Monday, July 14, 2014

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Prime role of a coach

Choong Hann (right) receives instructions from Morten Frost during his heyday as a player.
Choong Hann (right) receives instructions from Morten Frost during his heyday as a player.

My first coach was a lady and she made a big impression in my life!

I was 12 when I came under the charge of Ong Mei Ling at SJKC Kwong Hon in Sungai Besi. She was the school’s clerk and a former state player from Perak.

My school had a strong tradition in badminton. We had three badminton courts, the flooring was made of cement and there was nothing really fancy. At that time, it all seemed so huge and breathtaking to me.

I remember her because she was caring and a disciplinarian. I can still hear all the scoldings! She was significant in the first phase of my badminton career. Since then, I have gone through many coaches – at state and national levels.

In the national team, there were Han Jian, Morten Frost, Chen Changjie, Indra Gunawan, Misbun Sidek, Li Mao and Kwan Yoke Meng.

The role of a coach is important in an athlete’s life. Having gone through all kinds of coaches – their styles and training methods – and now being a coach, I have come to one conclusion. It’s important for an athlete to think what he can gain from his coach.

Many young aspiring athletes want something out of their coaches and tend to get frustrated when they don’t get it. Different coaches have different ways of doing things. But they all have a common goal – to make their players an achiever at the highest level.

So, it is better for us to focus on the goodness that a coach can give us.

In Han Jian, I experienced the wonderful transition from a junior to senior. I was 17 when I came under his charge. Truly, he opened up my horizon in badminton. I took in as much as I could of his techniques, strategies, physical training drills for three years. It was indeed a great transformation stage for me.

In Frost, I had the privilege of seeing the mind of a master strategist. Of course, all these will not work if there are no good communication and trust between a coach and his charges. Coaches have to play their cards right. I think the most important thing that a coach should do is to show that he cares for his players.

They need to make the players realise it, understand it, and most importantly, get them to see it. They say action speaks louder than words!
Coaches should also be fair.

A coach not only teaches an athlete the skills required to be at the top of his game. They also have the power to change an athlete’s life. It is an honourable position to be in. A coach should always try to influence his players positively, giving them the due attention and bringing out the best in them.

I also think that a coach should be creative. No one programme fits all. It is important for a coach to understand each of his player’s ability and come up with a programme to suit his charge. I have seen coaches using one programme to train all his players. It is not the right thing to do.

I am a coach now and I know it is not an easy job. You have to know and deal with emotion management as well. Sometimes, I lose my cool. I’m not proud of it and it’s not the right thing to do. Our charges do not deserve emotional abuse. Now and then, I do self evaluation to see whether I have crossed the line.

Coaches can get tired too of doing the same thing over and over again. They get worn out and lose enthusiasm. They need internal and external motivation to keep their fire burning.

I, for one, encourage the management to recognise their coaches’ efforts by giving out incentives.

These incentives and recognition alone, however, should not be the driving factor to excel for coaches.

A coach is proud when a good bond is established with his players.
A coach is happy when his charges play well and doing well as a person.
A coach sheds tears of joy when a player is able to rise above himself.
And that, to me, gives the greatest satisfaction.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Lee Chong Wei may miss Commonwealth Games 2014

National badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei may not be able to make it to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, beginning July 23, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Friday.

"I received news from the National Sports Institute that the injury sustained by Lee Chong Wei may not allow him to play in the Commonwealth games," he told reporters after distributing tithe and breaking of fast at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jias here.

As such, he said the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) should think of the best strategy to replace Lee.

"I will be a great loss to us because we are hoping for him to get one or two gold medals," he added.

Chong Wei is scheduled to play for the World Cup in Denmark from Aug 25-31 before participating in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from Sept 19 to Oct 4.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Mixed doubles worry

NATIONAL coach Rashid Sidek believes the mixed doubles gold medal will be the hardest to retain at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23-Aug 3.

Rashid, who was with squad that won four gold at the 2010 Games in New Delhi, said: “NSC (National Sports Council) has set a target of two gold medals, and we can achieve that.

“It’s not impossible to repeat the feat of 2010, but it is going to be tough to retain the mixed doubles gold.

“Chang Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing are still getting used to their partnership, so we can’t expect much.”
Pei Jing was named in the squad to replace the injured Goh Liu Ying, who is Peng Soon’s regular partner.

Liu Ying, who decided to undergo surgery on both her knees in May, has been ruled out for the rest of the year.

Malaysia have also included a scratch pair for the men’s doubles, but Rashid believes the pairing of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are good enough to retain the gold medal won by Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong at the previous edition.

“Our scratch pairs have shown great spirit, and this was clear from their display at the Thomas Cup Finals (New Delhi) last month.

“We are still testing out our men’s doubles, but I believe that V Shem-Khim Wah are our current top pair.”

Malaysia’s four gold at the 2010 Games came through World No 1 Lee Chong Wei (men’s singles), Kien Keat-Boon Heong (men’s doubles), Kien Keat-Chin Eei Hui (mixed doubles) and mixed team event. 

Suryani on the right track for Commonwealth Games

Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi is gearing up well for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi is gearing up well for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
PETALING JAYA: Shooter Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi gave herself a big boost ahead of next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The 31-year-old finished a creditable eighth in the women’s 10m air rifle in the third leg of the World Cup in Beijing.

Yesterday, the 2012 London Olympian advanced to the eight-woman final as the fourth-best qualifier with a 416.3 total behind the Chinese trio of Zhang Bin Bin (420.4), world No.1 Yang Siling (418.2) and Du Bei (416.4).

Suryani, however, failed to reproduce her form in the final. She was the first of the finalists to be eliminated after posting the lowest score of 78.6. It was nevertheless a good show by Suryani, having successfully entered her first final in four years. She fialsonished eighth, also in Beijing in 2010.

Siling shot a 211 total, a new world record, to pip Du Bei (207.9) to the gold. Bin Bin completed the Chinese dominance by clinching the bronze with 185.9 points.

Shahera Rahim Raja was Malaysia’s second-best shooter in the qualification after posting 409.5 points to finish 25th. Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim was placed 30th on 408.1.

In the men’s 10m air rifle, Muhd Ezuan Nasir Khan posted his best-ever World Cup finish by amassing 621.5 points to finish 15th.

The other Malaysians – Mohd Hadafi Jaafar (612.0) and Mohd Zubair Muhd (601.4) – were placed 37th and 49th respectively.

Siti Zalina eyeing hat-trick in Glasgow

The national lawn bowls squad after a breaking fast function in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pic by Osman Adnan

TWO years away from the sport has whetted the appetite of lawn bowler Siti Zalina Ahmad to go for a third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23-Aug 3.

Zalina’s absence was due to a run-in with the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) in 2011 and the former World No 3 only returned to the national squad after a change in the MLBF leadership last year.

The 34-year-old two-time Commonwealth Games singles gold medalist marked her return with a bronze medal at the World Cup in April against a strong field in Warilla, Australia.
Zalina said she has no regrets staying out of the limelight and believes she is in good shape to win her third gold medal after losing in the semi-finals in New Delhi four years ago.

“I don’t think about what happened in the past. I have no regrets over being away as I took the opportunity to spend time with my family,” said Zalina when met before training at the Bukit Kiara greens yesterday.

“After not playing for two years, I feel very excited to be representing the country again at a major competition.

“I am honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to try to win my third gold medal.
“This is like a comeback for me and I have a chance to make history for Malaysian lawn bowls. I should have done it in India but lost in the semi-finals and this is a second chance for me.
“Nothing is impossible and I just hope to play my best.”

In Glasgow, Zalina has been drawn with bowlers from New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Niue, Malawi and India in the singles preliminary round and she will team up with Norhashimah Ismail for the women’s pairs against Australia, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Niue in Group A.

“Playing at the World Cup was good preparation for me as most of the bowlers there will also be competing in Glasgow,” said Zalina.

“It was good to gauge my standard against them and also to check out the competition.
“I will have to watch for the bowlers from New Zealand and Norfolk Island in my group and also the defending champion from England (Natalie Melmore), Scotland and Canada in the knockout stages.”

Malaysia Tidak Mahu Lagi Jadi Pasukan Belasahan

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Julai (Bernama) -- Pasukan ragbi negara berazam untuk tidak lagi menjadi pasukan belasahan di Sukan Komanwel Glasgow, Scotland yang bermula dari 24 Julai hingga 3 Ogos ini.

Ketua jurulatih Yusli Ramli berkata berdasarkan prestasi semasa anak buahnya, beliau meletakkan sasaran pasukan untuk menduduki tempat ke-12 pasukan pada kali ini, memperbaiki kedudukan sebelum ini di tempat ke-16 pada temasya lepas.

Mengakui laluan sukar pasukan kebangsaan yang diundi dalam kumpulan C bersama tiga lagi pasukan terbaik dunia iaitu Samoa, Wales dan Papua New Guinea, Yusli berkata apa yang diharapkan agar pasukan negara dapat mengurangkan jurang skor dalam setiap perlawanan.

"Saya harap mereka akan mengaplikasikan segala latihan yang dijalankan serta apa yang dipelajari melalui beberapa perlawanan ujian dan latihan yang diadakan di Australia dan Afrika Selatan sebelum ini.

Kalau dilihat kepada pasukan dalam kumpulan C, kita pun boleh ukur kedudukan pasukan di mana cuma apa yang kita harap dapat mengurangkan jurang skor," katanya ketika ditemui selepas pengumuman senarai pemain pasukan ragbi ke Sukan Komanwel di Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) di sini Khamis.

Dalam Sukan Komanwel 2010, pasukan ragbi Samoa membelasah Malaysia 60-0.

Pada temasya kali ini, 12 atlet disenaraikan terdiri daripada tiga atlet berpengalaman iaitu Mohd Syahir Asraf Rosli selaku kapten, Mohamad Amin Jamaluddin dan Anwarul Hafiz Ahmad manakala sembilan lagi adalah atlet baru termasuk Marc Le, pemain yang pernah menyertai pasukan kelab Jepun Ricoh Black Rams.

Yusli berkata sebagai persiapan terakhir menjelang temasya Sukan Komanwel, pasukan negara akan menyertai Kejohanan Domestik 7 di Singapura dan turut mendapat jemputan perlawanan persahabatan dari pasukan Kenya dan Cook Island setiba di Glasgow nanti.

Dalam pada itu, Yusli berkata walaupun menjalani ibadat puasa di bulan Ramadan, latihan skuad ragbi negara tetap dijalankan.

"Kita menjalani latihan di padang satu jam setiap petang dan menjalani dua sesi dalam gimnasium iaitu pada hari Selasa dan Khamis selepas waktu berbuka puasa," katanya.

Ketua pasukan ragbi negara Mohd Syahir Asraf ketika ditemui berkata meskipun majoriti anggota pasukannya pemain baru tetapi mereka menunjukkan kesungguhan dan prestasi memberangsangkan sepanjang latihan dan perlawanan ujian.

"Kalau kita lihat undian kumpulan, memang kita jauh di belakang. Tapi apa yang boleh disasarkan adalah agar kita dapat kurangkan jurang skor dan perbaiki kedudukan di tangga ke-12 kali ini," katanya.

Malaysia layak secara automatik ke Sukan Komanwel dan Sukan Asia di Incheon, Korea Selatan selepas muncul enam pasukan terbaik pada kejohanan Siri Asia Tujuh Sebelah 2013 yang berlangsung sejak Jun hingga November.

Penembak Kebangsaan Gagal Menyinar Di China

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Julai (Bernama) -- Semua atlet menembak kebangsaan gagal ke pusingan seterusnya dalam Siri Kejohanan Piala Dunia Persekutuan Sukan Menembak Antarabangsa (ISSF) 2014 yang kini berlangsung di Lapang Sasar Olimpik Beijing, China.

Menurut laman sesawang ISSF, dalam acara 10m air rifle lelaki yang berlangsung pada Khamis, Muhammad Ezuan Nasir Khan muncul sebagai penembak terbaik Malaysia apabila mengumpul 621.5 mata untuk berada di kedudukan ke-15 daripada 49 yang bertanding dalam pusingan kelayakan.

Mohd Hadafi Jaafar pula sekadar di tempat ke-37 apabila hanya mengumpul 612 mata manakala Mohammad Zubair Muhammad di tangga tercorot dengan 601.4 mata.

Hanya lapan atlet terbaik layak mara ke pusingan akhir.

Acara itu dimenangi oleh penembak Rusia Nazar Louginets dengan 209.3 mata, manakala juara bertahan Yang Haoran dari China sekadar meraih perak apabila mengutip 209.1 mata dan Peter Sidi dari Hungary berpuas hati dengan pingat gangsa (187 mata).

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fernandes sells Caterham team and quits F1

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes speaks during a group news conference in Tokyo July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes speaks during a group news conference in Tokyo July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato 

LONDON (Reuters) - Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes ended an unhappy Formula One adventure on Wednesday by selling his struggling Caterham team to a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors with former driver Christijan Albers at the helm.

The team announced in a statement ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix that they would continue to race as Caterham, from their existing factory at Leafield in central England, for the immediate future.
Dutch retired driver Albers, who competed in 46 grands prix with tail-end teams between 2005 and 2007, will take over the day-to-day running of the team with the assistance of Manfredi Ravetto.

Albers replaces the departing Cyril Abiteboul, who was appointed principal by Fernandes at the end of 2012 when the AirAsia boss decided to step back and focus on other business interests.

Caterham said Romanian-born Colin Kolles, who was Albers' principal when the Dutchman drove for the Midland and Spyker teams that became Force India, has been advising the consortium.

The sale ended a costly and ultimately failed foray into motor racing for Fernandes, whose main sporting interests have increasingly become focussed on his Premier League football side Queens Park Rangers.

Fernandes has been noticeable by his absence from racetracks this year and he heralded the end of his involvement when he closed down his Twitter account last week with the words "F1 hasn't worked".

He entered Formula One in 2010 with Lotus Racing, one of three new teams that had been encouraged to join by then FIA president Max Mosley with the promise of a budget cap to level the playing field.

The budget cap never happened and success was also elusive for Fernandes, whose team changed name to Team Lotus after a legal dispute action with the carmaker of that name and then became Caterham.

In four and a half seasons they have failed to score a single point, making them the only team on the current grid still in that predicament, and this season has seen the car no more competitive.

Marussia, who came in as Virgin Racing at the same time and finished 10th and ahead of Caterham in the championship last year, picked up two points in Monaco in May.

Fernandes had warned before the season started that he was losing patience and would walk away without clear signs of improvement and his decision to sell shows that that was no empty threat.
He had also been critical of F1's failure to introduce the sweeping cost-cutting measures that smaller teams have called for, and the lack of progress at a recent meeting would not have helped.


In January, after announcing Japan's Kamui Kobayashi and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson as his drivers, he said F1 was too predictable, too expensive and not exciting enough with insufficient chances for underdogs to surprise.

Kolles, who most recently ran the now-defunct Spanish-owned HRT team, is an expert at keeping small teams afloat against the odds, while Albers spent his F1 career at minnows Minardi, Midland and then Spyker between 2005 and 2007.

Ravetto was previously at HRT with Kolles.

"We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the championship and our target now is to aim for 10th place in the 2014 championship," Albers said in the statement.

"We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin,; Editing by David Goodman and Stephen Wood)

Wee Wern hoping to avoid Nicol at all costs

Low Wee Wern (right) in a filepic taking on Nicol David during the 2013 Malaysian Open.
Low Wee Wern (right) in a filepic taking on Nicol David during the 2013 Malaysian Open.

PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Low Wee Wern has looked up to world No. 1 and compatriot Nicol David for all of her career.

But now the 23-year-old Wee Wern is hoping to avoid her fellow Penangite as much as possible in the individual event of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from July 23-Aug 3.

In the seedings for the Games released on Tuesday, defending champion Nicol is the top seed followed by world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England, world No. 4 Joelle King of New Zealand and world No. 6 Alison Waters of England.

Wee Wern, who is the world No. 7, is seeded fifth and there is a good chance that she may meet Nicol in the quarter-finals and ruin any chances of earning a medal.

“I think the seedings is really fair and expected because it’s based on the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) rankings and we have not had a tournament since the British Open in May,” said Wee Wern.

“Being seeded fifth is good for me but now I’m really just hoping to avoid Nicol in the last eight when the draw is released on July 17.

“I hope to have a favourable draw as my aim is to win a medal. I made my debut in New Delhi in 2010 and lost in the first round. This time, I hope to put up a better show,” said Wee Wern.

Wee Wern will also take part in the doubles, partnering Nicol.

Nicol-Wee Wern are seeded fourth. Massaro-Jenny Duncalf of England are the top seeds followed by Kasey Brown-Rachael Grinham of Australia and Waters-Emma Beddoes of England.

Meanwhile, Ong Beng Hee is seeded eighth in the men’s individual event while Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan-Delia Arnold are the eighth seeds in the mixed doubles.

Chong Wei calm about Lin Dan

WORLD No 1 Lee Chong Wei is unperturbed with the progress made by Lin Dan in competitions.
China’s two-time Olympic champion issued a stern warning to Chong Wei by clinching his first Super Series title this season at last week’s Australian Open in Sydney. It was also his fourth title since winning last year’s World Championships in Guangzhou.

“It is great that Lin Dan is now playing regularly. I am looking forward to a match with him,” said Chong Wei.

The China BA wants the 30-year-old Lin Dan to compete actively and it is believed that the shuttler is being groomed for the 2016 Olympics.

“My focus is on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Incheon Asian Games. I hope to return with a gold medal from Glasgow,” Chong Wei added.

Baljit puts decision to quit hockey on hold

Baljit Singh Charun (right) has been included in the Commonwealth Games squad by national coach K. Dharmaraj. — filepic
Baljit Singh Charun (right) has been included in the Commonwealth Games squad by national coach K. Dharmaraj. — filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Defender Baljit Singh Charun has decided to put his quit decision on hold after being included in the national hockey team for next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-old was left out of three tournaments this year – the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March, the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan in April and last month’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland.

Following Malaysia’s disastrous show in the World Cup, national coach K. Dharmaraj promptly included Baljit in the Games squad. Malaysia finished last among the 12 teams, losing all their six matches and conceded 26 goals.

“I featured in all the tournaments for the national team last year. Suddenly, I was not required any more this year. I thought of quitting if failed to get a place for the Commonwealth Games,” said Baljit, who has 191 international caps.

The Kuala Lumpur-born Baljit is known for his guts. He is always the first out of the line when Malaysia defend against penalty corners.

“I have injured my knee a couple of times while stopping penalty corners, but it will not stop me from doing that in Glasgow.

“I hope to put up a good show in Glasgow as I want to secure a place in the team for the Asian Games (in Incheon in September),” said Baljit, who also played in the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

For the Commonwealth Games, Malaysia will open their Group B campaign against Canada on July 26. Their other matches are against England (July 27), Trinidad and Tobago (July 29) and New Zealand (July 31).

Defending champions Australia, India, Wales, South Africa and Scotland are in Group A.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have not set any target for the team after a poor outing in the World Cup.

Another blow for Hup Wei

LEE Hup Wei’s bad luck with injuries returned to haunt him after the high jumper was ruled out of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the second consecutive major multi-sport event he will miss.
Injury also forced Hup Wei, who finished fifth in New Delhi in 2010, out of the Sea Games in Naypyidaw last December and a hip injury suffered in training recently put paid to his plans of competing in Glasgow.

Hup Wei’s misfortune comes too late for the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) to name a replacement which means only five track and field athletes will go to Scotland for the July 23-Aug 3 Games.

This will be the smallest Malaysian representation in athletics since 2002, when four athletes went to Manchester though they returned with one silver and one bronze medal through Hisham Khaironi (100m para sport) and Yuan Yufang (20km walk) respectively.

There were also fears that Yap Sean Yee, another high jumper, might have to delay her Commonwealth Games debut but MAF technical director Robert Ballard said Sean Yee has only a minor muscle spasm, having skipped the Malaysian Open in Kangar last week as a precaution.

“Hup Wei is 100 per cent out and it is too late to name a replacement as the entry deadline by name has passed,” said Ballard yesterday.

“Sean Yee, as far as we are aware, only has a minor muscle strain. This means only five athletes will be going to Glasgow and they are presently tapering off after a final few weeks of hard training.”

Besides Sean Yee, the others named for Glasgow are high jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa, pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi, hammer thrower Jackie Wong and 100m hurdler Raja Nursheena Raja Azhar.
Nauraj and Iskandar did well in Kangar with the former posting a personal best of 2.21m while the latter cleared 5.10m before opting against going for a new national record.

“Nauraj did wonderfully well and that performance will surely boost his confidence,” said Ballard. “If he can repeat that in Glasgow, he could finish in the top five.”

The athletes are not expected to win medals in Glasgow though MAF has set a target for each to reach the finals of their respective events.

Wei Feng idam final Komanwel

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia mampu meraih kemenangan satu-dua dalam acara badminton perseorangan lelaki di Sukan Komanwel 2014 Glasgow andai Chong Wei Feng (gambar) mampu beraksi cemerlang seperti Piala Thomas, Mei lalu.


Malah pemain kelahiran Alor Setar itu sendiri meletakkan sasaran mara hingga ke perlawanan akhir dan mungkin akan berlaku pertemuan sesama sendiri menentang pemain nombor satu dunia, Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

“Saya rasa tempoh tiga minggu sudah cukup untuk membuat persiapan menjelang Sukan Komanwel,” katanya pada Majlis Penyampaian Skim Hadiah Kemenangan Sukan (Shakam) skuad Piala Thomas 2014, kelmarin.

Kata Wei Feng, selepas pulang dari New Delhi, dia beraksi di Siri Super Terbuka Jepun dan Siri Super Premier Terbuka Indonesia dan terkandas di pusingan kedua pada kedua-dua kejohanan, namun langsung tidak menghalang semangatnya.

“Saya akan cuba membuatkan rakyat Malaysia gembira di Komanwel selepas diberi kepercayaan mewakili negara.

“Prestasi saya sangat baik di Piala Thomas dan saya cuba mengulanginya malah ketika di Terbuka Jepun saya berjaya menumpaskan pemain lebih bagus, Son Wan Ho dari Korea Selatan,” katanya.
Pemain nombor 17 dunia itu, mengakui dia kini cuba membina keyakinan peringkat demi peringkat.
Ditanya siapakah pencabar di Glasgow, Wei Feng berkata, dua pemain perseorangan India, Kashyap Parupalli dan K Srikanth perlu diberi perhatian.

“Pemain lain mungkin Rajiv Ouseph dari England dan juga Singapura, Derek Wong Zi Liang,” katanya yang turut perlu bersedia bagi acara beregu jika diperlukan bagi acara berpasukan.

MCA Confident Of Making The Semis In Asian Games

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) are optimistic of reaching the semifinals in the 2014 Asia Games in Incheon, South Korea which starts on Sept 19.

MCA executive secretary Clarence Selvam said the optimism was based on the national team's recent performance and achievement at the ICC World Cricket League Division Four.

Malaysia beat Singapore to emerge as the champion in the Division Four League.

Selvam said though the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has only set a quarterfinal target, the national squad was capable of pulling off a surprise or two to make the semifinals and better the quarterfinal stage finish at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, China.

"The organizers of the 2014 Asian Games are expected to release the list of participating teams on Aug 21. We will have a better picture once the list is released," he told Bernama, here today.

Meanwhile, the MCA's target for national women's cricket team that is expected to face a stiff challenge from Bangladesh and Pakistan, is to reach the quarterfinal stage.

He said 35 players have been identified to undergo training before the number is reduced to 15 in the final phase.

"The OCM has given MCA until the end of the month to submit the final list of players...," said Selvam.

In the 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou, the men's and women's teams managed to reach the quarterfinal stage.

Kriket Intai Tiket Separuh Akhir Pada Sukan Asia 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, 2 Julai (Bernama) -- Persatuan Kriket Malaysia (MCA) optimis dengan kemampuan skuad lelaki negara untuk melangkah ke peringkat separuh akhir pada Sukan Asia 2014 di Incheon, Korea Selatan, bermula 19 Sept ini.

Setiausaha Eksekutifnya, V. Clarence Selvam berkata, keyakinan itu adalah bersandarkan persembahan cemerlang pasukan itu yang muncul juara Divisyen Empat dalam Liga Dunia ICC dengan mengalahkan tuan rumah, Singapura, baru-baru ini.

Beliau berkata walaupun Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) meletakkan sasaran suku akhir kepada skuad tersebut, namun beliau yakin mereka mampu melakar kejutan dan mara sehingga ke peringkat separuh akhir, sekali gus memperbaiki pencapaian suku akhir yang dicatat pada edisi 2010 di Guangzhou, China.

"Penganjur Sukan Asia 2014 dijangka mengeluarkan senarai akhir negara yang bertanding pada 21 Ogos ini dan dari situ kita dapat melihat negara mana yang bakal memberikan cabaran sengit kepada pasukan kita," katanya kepada Bernama di sini Rabu.

Selvam berkata bagaimanapun mereka hanya meletakkan sasaran suku akhir kepada skuad wanita negara yang dijangka menerima tentangan sengit daripada beberapa negara lain seperti Bangladesh dan Pakistan.

Beliau berkata pihak persatuan telah mengenal pasti senarai awal 35 pemain yang bakal menggalas cabaran negara pada temasya sukan empat tahun sekali itu.

"Saya difahamkan, MOM memberi tempoh sehingga akhir bulan ini kepada kita untuk memberikan senarai akhir ke Sukan Asia...Setakat ini, kita sudah mengenal pasti senarai 35 pemain sebelum dipendekkan kepada 15 pemain sahaja," kata Selvam.

Untuk rekod, skuad lelaki dan wanita negara negara masing-masing sekadar mara ke peringkat suku akhir menerusi penyertaan sulung pada edisi 2010.

Dalam pada itu, Selvam berharap skuad lelaki negara dapat mempamerkan persembahan cemerlang pada Divisyen Tiga Liga Dunia ICC yang bermula 26 Okt ini, dan turut melibatkan lima negara lain -- Nepal, Amerika Syarikat, Bermuda, Singapura dan Uganda selaku tuan rumah.

Skuad itu perlu sekurang-kurangnya mara ke Divisyen Satu bagi mencerahkan peluang mereka beraksi pada Kejohanan Piala Dunia ICC 2019.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

No Individual Or Third Party Appointed To Enroll Students For Sports Schools - Education Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 (Bernama) -- The Education Ministry had never appointed any individual or third party to enroll students for sports schools in the country.

According to a statement from the office of the Education Ministry director-general today, the ministry did not appoint anyone to either enroll students nor charge a fee for such enrollment.

"The Ministry will like to clarify that students are offered places in sports schools based on their achievement, recommendations and merit at their respective schools and selected by a Selection Panel for Sports Schools," said the statement.

The statement said the ministry viewed the action of some irresponsible individuals who used the names of ministry officials seriously.

The statement said two police reports had been lodged involving such matters.

Chong Wei says M'sia can repeat New Delhi Gold medal haul in Glasgow Commonwealth Games

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 (Bernama) -- National badminton star Datuk Lee Chong Wei is confident that Malaysia can repeat the four-gold medal feat in New Delhi when shuttlers compete in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Scotland from July 23 to Aug 3.

Chong Wei said the players need to put up a competitive performance although they are not expected to face a major challenge against participating Commonwealth countries.

"Four years ago in New Delhi, the national team produced the best result, so I hope we can repeat a similar feat, if not better in Scotland. I have seen an improvement in the performance of our mixed doubles and men's doubles.

"They have a good chance of winning gold, including the women's singles," he said when met at Kafe Atlet, National Sports Council, here tonight.

Earlier, the Thomas Cup squad players received incentives of RM8,000 each for reaching the final of the Thomas Cup, from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Apart from Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat, Tan Boon Heong, Hoon Thien How, Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem, Lim Khim Wah and Chan Peng Soon were on the list of recipients.