visited the Jaya '98
trainees at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil yesterday, said:
"Right now there are seven boys and six girls in training, of which five
boys and four girls will be selected.
The gymnasts train daily at the National Sports Complex and according to
Khalid, they will do well at the Games.
"I have been told that we have a good chance of a laudable finish. Our
athletes will surely mount a strong challenge in September."
Au Li Yen somersaulted gracefully to three gold medals in the artistic
section of the Jakarta Sea Games and her success won her the Olympian
award. She is the country's best hope.
Meanwhile, the National Sports Council and Malaysian Gymnastics
Federation (MGF) have been told to use their wisdom to pick the best three
rhythmic gymnasts.
"They should make full use of their expertise to ensure only the best
among the existing trainees are selected," said Sports Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin.
The selection criteria should include the gymnasts' performances in
training and competition, he said when presenting cash incentives to
national shuttlers, taekwondo exponents and shooters at the National
Sports Council.
Muhyiddin said the gymnasts' mental strength should also be considered
as this was an important factor in competition.
Artistic Gymnastics Fixtures - June 19-21: National Championships (Bukit
Jalil Sports School); July 6-13: Pacific Alliance Championship (Winnipeg,
Canada); July 12-10: Pre-Games Meet (Bukit Jalil).

It's better to start quality control now, says Mazlan


MALAYSIA AAU (MAAU) president Datuk Khalid Yunus is confident that more
athletes will qualify for the Asian Track and Field (ATF) championships on
July 19-22 in Fukuoka, Japan.
A joint MAAU-National Sports Council (NSC) committee have selected 10
athletes thus far for the championships, based on the fourth placing mark
at the last ATF in Jakarta, but the door is still open for more athletes
to qualify.
"The athletes still have the Perak Open and the Johor Open on July 4-5
to qualify. If they beat the qualifying mark, they will make the trip to
Japan," said Khalid.
MAAU had named 21 athletes for the championships, but NSC director
general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad said only 10 have made the qualifying mark.
"It is not that we don't want to send more for exposure but it is better
to start quality control right now to prepare for the Commonwealth Games."
At the last ATF in 1995, Malaysia won two bronze medals through Loo Kum
Zee (high jump) and Nurherman Majid (110m hurdles).
ATF squad - Men: Watson Nyambek, Hamberi Mahat, R. Ganeswaran, M.
Ramachandran, Loo Kum Zee, Narinder Singh, Teoh Boon Lim; Women: G.
Shanti, Yuan Yufang, Annastasia Karen Raj.

Sapok and Co have big plans for Cup


THE Malaysian team, fresh from their two golds, one silver and three
bronze medal haul in the East Africa Boxing Championship in Seychelles,
have plans to take the King's Cup in Shah Alam by storm today.
The six-day tournament at Stadium Melawati will also see entries from
Thailand and Indonesia.
Taiwan too will send their best boxers but they are not expected to make
an impression.
"Except for Uten Utapon from Thailand in the 51kg category, the rest of
the foreign entries are on par with our boxers," said organising secretary
Kol (Rtd) Mohamed Yusof Said yesterday.
"Last year, when we invited boxers from Khazakstan, Turkistan, Japan and
South Korea, we only won two silver and three bronze medals.
"These countries had the Asian champions so we did not do very well.
This time around, the tournament will be evenly contested."
Utapon made the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Olympics and won the gold
in the Jakarta Sea Games. For the King's Cup, he will have Rakib Ahmad,
who won the silver in Seychelles, for company.
In the 48kg category, Sapok Biki, 23, Malaysia's sole representative at
the 1996 Olympics and adjudged Boxer of the Tournament in Seychelles, is
expected to walk away with the title.
"Sapok is tipped to win the 48kg title but Mubin Latif is said to have
been training hard enough to topple Sapok. It would be interesting to
watch their bout."
Reitzman Zakaria, 18, who won the gold for Sabah in the Malaysia Games,
is also knocking on the doors of the national team.
The Pre-Games will also test, among others, the scoring system.
"The judges will use computers to give marks during the match. In the
end, the computer will tally up the total score. It is actually an
objective scoring system with guidelines to minimise outside influence.
MALAYSIA - 48kg: Sapok Biki, Mubin Latif, Jefri Mohamed, Reitzman
Zakaria; 51kg: Rakib Ahmad, Eddie Suip, Zulhaizman Ibrahim; 54kg: Adnan
Jusuh, Jaiwat Yamun, Zainudin Zakaria, Jefridin Yatim; 57kg: Benny Thomas,
Azani Azam Yusuf, Rohaizam Baharudin, Jason Talad; 60kg: Muruguthevan,
Ismail Ariffin; 63.5kg: Samsudin Maidin, Isnizar Yup, Joharnizam Hashim;
75kg: Beng Huat Cheng.

Sapok moves into last four


SAPOK BIKI and three other Malaysian boxers charged into the semifinals of
the King's Cup championships at the Malawati Indoor Stadium in Shah Alam
Sapok cornered Taiwan's Lan Chun Shiong in the fifth round and won 22-6
on points in the 48kg category.
The others who made the cut are Jaiwat Yamun, Jefridin Yatim and Adnan
Sapok, who represented Malaysia at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, made up
for the opening bout damper when Jefri Mohamad lost to Indonesia's
Damanius Jordan in the same category.
In the 54kg division, Malaysia B's Jaiwat beat Dufri Mashihor of
Indonesia while Jefridin, of Malaysia D, beat Somsak Utaida of Thailand.
Adnan, representing Malaysia A, romped home against Singapore's Salim
Mokhtar in the first round while Malaysia C's Zainudin Zakaria failed to
qualify for the next round when he lost to Taiwan's Tu Chung Shien.
Seventy-one boxers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and
Taiwan are taking part in the pre-Commonwealth Games championships.
RESULTS - 48kg: Sapok Biki (Mas) bt Lan Chun Shiong (Tai); Damanius
Jordan (Indon) bt Jefri Mohamed (Mas).
54kg: Jaiwat Yamun (Mas) bt Dufri Mashihor (Indon); Jefridin Yatim (Mas)
bt Somsak Utaida (Thai); Adnan Yusoh (Mas) bt Salim Mokhtar (Sin); Tu
Chung Shien (Tai) bt Zainudin Zakaria (Mas).

A free lift from The Mines


SUKOM '98 Bhd yesterday appointed Malaysia International Exhibition and
Showroom Centre (Mines) as the official weightlifting venue for the
Commonwealth Games.
And the deal is for free, even for the pre-Games in July.
Sukom will only pay for the utilities and props for the competition, and
save about RM1.3 million on rental.
"The Mines management decided to help the Commonwealth Games cause under
the Malaysia Inc concept. The weightlifters can use the facilities
available at the hall for free," said Mines executive director Chan Luck
At the preliminary discussions, Mines had quoted RM43,000 per day as
venue rental for the Games.
"This was during the discussion stage, there was nothing in black-and-
white, but this agreement is the final result of negotiations," said Chan.
The 1,500-seating capacity hall has already received booking for 500
tickets, and a sellout is in store.
"Sukom are grateful to Mines for allowing us to use the facilities free
of charge. This is an excellent example of the private sector's
contribution towards the Commonwealth Games," said Sukom director of
operations Nashatar Singh after signing the agreement yesterday.
This is the second free venue for the Games. Earlier, the management of
Sunway Pyramid Bowl, venue for tenpin bowling, also adopted the same
Weightlifting, to be held on Sept 16-19, is a strong gold medal sport
for Malaysia.
Malaysian Weightlifting Federation president Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong
said: "Malaysia are expected to win two gold and four other medals, with
Mohamed Hidayat in the 69kg category our best bet."
Hidayat is the Commonwealth record holder in the 69kg category. He
lifted 287.5kg at the Commonwealth, Oceania and South Pacific
championships in Nauru in March.
In the Jakarta Sea Games, Hidayat won gold in the 64kg but the category
will not be contested in the Commonwealth Games. Matin Guntali, another
hopeful, took the silver in the Victoria Games.
Twenty-seven countries have confirmed participation in weightlifing and
the total number of athletes is 120. In Victoria in 1994, only 19
countries and 91 weightlifters took part.
The Malaysian squad: Mohamed Hidayat (69kg), Rahman Ahmad (56kg), Matin
Guntali (56kg), Edmond Yeo (85kg), Kamaruzaman Jusan (62kg).

Brave Eddie in second round


AFTER a blistering first day, most Malaysian boxers were yesterday reduced
to being spectators in the King's Cup championship at Malawati Indoor
Stadium in Shah Alam.
Five out of six Malaysian boxers crashed out in the preliminaries.
Eddie Suip was the silver lining, beating Taiwan's Lin Yung Shiang in
the 51kg category by 17-12 points but Zulhaizam Ibrahim lost a five-round
bout to Thailand's Uten Utapon by 5-18 in the same category.
Utapon is the Jakarta Sea Games gold medallist. He also made the
quarterfinals of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In the 57kg, Jason Talad lost to Taiwan's Wu Hsin Lung 4-19 while
Rohaizam Baharudin was no match for Manus Boon Jamnung of Thailand as he
bowed out in the fourth round due to injury.
Results - Eddie Suip (Mas) bt Lin Yung Shiang (Tai); Uten Utapon (Thai)
bt Zulhaizam Ibrahim (Mas); Wu Hsin Lung (Tai) bt Jason Talad (Mas); Manus
Boon Jamnung (Thai) bt Rohaizam Baharudin (Mas); Welem Papilaya (Indon) bt
Joharnizam Desa; Chen Yin Chin (Tai) bt Isnizar Yup (Mas).

Only three Games trainees make finals


SEVEN Malaysians were expected to make the finals of the Kings' Cup at the
Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam, but only three managed to squeeze through.
"We did not expect the Taiwanese boxers to show so much improvement,"
said team manager Abdullah Dullah Siok.
Taiwan, the traditional punching bags in the sport, have two boxers in
the finals tomorrow. Chung Hsien Tu will meet Adnan Jusuh of Malaysia in
the 54kg event, while Shan Che Lo will fight Somsak Janthaporn of Thailand
in the 81kg bout.
The other Malaysians in the finals are Benny Thomas and B. Muruguthevan.
Rakib Ahmad, Eddie Suip, Andrew Kanis and Samsudin Maidin - the other
Malaysians preparing for the Commonwealth Games - failed in their
"The Taiwanese were no match for our boys last year but they have
improved," said Abdullah.
Thomas was the only survivor in the semifinals yesterday but that too by
the skin of his teeth. He was tied 18-18 on points with fellow Malaysian
Azani Azam but advanced to the final because of a better score in the
In the final, Thomas will square off against Thailand's Manus Boon
Jamnung who thrashed Taiwan's Wu Hsin Lung 21-5 in the semifinals.
On Tuesday, Muruguthevan sprang a major upset when he beat Sea Games
gold medallist Wilpare Jamhur in the 60kg semifinal while Adnan made the
final in the 54kg event.
In the opening bout yesterday, Rakib was unlucky when he lost in the
51kg division by one point to Indonesia's Hermensen Ballo 20-19.
In the other semifinals, Uten Utapon defeated Eddie 18-9 (51kg event);
Andrew lost 18-7 to Thai Pongsak Hriantua (63.5kg event); and Samsudin
lost 8-7 to Thailand's Jakpong Suwunnalird (67kg).
Malaysia Amateur Boxing Federation president Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Samad
will give away the medals.
Finals (tomorrow) - 48kg: Somjit Jong Johar (Thai) v Damianus Jordan
(Indon); 51kg: Hermawan Ballo (Indon) v Utepon Utapon (Thai); 54kg: Chung
Hsien Tu (Tai) v Adnan Jusuh (Mas); 57kg: Berny Thomas (Mas) v Manus
Boonjamnong (Thai); 60kg: Somchai Nakbalee (Thai) v B. Muruguthevan (Mas);
63.5kg: Pongsak Hrianthuan Thong (Thai) v Welem Papilaya (Indon); 67kg:
Jakpong Suwunnalird (Thai) v Bora Gomes (Indon); 75kg: Beng Huat Cheng
(Mas) v Sayidkhan Kulamhamad (Thai); 81kg: Shan Che Lo (Tai) v Somsak
Janthaporn (Thai).

Lissek drops four seniors


NATIONAL coach Paul Lissek began the clean up yesterday, axing senior
regulars Kerpal Singh, Maninderjit Singh, S. Nishel Kumar and Brian Jayhan
Siva from the Commonwealth Games training squad.
"They (some of those dropped) seem to be disturbed by the extra training
sessions," said Lissek in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"This is just the beginning. More players can be expected to be dropped
because I want 30 and only those who are interested to represent the
country will remain in the squad."
Lissek selected 10 junior players, whom he saw in action during the
nation-wide talent exercise in July last year, to join the training squad
which now numbers 34.
"I will be trimming the squad further next week.
"Right now some of the players seem to cause more trouble during
training and are not helping towards the cause of the team.
"They lack concentration and some of them like Brian and Kerpal are not
even in camp at the moment.
"Nishel Kumar has opted out because he wants to concentrate on studies.
"Brian is a different case. If he wants to attend trainings he can do so
but right now I don't even know where he is."
Nishel has just joined a local university while Brian, who has completed
his medical studies, is said to have written to the Malaysian Hockey
Federation (MHF) saying that he wants to concentrate on his housemanship.
But Lissek is impressed with the junior players who attended three days
of special training, especially those from Old La Sallians of Klang (Olak)
who won the double in the recent National Junior championship.
The Olak juniors whom Lissek selected were Syayrim Uda Karim, Madzli
Ikmar, Faizal Daud and Mohamed Fadil.
Syayrim, with 18 goals to his name, was the top scorer in the junior
league where he played a pivotal role in guiding Olak to the double.
Players from Malacca Municipal Council, who did well in the Junior
League, also figured prominently.
Skipper Chua Boon Huat, fellow forward Zaharin Zakaria as well as
goalkeeper S. Kumar were the Malacca players selected.
OUT: Kerpal Singh, Maninderjit Singh, S. Nishel Kumar, Brian Jayhan
IN: Suhaimi Ibrahim, Chua Boon Huat, Madzli Ikmar, Syayrim Uda Karim,
Faizal Daud, Mohamed Fadil, Zaharin Zakaria, M. Jiva, S. Kumar, Shairul
UTRECHT SQUAD: Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim, Paul Lopez, Maninderjit Singh,
Lailin Abu Hassan, Brian Jayhan Siva, Calvin Fernandez, Nor Azlan Bakar,
A. Arulselvaraj, S. Kuhan, R. Shankar, Chairil Anwar Aziz, K. Keevan Raj,
Nor Saiful Zaini, Aphtar Singh, Mirnawan Nawawi, M. Kaliswaran.
UTRECHT DROP-OUTS: K. Logan Raj, Nishel Kumar, Mahinder Singh, Lam Mun
Fatt, K. Gobinathan, Kerpal Singh, Izwan Suhardi, Roslan Jamaluddin.

Malaysians must put on `thinking cap' in the ring


BOXING has a long way to go where medals are concerned and time is against
them following their meek performance in the King's Cup at the Malawati
Stadium in Shah Alam
The King's Cup is boxing's Pre-Games where the Commonwealth Games
facilities are tested as well as provide a stiff avenue for Jaya '98
athletes to show off their progress after training for years.
At the King's Cup the nation's best simply couldn't stand up against
those from Thailand, Indonesia and even Taiwan.
But team manager Abdullah Dulloh Siok said: "Although Sapok Biki and a
few others fell by the wayside, I am still proud of my boys because they
have closed the gap with the Thai and Indonesian boxers.
"A few years ago, we used to lose to them by huge margins but now most
of the Jaya '98 trainees lost by one point only."
Sapok lost 10-14 to Indonesian Damianus Jordan in the semifinals.
It took about 25 years and three World championships for Evander
Holyfield to learn how to think in the ring, Malaysian boxers don't have
that much time.
If they want to make an impact at the Commonwealth Games, they need to
throw planned punches.
Right now they seem to ditch their game plan and, almost gleefully it
seems, slug it out toe-to-toe and depend on miracles of mayhem.
And even if finalists Adnan Jusuh (54kg), Berny Thomas (57kg) and B.
Muruguthevan (60kg) make a clean sweep today, there would be no glory
because only three of the 15 invited countries sent in their entries and
it is a weak field.
On the facilities test, organising secretary Kol Yusof Said is happy
with the arrangements for the Commonwealth Games.
"130,000 tickets have been printed for the eight fight days in September
and when the fans walk into the Malawati Stadium, they will go home with
fond memories of the Commonwealth Games," said Yusof.
Final (Today) - 48kg: Somjit Jong Johar (Thai) v Damianus Jordan
(Indon); 51kg: Hermawan Ballo v Utepon Utapon (Thai); 54kg: Chung Hsien Tu
(Tai) v Adnan Jusuh (Mas); 57kg: Berny Thomas (Mas) v Manus Boonjamnong
(Thai); 60kg: Somchai Nakbalee (Thai) v B. Muruguthevan (Mas); 63.5kg:
Pongsak Hrianthuan Thong (Thai) v Welem Papilaya (Indon); 67kg: Jakpong
Suwunnalird (Thai) v Bora Gomes (Indon); 75kg: Beng Huat Cheng (Mas) v
Sayidkhan Kulamhamad (Thai); 81kg: Shan Che Lo (Tai) v Somsak Janthaporn

Young Uzbeks ready to dazzle


UZBEKISTAN will be the drawcard at the 15th National Artistic championship
at the National Gymnasium in Cheras over the weekend.
Eight Uzbek gymnasts arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and will train
with the Malaysians who are preparing for the Commonwealth Games. The
Ubzeks' Malaysian `training' programme is until June 28.
"This is a good opportunity for our gymnasts to learn from the Uzbeks
who are among the best in the world," said Malaysia Gymnastics Federation
president Dr Zakaria Ahmad.
Oxana Chusovitina comes with an impressive resume. She emerged tops at
the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the World Championship in 1991 and the 1994
Asian Games in Hiroshima.
The rest of the members, with the youngest being 12, also have a long
list of achievements.
"This team will also be taking part in the Asian Games in Bangkok in
December and the World Youth Games in Moscow on July 11-19," said team
leader Svetlana Kuznetsova.
And while the artistic team are busy with the National championships,
the rhythmic team will head for Winnipeg, Canada, today to train. The are
also down to take part in the Pacific Alliance championships.
"We will be holding two friendlies with the Sereka College Club, then
another with the Evelin Coop Club before taking part in the championships
on July 9," said Zakaria.
The Pre-Games for rhythmic will be held on July 13-15 while artistic is
marked down for July 17-19. Both the events will be held at the Bukit
Jalil Indoor Stadium.
"Ten countries have confirmed participation for the Pre-Games which will
be the final selection for the Commonwealth Games athletes," said Zakaria.
"We have a detailed criteria for selection of the artistic and rhythmic
athletes. We are looking for consistency so the Pre-Games will play a
major role in the selection process."
For the rhythmic events, four gymnasts will be selected after the Pre-
Games and in September, the final three will be selected with the fourth
as a reserve.
"For the artistic, the National championship the Pacific Alliance and
the Pre-Games will determine their rankings for the Games."
Winnipeg gymnasts: Thye Chee Kiat, Carolyn Au Yong, El Regina Tajuddin,
Celectine Chan, Sarina Sundarajah, Farah Zellinah Kemal, Chan Chii-Wey,
Adriana Salleh, Lim Sin Yee, Liyana Jamil, Afrita Ariany Nasril, Tanya
Ong, Loke Yik Siang, Heng Wah Jing, Ahmad Fadil, Zulrarnian Majid, Onn
Kwang Tung, Alexina Au Li Yen, Lim Wai Chi, Ernadia Os'hara, K. Kavita,
Chang Siew Ting.
Moscow gymnasts: Thong Chee Wai, Ahmad Akramin, Nurul Zaiman, Yulie
Fitri, Yap Yee Yin, Chang Zhe Wei, Teh Ya Li, Goh Yi Wei, Coery Sik.
Uzbek gymnasts: Oxana Chusovitina, Svetlana Bahredinova, Alexandra
Gordeeva, Saida Boboeva, Botagoz Boyatanova, Almira Kambekova, Renata
Habib Rahmanova, Nazigul Almatova.

Malaysia's kings of the ring


B. MURUGUTHEVAN again upset the formbook when he beat Somchai Nakbalee
from Thailand in the 60kg category while Adnan Jusuh handed Malaysia their
second gold in the King's Cup finals at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam
Malaysia never saw it so good in the King's Cup before.
At the end of the day, Benny Thomas and Beng Huat Cheng settled for
silver while Malaysia's bronze count stood at eight.
Commonwealth Games trainee Muru has been a relevation in the tournament,
showing Sea Games gold medallist Wilpare Jamhur of Indonesia the exit in
the semifinals.
Muru kept up the charge in the final against Somchai, beating the Thai
by one point in a close fight.
Muru fought intelligently in the fifth and final round, punching his way
to the top of the podium.
That Somchai is the Asian Cup and Jakarta Sea Games silver medallist
only made Muru's victory even sweeter.
"I feel good, this is one of my best fights so far and it has given me
the confidence to fight in the Commonwealth Games," said the Armed Forces
commando from the Sungai Udang camp in Malacca.
Muru, who won a bronze in Jakarta, started well in the first round and
kept his distance by pacing the ring which made Somchai lose his
concentration and caused him to throw wild punches.
In the second, Muru charged as the horn blew and pinned Somchai on the
ropes with a volley of six well-placed punches which saw the Thai stagger.
But Somchai recovered and pulled back to take an 11-8 lead going into
the third round.
Muru, having the advantage of a longer reach, kept his distance in the
third and fourth but Somchai found a break in the dying seconds of the
fourth when the Malaysian slipped as Somchai took a 17-16 lead.
In the fifth, Muru kept the Thai at bay with his longer reach and went
on to win 20-19.
Adnan won Malaysia's second gold when he beat Chung Hsien Tu of Taiwan
in the 54kg event. Adnan had the match in his hands as early as the second
but in the third he let his guard down as he was too eager to finish off
In the fourth and fifth he kept his distance and threw intelligent
punches which propelled him to the top, bleeding nose and all.
Meanwhile on the organisational side of things, organising secretary
Kol. Yusof Said said a single ring will not be enough for the Commonwealth
"We have received entries from 260 boxers and since there are no
qualifying rounds in the Commonwealth Games, we will have to entertain
all," said Yusof.
"This is a mammoth task considering that boxing has only eight days on
the Games calendar. One ring will not be enough, we will need at least two
at the Maslawati Stadium."
RESULTS (all finals) 48kg: Somjit Jong Johar (Thai) bt Damianus Jordan
(Indon) 14-11; 51kg: Hermawan Ballo bt Utepon Utapon (Thai) 28-17; 54kg:
Adnan Jusuh (Mas) bt Chung Hsien Tu (Tai) 31-16; 57kg: Manus Boonjamnong
(Thai) bt Berny Thomas (Mas) 28-8; 60kg: B. Muruguthevan (Mas) bt Somchai
Nakbalee (Thai) 20-19; 63.5kg: Pongsak Hrianthuan Thong (Thai) bt Welem
Papilaya (Indon) 21-12; 67kg: Bora Gomes (Indon) bt Jakpong Suwunnalird
(Thai) 24-21; 75kg: Sayidkhan Kulamhamad (Thai) bt Beng Huat Cheng (Mas)
16-3; 81kg: Somsak Janthaporn (Thai) bt Shan Che Lo (Tai) 13-4.
Bronze medallists - 48kg: Mubin Latif (Mas) and Sapok Biki (Mas); 51kg:
Rakib Ahmad (Mas) and Eddie Suip (Mas); 54kg: Jaiwat Yamun (Mas) and
Jefridin Yatim (Mas); 57kg: Wu Hsin Ling (Tai) and Azani Azam (Mas); 60kg:
Ismail Ariffin (Mas) and Wilpare Jamhur (Thai).

Olympian Oxana dazzles the crowd


THE Uzbek gymnasts dazzled the crowd at the Teachers' Training College
Hall in Cheras with their precision drills in the National Artistic
championships yesterday.
Oxana Chusovitna, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold medallist in floor
exercise, not only won a gold in the international category but also a
cake for her sterling performance.
Oxana turned 23 yesterday and the Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF)
made her feel at home with a birthday surprise.
The Malaysian gymnasts, who were expected to take a backseat, surprised
by producing one of their best performances. But Au Li Yen, gold medallist
in the national category, said she could have done better.
"It was my off-day, I could not do anything right. I know I can do
better than the 34.185 points that I collected," said Li Yen.
Oxana scored 36.625 points while third placed Uzbek in the international
category, Renata Habib Rahmanova, landed a score higher than Li Yen with
Then again, the Uzbek girls have a better track record and it was
heartening to watch the Malaysians try and match their skills.
Second-placed Svetlana Bahredinova was a finalist in the world
championships last year while Renata has the experience of competing in
the Asian championships in China.
When Oxana was asked for her opinion about the Malaysians, she said:
"They are very good, only minor polishing needs to be done."
In the boys' category, Bukit Jalil Sports School student Loke Yik Siang
took the gold with 49.050 points. "This is my first win in the national
championships. Last year, I finished second."
While the Jaya 98 athletes did what was expected of them, Yulie Fitri
Suhatril and Nurul Fatiha Hamid, who are from Kuala Lumpur but took part
in the special category due to a registration snag, showed poise and
agility but were let down by nerves.
Results - Boys: Loke Yik Siang (Sel) 49.050 pts, 2 Onn Kwang Tung (Sel)
47.550, 3 Heng Wah Jing (Sel) 46.5.
Girls - International: 1 Oxana Chusovitna (Uzb) 36.625 pts, 2 Svetlana
Bahredinova (Uzb) 35.7, 3 Renata Habib Rahmanova (Uzb) 34.625; National: 1
Au Li Yen (Sel) 34.185, 2 Chang Siew Ting (Sel) 33.35, 3 Chang Zhi Wei
(Sel) 33.162.

A big lift for the '98 Games


JAYA '98 trainee Rahman Ahmad provided a preview of what weightlifting has
to offer during the Commonwealth Games in September.
Rahman rewrote two national records and equalled the Commonwealth record
in the 56kg category in the national championships at the Mines Exhibition
Hall yesterday.
At the end of the day, Rahman went up the podium to receive three gold
medals for his snatch, clean and jerk and the combined total.
In the snatch, Rahman lifted 107.5kg to smash the old record of 102.5
set by Roswadi Rashid. It also equalled the Commonwealth championship
record achieved by India's Thandava Muthu in Nauru.
In the combined total, he lifted 237.5kg to shatter Roswadi's national
record of 227.5.
His winning lift of 130kg in the snatch and jerk equalled Matin
Guntali's national record.
"Although Australia and India have good lifters in this category, I am
confident of winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games. Only the colour is
yet to be determined," said the 23-year-old Rahman, who hails from Rompin.
Rahman, who has been with Jaya '98 for three years, has been steadily
improving in the last six months.
During the weightlifting trials held in April, Rahman only managed
105kg. Yesterday, his effort was 2.5kg better.
"Rahman has improved after a few months of intensive training. At the
rate of his progress, he could increase it to 5kg and the prospect of him
winning a gold in the 56kg at the Games is good," said project manager Lt
Commander (r) Kamaruzaman Kadir.
The 56kg will be a new Games event. In Victoria in 1994, the weight was
Rahman has made a smooth transition to the less heavy category.
Malaysian Weightlifting Federation president Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong
said Malaysia are expected to win two gold and four other medals, with
Mohamed Hidayat Hamidon the best bet in the 69kg category.
Hidayat, the Commonwealth record holder, lifted 287.5kg at the
Commonwealth, Oceania and South Pacific championships in Nauru in March.
In the Jakarta Sea Games, Hidayat won gold in the 64kg but the category
will not be contested in the Commonwealth Games.
Matin Guntali, another hopeful, took the silver in the Victoria Games.
Twenty-seven countries, with a total number of 120 lifters, have
confirmed participation in weightlifing for the Commonwealth Games on Sept
In Victoria, only 19 countries and 91 weightlifters took part.
Today, Mohamed Hidayat will try his hand in the 69kg category.

No stopping the Uzbek girls


UZBEK gymnasts again hogged the limelight in the national artistic
championships at the Teachers' Training Hall in Cheras yesterday.
The day's surprise, however, came from the Malaysian boys, instead of
the girls, who earned the cheers.
Competing among themselves, Ahmad Akramin and Onn Kwang Tung led the
charge in the boys' division.
Their scores yesterday bettered the points they achieved at a recent
competition in China.
According to Commonwealth Games team manager Datuk Ghani Pateh Akhir,
this is the result they are looking for.
"Right now, consistency is what we need. I have compared the boys'
results with those achieved in the championship in China and they have
improved," he said.
"We plan to organise another international championships in August as
final preparations for the Commonwealth Games. After watching the girls
today, we are feel that they need more international exposure."
As expected, the girls failed to topple the Uzbeks in the four
disciplines that were contested. Olympian Oxana Chusovitina won the uneven
bars and vault while her teammates, Renata Habib Rahmananova and Alexandra
Gordeeva, took the floor and beam gold medals.
Artistic coach Vasil Korsun agrees with Ghani, saying the Malaysian
girls need more competitions.
"Today (yesterday), we tested some new routines and that is why they
were a little jittery. We need to introduce some difficult moves so that
they will have a better chance of collecting points during the
Commonwealth Games."
Results - Boys - Floor: 1 Ahmad Akramin 8.10 pts, 2 Onn Kwang Tung 7.90
and Ahmad Fadil 7.90; Pommel: Loke Yik Siang 8.85, 2 Onn Kwang Tung 8.15,
3 Nurul Zaiman Mansor 7.75; Rings: 1 Onn Kwang Tung 7.90, 2 Heng Wah Jing
7.50, 3 Nurul Zaiman Mansor 7.20; Vault: 1 Loke Yik Siang 9.025, 2 Ahmad
Fadil 8.725, 3 Onn Kwang Tung 8.65; High bar: 1 Loke Yik Siang 9.40, 2 Onn
Kwang Tung 8.95, 3 Heng Wah Jing 7.65; Parallel bar: 1 Loke Yik Siang
8.25, 2 Heng Wah Jing 8.1, 3 Ahmad Fadil 7.95.
Girls - Floor: 1 Renata Habib Rahmananova (Uzbek) 8.725, 2 Almira
Kambekova (Uzbek) 8.45, 3 Yap Yee Yin 8.375; Beam: 1 Alexandra Gordeeva
(Uzbek) 9.1, 2 Au Li Yen 8.35, 3 Nurul Fatiha 8.25; Uneven bar: 1 Oxana
Chusovitina (Uzbek) 9.1, 2 Svetlana Bahredinavo (Uzbek) 8.725, 3 Chang
Siew Ting 8.35; Vault: 1 Oxana Chusovitina (Uzbek) 9.525, 2 Svetlana
Bahredinavo (Uzbek) 9.1875, 3 Au Li Yen 9.025.

Hidayat and Yeo break two national records


MOHAMED Hidayat Hamidon and Edmund Yeo cracked two national records
between them at the pre-Commonwealth Games weightlifting championships at
the Mines Exhibition Hall yesterday.
Hidayat lifted 160kg in the clean and jerk to erase his national record
of 157.5kg, which was achieved at the Commonwealth championships in Nauru
in March. It was 0.5kg less than the Commonwealth record by India's G.
In the 85kg category, Yeo bettered his national snatch record of 135kg
with a lift of 137.5kg.
After the record, Yeo increased the weight to 140kg but it was too much
and he barely got off the platform when he had to release.
"The results have been very satisfactory considering that just a few
years back, we were behind by more than 10kg in most of the categories,"
said team manager Abu Hanapiah.
"Today (yesterday), Hidayat was let down by the shaky platform when he
attempted the national snatch record of 130kg, which he did in Nauru."
Abu attributes the progress to centralised training. "Since 1996, the
lifters have been training fulltime at the National Sports Council and
this has been a tremendous boost.
"Before this, they used to train separately in Malacca, Rompin and Sabah
and there was no co-ordination."
Russian coach Slava Lelikov, 50, who replaced the late Armenak
Nalbandian, who passed away in April, has groomed his ace student Hidayat
"We were afraid that Nalbandian's replacement would not be able to carry
on with the programme, so we chose his student Slava, who has done a
tremendous job."
Nalbandian, described as a true professional who was able to identify
each weightlifter's strength and proper weight, was instrumental in
helping Hidayat reduce weight to compete in the 64kg category at the
Jakarta Sea Games.
Results - 69kg snatch: 1 Mohamed Hidayat 122.5kg, 2 Mohamed Rosdi 110, 3
Raefail Ibrahim 97.5; Clean and jerk: 1 Hidayat 160 (nat rec), 2 Rosdi
150, 3 Ibrahim 135; Total: 1 Hidayat 282.5, 2 Rosdi 260, 3 Ibrahim 232.5.
77kg snatch: 1 Roslimand Harun 120kg, 2 Azwandi Abullah 100, 3 Willy
Welky 95; clean and jerk: 1 Roslimand 145, 2 Azwandi 130, 3 Willy 125;
Total: 1 Roslimand 265, 2 Azwandi 230, 3 Willy 220.
85kg snatch: 1 Edmund Yeo 137.5 (nat rec), 2 Dwayne Salim 120, 3
Zulkifly Jusoh 100; clean and jerk: 1 Edmund 162.5, 2 Dwayne 135, 3
Zulkifly 125; Total: 1 Edmund 300, 2 Dwayne 255, 3 Zulkifly 255.

Three more takes total to nine


CHE Azrol, Jerry Nonong and Dominic Junior joined the list of record
breakers at the Pre-Commonwealth Games Weightlifting Championships at the
Mines Exhibition Hall in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Their lifts took the final tally to nine national records in three days,
even though they were competing among themselves and not pushed to the
Nineteen-year-old Che Azrol of Terengganu set the pace when he smashed
three of his own national records in the 105kg and below.
His lift of 122.5kg in snatch erased the two-month-old record of 120kg
but was far below the Commonwealth Championship record of 152.5kg held by
Nigel Avery of New Zealand.
He then lifted 152.5kg in the clean and jerk to beat the previous
national record by 2.5kg.
His combined effort of 275kg was better than the old mark of 265kg.
In the 94kg clean and jerk, Jerry lifted 150kg to erase Dominic's 142.5
done at the Terengganu Open in March while in the snatch, Dominic smashed
Jerry's old mark of 112.5kg with a laudable 115kg lift.
The competition in the snatch was so keen that right after Dominic
lifted 115kg, Jerry went up the stage and equalled the new record.
On Sunday, Jaya '98 trainee Rahman Ahmad rewrote two national records
and equalled the Commonwealth Championship record in the 56kg category.
In the snatch, Rahman lifted 107.5kg to smash the old record of 102.5
set by Roswadi Rashid. It equalled the Commonwealth Championship record
set by India's Thandava Muthu.
In the combined total, he lifted 237.5kg to shatter Roswadi's national
record of 227.5 and on Monday, Mohamed Hidayat and Edmund Yeo cracked two
national records.
"Competing among themselves is not good enough because there is no
pressure to lift more," said team manager Abu Hanapah.
The six national trainees - Hidayat (69kg), Rahman (56kg), Matin Guntali
(56kg), Edmond (85kg) and Kamaruzaman Jusan (62kg) - will now head for
Turkey for a training stint with a club that is run by "Pocket Hercules"
Naim Suleymanoglu.
RESULTS - 94kg snatch: 1 Jerry Nonong 115kg, 2 Dominic Junior 115 (nat
rec), 3 Sapri Latif 102.5; Clean and jerk: 1 Jerry 150 (nat rec), 2 Sapri
140, 3 Dominic 137.5; Total: 1 Jerry 265.0, 2 Dominic 252.5, 3 Sapri
105kg and below - Snatch: 1 Che Azrol 122.5kg (nat rec), 2 Zahirudin
Ismail 90kg, 3 Hoo Chee Chiang 85kg; Clean and jerk: 1 Che Azrol 152.5kg
(nat rec), 2 Zahirudin 115kg, 3 Chee Chiang 112.5kg; Total: 1 Che Azrol
275kg (nat rec), 2 Zahirudin 205kg, 3 Chee Chiang 197.5kg.
105kg and above: 1 Syed Fardoh 115kg, 2 Chan Mon Seng 117.5, 3 Sukri
Talib 105; Clean and jerk: 1 Syed 140, 2 Chan 137, 3 Sukri 120; Total: 1
Syed 255, 2 Chan 255, 3 Sukri 225.

Lelikov to do like Nalbandian


THE late Armenak Nalbandian had a close rapport with all six members of
the weightlifting squad preparing for the Commonwealth Games and his
replacement Slava Lelikov has been careful to continue with the good work.
Nalbandian, who passed away in April, had meticulously prepared the
training for the six lifters till the pre-Games at the Mines Exhibition
Hall last week where nine national records were shattered.
It is also to Nalbandian's credit that Abdul Rahman Ahmad, who had to
battle a shoulder injury the past nine months which forced him out of
March's Commonwealth Championships in Nauru, rewrote a national record
twice and placed himself as a candidate for a medal in September.
Rahman first set a national mark in the snatch event when he lifted
107.5kg to throw out Terengganu's Roswadi Rashid's old mark of 102.5. That
new mark also equalled India's Thandava Muthu's Commonwealth Championship
He then lifted 237.5kg to smash the old national record of 227.5kg set
by Roswadi.
A former Russian national coach, Nalbandian who arrived in Malaysia in
December 1996 was also responsible for Hidayat's record-breaking 172.5kg
in the clean and jerk and 300kg overall at the Pahang Open last July.
Weightlifting team manager Abu Hanapiah Ismail said Lelikov, who is also
a Russian, had continued with Nalbandian's programme till the pre-Games
and will now come up with his own programme for the Games proper.
Abu Hanapiah believes the 50-year-old Lelikov's plans will help the
lifters do well at the Commonwealth Games.
"We are not really concerned with the technical aspects as the Russians
have more or less the same technique."
According to Hanapiah, Lelikov is more of a scientist: "He is very
systematic and we are very happy with his presence. His presence will
boost the lifters' morale after the sudden demise of Nalbandian."
The Games competition will be held at the Mines Exhibition Hall, and
judging by the preparations during the Pre-Games, the volunteers are ready
for the big event.
About 100 volunteers, who are veterans in handling weightlifting,
underwent the Nadi '98 sessions and emerged more confident.