Thursday, March 05, 2015

Nicol falters in Windy City final to Raneem


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian squash queen Nicol David's bid for an 80th professional title went up in smoke after she was outclassed by world No.2 Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the final of the US$150,000 (RM534,000) Windy City Open.

The world No.1 Nicol who did not drop a single set en route to the final found the 26-year-old Raneem too hot to handle as she went down 16-14, 10-12, 7-11, 7-11 in Chicago on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Nicol was made to work extremely hard in covering all corners but lucky to take the first set as Raneem commited 10 errors compared to nine winners.

The Egyptian who won the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in January however drastically reduced her error count in the second set and managed to level the match by taking the set 12-10.
That gave Raneem all the confidence she needed and duly took control of the match as Nicol started to show signs of fatigue.

In the fourth, Raneem had 10-6 match ball lead, an eerily similar situation to the World Championship last year which Nicol came back to win.

But there was no repeat of that feat as Nicol could only save one match ball before slamming the ball into the tin to hand Raneem her second title of the year.

The win means Raneem will improve her head-to-head record with Nicol to four wins from 21 meetings and inch closer to Nicol's No.1 spot in the world.

Skuasy: Nicol Kecundang Di Final Terbuka Windy City


KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Mac (Bernama) -- Pemain nombor satu dunia dari Malaysia, Datuk Nicol Ann David, tewas pada perlawanan akhir Terbuka Windy City 2015 semalam, sekali gus memusnahkan harapannya untu meraih gelaran sulung kejohanan berkenaan.

Nicol tumpas kepada pemain Mesir, Raneem El Weleity 16-14, 10-12, 7-11 dan 7-11 dalam pertarungan 57 minit di University Club of Chicago, Chicago, Amerika Syarikat.

Ini kali kedua bagi kedua-dua pemain bersaing di peringkat akhir selepas Terbuka Cleveland Classic pada 3 Feb yang menjadi medan Nicol memenangi kejohanan pertama bagi 2015.

"Saya berasa begitu gembira dengan kemenangan ini. Ia bukan kejohanan yang mudah bagi saya, dan pujian harus diberi kepada Nicol. Dia bermain sangat baik tetapi saya berbangga dapat meneruskan dan menamatkan perlawanan ini," kata Raneem mengenai kemenangannya yang dipetik laman sesawang www.squashsite.co.uk.

Menurut laman sesawang itu, set pertama berlangsung dalam keadaan sengit mata demi mata sehinggalah Raneem mendahului 10-8 pada suatu ketika tetapi Nicol berjaya menguasai permainan bagi mencatat kemenangan 16-14.

Dalam set berikutnya, Raneem sekali lagi mendahului tetapi kali ini dia menang dengan 12-10.

Pada set ketiga pemain Mesir itu sentiasa mendahului dan menamatkannya dengan 11-7.

Nicol berhempas pulas pada set keempat dan di satu peringkat mendahului permainan namun Raneem berjaya mengetepikan saingan dengan 11-7 untuk meraih gelaran juara.

Nicol Slips At Final Hurdle

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's world number one Datuk Nicol Ann David lost in the final of the 2015 Windy City Open on Wednesday, shattering her bid to clinch her maiden title in this tournament.

Nicol went down to Egypt's Raneem El Weleily in the 57-minute encounter with 16-14, 10-12, 7-11 and 7-11, held at the University Club of Chicago, Chicago, United States.

It was the second time that the two players met in a final this year after the Cleveland Classic on Feb 3, where Nicol celebrated her first win in 2015.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to win this. It has not been an easy tournament for me, and all credit to Nicol. She played an amazing match but I'm glad I was able to push on and finish of this time," Raneem said of her victory as quoted in the squash website, www.squashsite.co.uk.

According to the website, the first set went point for point until Raneem led 10-8, but Nicol managed to hold firm the game and sealed it with 16-14.

In the next set, Raneem once again took the lead and managed to finish it off with 12-10.

The Egyptian led throughout the third set by winning it 11-7.

Nicol fought hard in the fourth set and leading the game at one point but Raneem pulled away again and sealed the game with 11-7 to win the championship.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Singles misery complete with Mohd Arif’s exit in All-England qualifiers


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s challenge in the All-England men’s singles event is over even before the tournament proper started.

On Tuesday, 25-year-old Mohd Arif Abdul Latif went down fighting to German Open runner-up Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia 21-18, 15-21, 18-21 in a 59-minute first round match of the qualifying tournament at Birmingham.

Arif was the sole representative in the tournament following the withdrawals of Chong Wei Feng and Zulfadli Zulkiffli.

Wei Feng withdrew because of a leg injury while reigning national champion Zulfadli pulled out because of viral fever.

With Arif’s exit, Malaysia will not have a men’s singles representative in the tournament proper of the prestigious event for the first time in four decades.

In the women’s singles, Malaysia’s independent shuttler Payee Lim Peiy Yee collapsed with a 14-21, 8-21 defeat to England’s Fontaine Mica Chapman in the first round of the qualifiers.

In the mixed doubles, Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing have been promoted to the main draw and will take on Kim Gi-jung-Chan Shin-seung of South Korea in the first round.

The other Malaysians to open their campaign on Wednesday are top men’s doubles shuttlers Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and women’s doubles shuttlers Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo and Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho.

Six Riders To Lead TSG's Charge In LTdL 2015


KUALA TERENGGANU, March 3 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu Professional Cycling (TSG) team today named six riders to lead the team's challenge in the Le Tour de Langkawi 2015 (LTdL 2015).

The LTdL 2015 which starts on Sunday (March 8) and ends on March 15, would see TSG represented by Mohd Harrif Salleh, Anuar Manan, Muhammad Adiq Hussaini Othman, Mohd Zamri Salleh, Mohd Saiful Anuar Aziz and Singapore import Goh Choon Huat.

Zamri Salleh who has been in sensational form recently has been given the task to lead the team by TSG coach Sebastien Duclos from France.

The announcement was made by Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman when launching the team, here Tuesday.

Organised by Human Voyage Sdn Bhd, the 20th edition of LTdL is set to cover more than 1,000km over eight stages featuring again as one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour calendar.

Twenty-two teams have confirmed their participation comprising four world tour teams, seven professional continental teams, ten continental teams and one national team.

Award, Inspiration For Me To Excel - Wee Sheng


PUTRAJAYA, March 3 (Bernama) -- Swimmer Welson Sim Wee Sheng, 18 who was crowned Malaysian Schools Sports Council's (MSSM) Sportsman of the Year, said the award would further inspire him to excel in his sport.

The Bukit Jalil Sports School student said the award will be a tonic for him to remain motivated and continue to push himself to the limit, in search of excellence and success, both at home and international stage.

"This will be a stepping stone for me to follow in the footsteps of past National swimmers who have brought so much glory and success to the country," said the swimmer who won three gold medals at the ASEAN Schools and 17th SUKMA after receiving the award from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in Putrajaya, Tuesday.

The MSSM-Milo Awards held Tuesday saw 12 individuals in various categories receive their awards from Muhyiddin.

Diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri, 16, who was crowned Sportswoman of the Year was also hopeful of moving up the ladder and emulate the success of National divers.

BAM Terima Tajaan Victor Bernilai RM60 Juta

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Mac (Bernama) -- Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) hari ini menerima tajaan berjumlah RM60 juta daripada syarikat pembekal peralatan sukan, Victor dari Taiwan untuk tempoh enam tahun.

Presiden BAM Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff berkata syarikat tersebut kini menjadi penaja utama bagi membekalkan peralatan sukan kepada pemain badan induk badminton negara itu, menggantikan Sunrise Yonex yang telah menjadi penaja utama BAM selama 15 tahun, sebelum ini.

Tengku Mahaleel berkata Victor adalah syarikat pembekal peralatan sukan badminton dunia yang menggunakan teknologi terkini untuk produknya.

"Victor akan memberi peralatan sukan kepada pemain badminton di bawah BAM, selain itu penajaan tersebut dapat memperkukuhkan kewangan BAM bagi melancarkan program pembangunan badminton.

"Kita menyahut saranan Menteri Belia dan Sukan (Khairy Jamaluddin) supaya persatuan sukan lebih bersifat berdikari dalam mencari penajaan supaya tidak bergantung sepenuhnya kepada kerajaan," katanya kepada pemberita di sini.

Terdahulu, Tengku Mahaleel menandatangani kontrak penajaan dengan Pengerusi Victor, Chen Den-Li di Stadium Juara Bukit Kiara, di sini hari ini.

Sementara itu, Pengarah Urusan Victor (Malaysia) Datuk Alex Ong berkata beliau yakin penajaan tersebut dapat membantu BAM dalam melahirkan lebih ramai pemain berbakat untuk mengembalikan kegemilangan sukan badminton negara.

"Pihak kami berharap BAM dapat melahirkan lebih ramai pemain berbakat besar seperti Datuk Lee Chong Wei terutamanya dalam mencapai sasaran meraih pingat emas pertama Sukan Olimpik dan kejuaraan dunia pada masa akan datang.

"Kami menyediakan peralatan sukan berteknologi terkini dan buktinya pemain badminton bertaraf dunia dari Korea Selatan turut menggunakan peralatan produk kami dalam meningkatkan prestasi mereka dalam badminton," kata Alex.

Syarikat tersebut adalah penaja skuad badminton Korea Selatan pada 2008 dan membantu pasukan berkenaan meraih kejuaraan Piala Sudirman 2009, Piala Uber 2010 dan Piala Thomas 2012 serta meraih pingat emas menerusi Lee Yong Dae-Lee Hyo-jung pada Sukan Olimpik Beijing 2008.

Victor ditubuhkan pada 1968 dan telah berkembang daripada kilang membuat bulu tangkis, kini berjaya menembusi pasaran dunia dengan produk berteknologi terkini seperti raket badminton, gelanggang, pakaian, kasut dan aksesori lain.

Kes Doping Chong Wei: BAM Tunggu Maklum Balas BWF

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Mac (Bernama) -- Tarikh bagi panel mendengar kes doping jaguh badminton negara Datuk Lee Chong Wei mungkin diketahui dalam minggu ini, kata Setiausaha Kehormat Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), Ng Chin Cai.

Ng berkata badan induk sukan badminton itu masih menunggu maklum balas daripada Persekutuan Badminton Dunia (BWF).

"Peguam Mike Morgan di United Kingdom telah selesai membuat 'persiapan akhir' berkenaan bukti bagi panel pendengaran itu. Beliau akan berhubung dengan pihak BWF mengenai tarikh itu.

"Mungkin dalam minggu ini kita akan dapat maklumat tentang tarikh pendengaran oleh panel itu nanti. Kami tak pasti di mana panel pendengaran itu akan dibuat," kata Ng ketika ditemui pemberita di Stadium Juara, Bukit Kiara, Selasa.

Chong Wei kini digantung sementara oleh BWF selepas didapati positif menggunakan bahan terlarang 'dexamethasone' ketika beraksi dalam Kejohanan Dunia di Copenhagen, Denmark Ogos tahun lepas.