Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ranking dunia bukan jadi ukuran kejayaan - Beng Hai

SKUAD negara berdepan tugas sukar pada Piala Asia di Kuantan bulan depan.

ANDAI ranking dunia menjadi ukuran, skuad hoki negara mungkin tidak mampu melangkah ke separuh akhir Piala Asia di Kuantan pada 9 hingga 16 Mei depan.

Ini kerana, Malaysia yang berada di ranking ke-15 dunia, diundi bersama pasukan Korea Selatan (ranking ke-5) dan Jepun (11) dalam Kumpulan A manakala pengganti bagi Sri Lanka (41) yang menarik diri kelmarin, masih belum diumumkan.

Namun, itu semua tidak merisaukan jurulatih, Tai Beng Hai kerana apa yang lebih penting baginya ialah keazaman dan kesungguhan yang ada pada diri anak buahnya untuk mencatat kejayaan di hadapan peminat sendiri kelak.

"Jika berdasarkan ranking dunia, kita pasti berdepan kesukaran untuk mara ke separuh akhir kerana Korea Selatan dan Jepun berada pada kedudukan yang lebih baik daripada kita," kata Beng Hai kepada Kosmo! semalam.

"Tapi itu semua tidak merisaukan saya kerana ranking dunia hanyalah reputasi di atas kertas dan sentiasa berubah.

"Bagi saya, apa yang penting ialah prestasi dan kesungguhan pemain di atas padang. Itulah yang bakal menjadi penentu kepada kejayaan dalam sesuatu kejohanan," ujarnya lagi.

Menurut Beng Hai yang dilantik menggantikan Sarjit Singh Januari lalu, skuad negara perlu memenangi satu perlawanan sahaja pada peringkat kumpulan jika berhajat untuk melangkah ke separuh akhir.

Ketika Persekutuan Hoki Asia (AHF) masih belum mengumumkan pengganti Sri Lanka, Beng Hai mengakui anak buahnya perlu menumbangkan gergasi Asia, Korea Selatan, atau Jepun untuk meneruskan kemaraan.

"Secara logiknya selepas Sri Lanka menarik diri, kita perlu menang satu perlawanan sama ada ke atas Korea atau Jepun untuk layak.

"Korea Selatan agak kuat berbanding kita, jadi sasaran realistiknya ialah menang ke atas Jepun.

"Begitupun ini tidak bermakna kita akan beri laluan mudah kepada Korea. Kita tetap akan cuba mencipta kemenangan ke atas Korea, terutamanya selepas tahu serba sedikit corak permainan mereka ketika mengadakan perlawanan persahabatan di kelab-kelab sana," kata Beng Hai lagi.

Skuad negara tiba di Kuantan semalam untuk menjalani persiapan terakhir sebelum pemilihan 18 pemain terakhir bagi Kejohanan Piala Asia yang menawarkan slot tunggal ke Kejohanan Piala Dunia di New Delhi tahun depan.

Selain Korea Selatan dan Jepun yang menjadi halangan Malaysia dalam Kumpulan A, Kumpulan B pula menyaksikan persaingan di antara Pakistan (8), India (10), China (16) dan Bangladesh (34). -KOSMO

Chong Wei calls for team effort

Wong Mew Choo (left) and Julia Wong could spring a surprise in Guangzhou.
Wong Mew Choo (left) and Julia Wong could spring a surprise in Guangzhou.

WORLD No 1 Lee Chong Wei's target in the Sudirman Cup is to continue his unbeaten run in team events but he doesn't want the Malaysian campaign to be a one-man effort in Guangzhou on May 10-17.

Chong Wei, who didn't lose a match in the 2007 Sudirman Cup and 2008 Thomas Cup, has urged his teammates to produce their best so that Malaysia can reach the semi-finals of the mixed team event for the first time.

His experience in the 2007 Sudirman Cup was bitter-sweet as despite beating China's Olympic champion Lin Dan, his teammates fumbled and Malaysia could only finish sixth.

However, a more-balanced team will compete this time around and Chong Wei is ready to give a winning start in Malaysia's Group B matches.

Chong Wei is looking forward to beating World No 13 Park Sung Hwan in the tie against South Korea on May 10, Hong Kong's Ng Wei (May 11) and the crucial match against World No 2 Peter Gade Christensen Denmark (May 14) to fulfil his responsibility as the team leader.
"My intention is to remain unbeaten in team events but it should not be a solitary effort. I want to see my teammates giving their best so that we can reach the semi-finals," said Chong Wei yesterday.

"I will go all out to give a winning start in every tie as this will ease the pressure on my teammates and they can perform better.

"It has to be a team effort and if we fail to reach the semis, there will be no joy even if I end up unbeaten.

"Peter Gade, Sung Hwan and Ng Wei will try to put pressure on me but I have played them enough times to know what to expect."

Chong Wei also had a minor scare after pulling a back muscle in training but he is not worried that it will disrupt his preparations for the Sudirman Cup.

Chong Wei said he has continued training with the strain and is optimistic recovering completely before the competition begins in Guangzhou.

Besides Chong Wei, Malaysia's hopes of a top four finish will depend on the form of World No 3 men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and World No 1 women's doubles Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong fared poorly in their Sudirman Cup debut in 2007 where they only managed one win in three matches but their improvement of late has given hope.

Pei Tty and Eei Hui's performance will depend on how well the latter avoids injuries but with enough rest between matches in Guangzhou, they should deliver in key matches against Hong Kong and Denmark.

Women's singles is where Malaysia are hoping to serve a few surprises with both Wong Mew Choo and Julia Wong capable of doing the unexpected.


Shalin shines in Naples

Shalin finished fourth in Squad One yesterday.
Shalin finished fourth in Squad One yesterday.

SHALIN Zulkifli capped a fine performance by finishing fourth, the best among the Malaysian bowlers, in Squad One in the World Ranking Masters at the Oltremare Bowling Arena in Naples yesterday.

Shalin posted lines of 156, 229, 203, 192, 210, 223, 187, 221 for a total 1,621 pinfalls, averaging 202.62.

Shalin, who competed in the recent PBA Women's Tour, has not tasted victory for quite a while and she will be hoping to end her drought in Naples.

Her last win was the doubles gold medal with Esther Cheah at the Asian Championships last July.

Leading the pack is Germany's Tina Hulsch with an eight-game total of 1,674 followed by Sweden's Nina Flack on 1,650 and the Netherlands' Ghislaine van der Tol with 1,623.
Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, who traveled to Naples on her own accord, also produced a polished display, finishing eighth out of 23 bowlers with a 1,589 total. However, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi failed to impress when she posted a poor 1,483 to finish 19th.

Zulmazran Zulkifli and Alex Liew were still playing in the men's section at Press time.

The bowlers will play another eight games today. -- AJITPAL SINGH

Malaysia to send 12 swimmers to Singapore for Asian Youth Games


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia look set to be represented by the full swimming squad of six boys and six girls for the inaugural Asian Youth Games in Singapore from June 29-July 7.

The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) had decided earlier that only those who managed to beat the A qualifying time in the national age-group championships in Shah Alam recently would be selected.

The Asian Youth Games are for those aged between 14 and 17 years and aquatics are to be one of the nine Olympic sports contested.

However, Singapore received overwhelming entries from more than 40 countries and had to limit participation because of the lack of accommodation.

But Asum secretary Edwin Chong said they had been informed that Singapore have had a change of mind and would be providing two hotels to cater for the increased number of athletes.

“There was the B qualifying mark in place but we only listed the A mark as we were earlier told that there is a cap on the number of athletes for each sport.

“Under the A mark, we would have about seven or eight who qualified. But now, we have submitted those who qualify under the B mark as well.

“It will be up to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to do the selection soon,” he said.

The male swimmers who have qualified are Adam Lim, James Chen, Eric Chang, Ian James Barr, Lau Zheng Fong and Kevin Lim.

The girls are Heidi Loo, Christina Loh, Lai Wei Li, Hii Siew Siew, Erika Kong and Cheng Karmen.

Beijing Olympian Pandelela Rinong, Wendy Ng and Ooi Tzer Liang will be the representatives in diving.

Besides aquatics, the other eight sports are athletics, three-on-three basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, football, sailing, shooting and table tennis.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MHF caught in a fix after Sri Lanka pull out from Asia Cup

KUANTAN: Sri Lanka have withdrawn from the Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held in Kuantan from May 9-16.

Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said he was only informed of Sri Lanka’s withdrawal today.

Tengku Abdullah, who did not disclose the reasons for their withdrawal, said he had asked the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) to find a replacement for Sri Lanka.

“We want to maintain the number of teams competing in the tournament at eight but it will continue as planned although Sri Lanka’s absence will affect the fixtures which have been drawn,” he told reporters after inspecting upgrading works at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

Apart from Sri Lanka, defending champions India, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, China and Bangladesh have confirmed their participation.

Tengku Abdullah said that the national team, fresh from finishing as runners-up in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, were ready for the Asia Cup.

MHF want the team to achieve a top-four finish and earn an automatic slot to the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi. – Bernama

Malaysia start well

MALAYSIAN players didwell to win their respective qualifying group matches on the opening day of the World Individual Table Tennis Championships in Yokohama, Japan yesterday.

Shakirin Ibrahim, the national No 1 player, defeated Nepal’s Purshottam Bajracharga 11-13, 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3 in his opening Group 65 match. He plays Portugal’s Silva Andre to decide the group winner today.

Teammates Chai Kian Beng and Kho Mao Sheng also won their respective Group 16 and Group 23 opening matches with ease.

Kian Beng, the World No 767, thrashed Armenia’s Garegin Mkrtchyan 11-6, 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 while Mao Sheng beat Moldova’s Veniamin Dubrovin 11-6, 11-7, 12- 10, 11-5.

In the women’s section, Ng Sock Khim, the World No 203, packed off Kos Island’s Besire Domaniku 11-3, 11-5, 11-2, 11-8 in her Group One match.

Compatriot Chiu Soo Jinn hammered Iran’s Sahar Rahnemaihaghighi 11-3, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8 in Group 18.

The Malaysians will need to win their final group matches today in order to advance to the next stage.


Manchester Utd to play Malaysian side on July 18


PETALING JAYA: The Devils are coming!

Fans of Manchester United can expect a real red-hot treat when the World Club Cup champions take on the Malaysian Selection in a friendly at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on July 18.

The match, however, will be played at 5.30pm.

For you: FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad (left) exchanging jerseys with ProEvents managing director San Boon Wah as Manchester United relationship director Luisa d’Aprano looks on at Wisma FAM Tuesday.

FA of Malaysia (FAM) general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said it was the Red Devils who had requested for the early kick-off.

“Since the friendly will be held on a Saturday, the early kick-off will encourage outstation fans to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the match,” he said at a press conference to announce United’s trip to Malaysia.

This will be United’s fourth trip to Malaysia since 1981. They were also here in 1995 and 2001.

ProEvents International Sdn Bhd are the official organisers of the Manchester United Asia Tour 2009, which will also take the Red Devils to Indonesia, South Korea and China.

After Kuala Lumpur, United will play in Jakarta on July 20 and Seoul on July 24. They will wrap up their pre-season campaign in Hangzhou on July 26.

ProEvents managing director San Boon Wah said the Red Devils, who were scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on July 17, would parade their first team against the Malaysian Selection the next day.

The English Premier League giants will leave for Jakarta immediately after the friendly.

“United are expected to fly in early on Friday morning (July 17) ... there will be plenty of time for other promotional and meet-the-fan activities. You will be surprised with what we have in store for the fans,” said Boon Wah.

He also assured die-hard United fans that the tickets for the friendly match would be “affordable”.

“We are aware of the global ecomonic crisis. The ticket prices should be around the same as when we last brought United here in 2001,” said Boon Wah, who indicated that tickets would cost between RM50 and RM90.

Also present at the press conference was Luisa d’Aprano, the relationship director of Manchester United.


Malaysia cancel trip to US because of swine flu scare


PETALING JAYA: The swine flu outbreak has forced Malaysia to cancel plans to send senior divers to the United States for the fifth-leg of the FINA World Grand Prix.

The deadly new virus, which originated from Mexico, has now spread to the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Israel and Europe. The virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and threatens to become a pandemic.

The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) consulted the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday before deciding not to compete in next weekend’s US-leg of the competition.

Asum secretary Edwin Chong said they were heeding the call by the Malaysian authorities to refrain from travelling to certain places in the United States, Mexico and Canada, which have been affected by the deadly swine influenza.

However, diver Yeoh Ken Nee will be allowed to compete in the Canadian-leg of the Grand Prix, which begins on Friday.

“Ken Nee left for Montreal for the Canadian-leg yesterday together with coach Yang Zhuliang,” said Edwin.

“We will let him compete in the individual springboard event although we had to re-arrange their travel plans.

“The original plan was for them to stop over in Florida, US, to join the rest of the team. But now they will head straight for home after their competition ends,” said Edwin.

The others who were supposed to leave for the US-leg this weekend were Ken Nee’s partner for the 3m synchronised springboard, Rossharisham Roslan, and two Beijing Olympics women divers Leong Mun Yee and Pandelela Rinong.

Mun Yee and Pandelela were to compete in the 3m springboard and the 10m platform disciplines.

The decision means there will be no final tune-up for the senior divers ahead of the World Championships in Rome in July.

The senior divers have already qualified for the world meet and hopes are high that at least one diver will be able to make the individual final and one pair the synchronised final.

Bryan Nickson became the first Malaysian diver to reach the World Championship final in the 10m platform in Melbourne two years ago.

“There are no more international competitions scheduled but they will take part in the Mini Olympics in Bukit Jalil. However, we are also not sure of when the Mini Olympics will be held. We hope it will be before the World Championships,” said Edwin.


Piala Sudirman ikut jadual di Guangzhou

Oleh Ahmad Khawari Isa

KEJOHANAN Badminton Piala Sudirman di Guangzhou, China � dijadual daripada 10 hingga 17 Mei ini � tetap akan dilangsungkan di sebalik kebimbangan mengenai wabak selesema babi yang kini melanda.

Perkhabaran itu dinyatakan Pengurus Acara Persekutuan Badminton Dunia (BWF), M Venugopal, yang melahirkan keyakinan bahawa penganjur � Persatuan Badminton China (CBA) � sudah mengambil langkah sewajarnya.

"Setakat ini, tiada negara peserta yang melahirkan kebimbangan mengenai wabak itu. Malah semua pasukan sudahpun mengesahkan penyertaan, termasuk mengesahkan jadual ketibaan pemain masing-masing.

BWF mempunyai penuh keyakinan CBA juga sudah mengambil langkah penganjuran sewajarnya. Jika kebimbangan itu ditimbulkan sekalipun, kami yakin CBA akan mampu menanganinya dengan sempurna," katanya.

Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan, Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, semalam menasihatkan orang ramai agar tidak melakukan lawatan antarabangsa buat ketika ini, terutama ke negara yang dilanda wabak berkenaan.

Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) juga belum memikirkan kemungkinan untuk membatalkan penyertaan skuad negara ke kejohanan utama berpasukan dunia itu.

"BAM sentiasa memantau perkembangan wabak ini dan daripada apa yang dimaklumkan, belum ada larangan mengenainya dikeluarkan. Kerana itu, pada ketika ini, penyertaan skuad negara masih disahkan.

"Bagaimanapun, BAM akan sentiasa memantau perkembangan terkini dan akan mengambil keputusan terbaik, dengan meletakkan kebajikan dan kesihatan pemain sebagai kepentingan utama," kata pengurus besar badan induk itu, Kenny Goh.


Hoki Piala Asia: Sri Lanka tarik diri

TENGKU ABDULLAH (kanan) meluangkan masa meninjau persiapan di Stadium Hoki Indera Mahkota, Kuantan semalam menjelang Kejohanan Piala Asia bulan depan.

SRI LANKA menarik diri pada saat akhir daripada menyertai Kejohanan Hoki Piala Asia edisi kelapan di Kuantan pada 9 hingga 16 Mei depan.

Presiden Persekutuan Hoki Malaysia (PHM), Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah berkata, beliau baru saja dimaklumkan mengenai perkara itu semalam, namun tidak menjelaskan punca penarikan diri pasukan tersebut.

Beliau meminta Persekutuan Hoki Asia (PHA) mencari pengganti secepat mungkin agar tidak mengganggu jadual pertandingan.

Katanya, PHA memandang berat perkara tersebut kerana kerajaan Pahang sanggup menjadi tuan rumah dan berbelanja hampir RM1.3 juta untuk menaik taraf kemudahan di Stadium Hoki Wisma Belia, Kuantan selepas Dubai menarik diri daripada menganjur kejohanan itu.

"Jika boleh kita mahu lapan pasukan yang akan berentap, namun pertandingan tetap akan dijalankan walaupun tiada pasukan bagi mengganti- kan Sri Lanka, cuma ia akan mengganggu perjalanan jadual pertandingan," katanya ketika ditemui pemberita selepas melakukan tinjauan di Stadium Hoki Wisma Belia semalam.

Kejohanan itu turut disertai juara bertahan India, Korea Selatan, Pakistan, Jepun, Malaysia, China dan Bangladesh.

Mengenai kerja menaik taraf gelanggang kejohanan itu, Tengku Abdullah berkata, beliau amat berpuas hati dengan keadaan stadium berkenaan.

"Cuma ada satu dua kawasan di padang yang perlu dikemaskan lagi dan saya harap kebersihan di sini dapat ditingkatkan lagi," katanya.

Beliau berharap kerja-kerja di stadium berkenaan akan siap sepenuhnya selewat-lewatnya pada awal bulan depan.

Ditanya mengenai persiapan pasukan kebangsaan, Tengku Abdullah berkata, pemain sudah bersedia menghadapi kejohanan itu.

Katanya, PHM menyasarkan pasukan kebangsaan menduduki tempat empat terbaik supaya mendapat slot automatik ke kejohanan Piala Dunia di New Delhi, India tahun depan.


Isu Kafa: Terserah kepada FAM

"KITA serahkan kepada budi bicara FAM".

Itu komen ringkas daripada Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (gambar) ketika diminta mengulas mengenai kemelut yang menimpa Persatuan Bola Sepak Kelantan (Kafa) ekoran penggantungan daripada beraksi di Stadium Sultan Mohammad Ke-IV, lapor MUSTAPA LAKAWA.

Kelmarin, Presiden Kafa, Tan Sri Annuar Musa meminta Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) menimbang semula penggantungan itu kerana ia akan menyebabkan persatuan bukan sahaja terpaksa menanggung denda daripada FAM, malah kerugian dari segi kos pengurusan dan pengangkutan.

Menurut Annuar, rusuhan yang berlaku pada 7 April lalu bukanlah kesalahan Kafa kerana kejadian tersebut berlaku di luar stadium.

Begitupun, Shabery yang turut bersimpati dengan nasib Kafa menjelaskan bahawa segala keputusan mengenai isu itu terletak di tangan FAM.

"Buat masa ini, saya tidak mahu mencampuri keputusan FAM kerana ia melibatkan dasar persatuan. Kita serahkan kepada budi bicara persatuan itu.

"Saya juga sedar akan permasalahan yang dihadapi Kafa ekoran daripada tindakan tersebut.

"Namun, kalau boleh, kita tidak mahu insiden ini (penggantungan) menemui jalan buntu dan akhirnya menyebabkan bola sepak kehilangan penyokong," jelas Shabery ketika ditemui di pejabatnya di Putrajaya semalam.

Pada insiden 7 April lalu, arena bola sepak negara tercemar apabila penonton Kelantan bertindak merusuh dengan merosakkan kenderaan termasuk dua buah kenderaan dibakar di pekarangan stadium berkenaan.

Akibat daripada insiden itu, pasukan Kelantan yang turut dikenali dengan gelaran Red Warriors tidak dibenarkan bermain di gelanggang sendiri.

Hukuman penggantungan itu sekali gus menyebabkan Kafa kerugian ribuan ringgit kerana terpaksa menanggung kos pengurusan dan pengangkutan pemain setelah pasukan tersebut terpaksa bermain di luar Kelantan.


Perjuangan Andrew dapat pengiktirafan

ANDREW (kiri) menerima anugerah OCM Sports Goodwill Ambassador daripada Presiden MOM, Tunku Imran di Kuala Lumpur baru-baru ini.

PERJUANGAN Presiden Kelab Rekreasi Ulu Kelang (UKRC), Andrew Gopal mempertahankan pusat rekreasi dan sukan UKRC tidak sia-sia apabila dianugerahkan OCM Sports Goodwill Ambassador oleh Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) baru-baru ini.

Andrew terlibat secara langsung untuk mempertahankan kelab UKRC serta memperjuangkan isu-isu kawasan lapang untuk riadah bagi masyarakat sekitar Hulu Kelang.

Anugerah itu disampaikan oleh Presiden MOM, Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar.

Pada tahun 1999 dan 2003, perebutan tanah UKRC oleh Kerajaan Negeri Selangor dan ahli korporat bagi tujuan pembangunan banglo dan kondominium telah membuatkan Andrew tampil membantah dan memperjuangkan kawasan tersebut.

Isu perebutan tanah di tapak UKRC itu turut mendapat liputan luas daripada media elektronik dan cetak.

Pada asalnya, UKRC merupakan nama yang sinonim sebagai pusat rekreasi dan sukan kepada penduduk Hulu Kelang.

Ditubuhkan pada tahun 1957 hasil usaha penduduk, UKRC yang ketika itu merupakan sebuah kawasan lombong, telah diperbaiki sehingga menjadi sebuah padang rekreasi terbaik di Lembah Klang.

Sejak itu, pelbagai aktiviti telah dianjurkan oleh UKRC, malah padang UKRC turut menjadi tapak menggilap bakat legenda bola sepak tanah air, Allahyarham Mokhtar Dahari.


Roslinda gagal lepasi 4.35m

Oleh Azidan Nahar

Raih emas di NS dengan 4.25m, yakin layak ke Kejohanan Dunia

KEGAGALAN menyertai Kejohanan Olahraga Terbuka Thailand akibat masalah keselamatan tidak memberi kesan terhadap jaguh lompat bergalah negara, Roslinda Samsu yang melakukan lompatan setinggi 4.25 meter pada Kejohanan Terbuka Negeri Sembilan, hujung minggu lalu.

Lompatan yang memberikan pingat emas buat atlit kelahiran Kuala Nerang, Kedah itu lebih baik dari catatan 4.14m dilakukannya ketika memenangi emas pada Kejohanan Terbuka Taiwan, bulan lalu.

Namun, dia yang pertama kali cuba mengatasi ketinggian 4.35m untuk melepasi syarat ke Kejohanan Dunia, gagal melepasi palang dengan jarak yang begitu hampir, tetapi tetap yakin mampu melepasinya sedikit masa lagi.

"Ia sudah begitu hampir untuk melepasi 4.35m, secara teknikal dia sudah menunjukkan peningkatan dan saya yakin ketinggian itu berada dalam jangkauan," kata jurulatih Roslinda, Manshahar Abd Jalil.

Katanya, walaupun hanya menyertai dua kejohanan setakat ini, anak buahnya itu sudah banyak menunjukkan peningkatan dan dia kini dalam perancangan untuk menghantar Roslinda dan dua lagi atlit ke Terbuka Filipina minggu depan.

Menurutnya kejohanan di sana akan berlangsung dari 8-12 Mei tetapi dia masih belum pasti sejauh mana tahap kompetitif kejohanan itu tetapi dikhabarkan ramai antara jaguh-jaguh dari rantau ini akan menyertainya.

Roslinda, menurut Manshahar, dijangka dihantar untuk menyertai lima atau enam kejohanan bagi memberikannya ruang bagi meningkatkan prestasi seterusnya mampu mencapai ketinggian 4.35m untuk layak secara merit ke Kejohanan Dunia di Berlin, Ogos ini.

Catatan terbaik Roslinda ialah 4.40m yang juga rekod kebangsaan dilakukannya pada Kejohanan Mataro di Sepanyol pada 2006 tetapi sehingga kini, dia masih gagal menyamai catatan itu.

Bagaimanapun, Manshahar berkata, dia dalam proses perbincangan dengan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) dan Kesatuan Olahraga Amatur Malaysia (KOAM) bagi menghantar Roslinda ke Eropah.

"Jika menjadi kenyataan, dia akan ke sana pada penghujung Mei ini," katanya sambil menegaskan dia mahu Roslinda lebih menyerlah pada Kejohanan Trek dan Balapan Asia (ATF) di China pada November selain Sukan Sea serta Komanwel, tahun depan.

Siti Hopes To Bounce Back After Suspension

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) -- After missing the World Lawn Bowls championships in Warilla, Australia due to an 18-month suspension slapped by the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF), former world number one Siti Zalina Ahmad hopes to make up for that loss by qualifying for the next championships.

Siti Zalina who has since slipped to third in the world rankings, was happy that the MLBF had lifted her suspension on April 10.

"I am determined and excited to resume training and I want to recapture the world number one ranking and the title as well," she told Bernama here today.

Siti Zalina and team-mate Norhashimah Ismail were both suspended for 18 and 12 months respectively by the MLBF for indiscipline, while undergoing centralised training at the Bukit Kiara National Lawn Bowls centre on Oct 26, 2008.

She added that though it was a very tough and trying period (suspension), it did not dampen her spirit and continued to train on her own throughout her short suspension period.

The suspension also deprived Siti Zalina, a corporal in the police force, a spot in the Asia Pacific Bowling Championships that will be held at Bukit Kiara in August.

She added that her first competition upon her 'return' will be the National Lawn Bowls Pairs Championships in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on May 27 where she will be representing PDRM.

The 30-year-old believes and accepts what had happened (suspension) as destiny but assured that it would not disrupt her focus on her set goal - that of to win a world title, she said.


Asean Para Games To Feature 11 Sports, 1,500 Medals

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) -- The Asean Para Games to be hosted by Malaysia from Aug 15-19, would offer a total of 1,500 medals in 11 sports said Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF) president Datuk Zainal Abu Zarin.

Zainal said the games are being hosted in Malaysia due to Laos' inability to host the event although traditionally SEA Games hosts, organised the Games after the SEA Games.

Among the sports to feature are athletics, swimming, badminton, table tennis, powerlifting, chess, bowling, sailing, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

"Malaysia will participate in all sports contested and aim to become the overall champion and better the second place finish in Korat, Thailand, two years ago," he told Bernama, today.

In Korat, the 180-member Malaysian contingent, won 82 gold, 74 silver and 46 bronze medals to finish behind host Thailand.

Zainal added that all the sports would be held in an around Kuala Lumpur, except for sailing events which will be held at the Admiral Marina and Leisure Club in Port Dickson.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pemilihan cara sekarang sudah lapuk - Ahmad Shabery

AHMAD Shabery Cheek (bertali leher) mengambil kesempatan bergambar kenangan bersama pasukan hoki sekolah-sekolah semasa mengadakan lawatan di Stadium Hoki Tun Razak, Jalan Duta, semalam. - UTUSAN/ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE

KUALA LUMPUR - Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) mahu menggunakan pendekatan baru dalam menghasilkan atlet berpotensi tinggi dan mewujudkan impak lebih besar di peringkat antarabangsa.

Menterinya, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek berkata, pendekatan baru yang mahu dilaksanakan oleh KBS itu adalah mencari bakat-bakat baru pada usia muda oleh badan tertentu.

Katanya, pendekatan yang digunapakai ketika ini adalah kaedah lama dan tidak lagi relevan dalam mencungkil atlet berbakat negara pada masa depan.

Jelasnya, jika pemilihan atlet pelapis hanya bergantung kepada kejohanan peringkat sekolah sahaja, ia sudah ketinggalan dan ia tidak akan memperbaiki tahap pencapaian sukan Malaysia di pentas antarabangsa.

"Kita tidak mahu lagi bergantung kepada kejohanan yang dianjurkan di peringkat sekolah (menengah) sebagai medan mencungkil bakat-bakat baru.

"Pemilihan atlet negara tidak seharusnya daripada cara tersebut. Ia adalah kaedah lama dan negara pasti tidak akan mencapai perubahan jika cara ini diteruskan.

"Saya melihat bahawa perlunya ada satu badan yang bertanggungjawab mengenalpasti bakat di peringkat umur muda lagi (enam atau tujuh tahun)," katanya selepas mengadakan tinjauan di Stadium Hoki Tun Razak, dekat sini semalam.

Ahmad Shabery berkata, untuk menghasilkan atlet berprestasi tinggi dan berdaya saing di peringkat dunia, golongan tersebut perlu dibentuk dan dikawal sejak dari kecil lagi.

Sebagai contoh katanya, pemain badminton Indonesia, Taufek Hidayat sudah mula mencipta kejuaraan ketika berumur 16 tahun dan mula dibentuk sejak usia muda, katanya.

Untuk itu katanya, jika Malaysia masih mengamalkan gaya pemilihan atlet kebangsaan menerusi kejohanan peringkat sekolah, ia sudah terlambat kerana golongan tersebut sudah berusia dan sukar untuk dibentuk.

Jelasnya, KBS perlu menggunakan mekanisme baru dalam menghasilkan atlet yang lebih berdaya saing dan berpotensi tinggi.

Ditanya sama ada badan tertentu itu akan diwujudkan di bawah KBS atau pihak swasta, Ahmad Shabery berkata, satu penyelidikan terperinci akan dilakukan.

Tambahnya, dia juga akan mengadakan perbincangan yang lebih mendalam bersama Kementerian Pelajaran mengenai sistem pembelajaran untuk golongan muda yang terpilih dalam pendekatan baru KBS tersebut.-UTUSAN MALAYSIA

NSI gears towards becoming a leader

Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (right) and his deputy Datuk Razali Ibrahim (centre) check on the gymnasium facilities during their visit to the National Sports Institute yesterday. — Pic: GOH THEAN HOWE
Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (right) and his deputy Datuk Razali Ibrahim (centre) check on the gymnasium facilities during their visit to the National Sports Institute yesterday. — Pic: GOH THEAN HOWE

THE National Sports Institute (NSI) is moving towards becoming an autonomous body and it could happen within this year.

As the first step, the Sports Ministry will make amendments to its Act before tabling it in Parliament in October.

Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said once done, he expects NSI to be a leader in sports research, sports medicine and sports science in Malaysia.

"It's a good move as the institute has huge potential to be a leader in sports development.

"The institute's Act will be amended soon to allow it to operate as a separate entity," said Ahmad Shabery, who visited the NSI in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"This will allow NSI to focus on sports science and medicine without depending on other agencies. This is needed to revive the sports industry."

NSI, under the purview of the National Sports Council (NSC), provides expert sports science services and also conducts research and development.

Ahmad Shabery was taken on a tour by NSI director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz.

Ahmad Shabery was happy with the state-of-the-art facility but stressed that the institute should also focus on educating athletes about diet and nutrition.

"Most athletes, I noticed, still consume unhealthy food like nasi lemak and teh tarik. They should be educated."

"However, I should probably not blame them as even the canteens here provide unhealthy food.

"This I believe, is the reason why our athletes lose out in size and fitness," he added.


Shabery: Let’s focus more on nutrition when it comes to elite athletes

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants more emphasis to be placed on nutrition when it comes to preparing the nation’s elite athletes.

Shabery said that while the government had spent a lot of money on infrastructure and coaches, it had failed to stress on the importance of proper nutrition.

Let’s talk sports: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek meeting cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang (right), badminton coach Rashid Sidek (third from right) and former doubles star Jalani Sidek (second from right) at his office yesterday. — UU BAN LEONG / The Star

“It may be due to our culture that we crave for food like mee goreng, nasi lemak and roti canai. But if we are talking about doing well at the highest level, our athletes will have to change their dietary habits,” he said after visiting the National Sports Institute (NSI) to look at its facilities and support services yesterday.

“The concept of taste has to be changed and nutrition is very important.

“The nutritionists must also have the passion to educate the athletes on the right food to take because, ultimately, it will help them to perform better at the highest level.”

Shabery also supported the move for the NSI to be separated from the National Sports Council (NSC).

The NSI is currently helmed by director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz.

Shabery said the exercise (to split the NSI and NSC) would be completed when legislation is passed by Parliament later in the year.

“It should happen during the budget sitting in October. Sports science is increasingly gaining importance and it can even become an industry in itself,” he said.

“The knowledge from the application of the technologies involved can be utilised to benefit the private sector and the NSI can tap into this.”-THE STAR

Jelajah Malaysia deserves upgrade

Overall winner Timothy Roe (second left) of Saving & Loans with green jersey winner Anuar Manan (second right) of Malaysia, red polka dot winner Abbas Saeditanha (right) of Azad University and white jersey winner Rauf Nor Misbah of Malaysia at the end of Jelajah Malaysia on Sunday . — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN
Overall winner Timothy Roe (second left) of Saving & Loans with green jersey winner Anuar Manan (second right) of Malaysia, red polka dot winner Abbas Saeditanha (right) of Azad University and white jersey winner Rauf Nor Misbah of Malaysia at the end of Jelajah Malaysia on Sunday . — Pic: MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

THE Jelajah Malaysia, with its RM4 million budget and the hyped-up atmosphere, no longer deserves to be maintained as an UCI 2.2 grade event.

It already serves its purpose as a development event, not just for Malaysia but for the region, albeit if others seem to benefit more from it than the host country.

With a 19-year-old overall winner in Australian Timothy Roe of the Savings & Loans team, the race is already one that should become the launching pad for future talents.

Again, local cycling fans had only the green jersey for the points classification win and two stage wins delivered by the reliable Anuar Manan, and apart from that there wasn't really much to shout about from the five Malaysian teams.

At least the white jersey for Malaysian riders changed hands to a fresh talent. After two years in the hands of the seasoned Suhardi Hassan, this time 23-year-old Rauf Nor Misbah took over for what is the best achievement yet in his career.
But the general classification, despite being without the best Asian riders on the start list, showed just how much more work needs to be done to raise the overall standard of Malaysian cyclists.

Yet again, the proceedings showed an improved level of fighting ability, but this just meant some meaningless attacks for points from intermediate sprints and categorised climbs, instead of any Malaysian being a real threat to those gunning for the overall title.

The race saw two Iranian teams -- eventual team champions Tabriz Petrochemical and Azad University -- combining well to maintain a stranglehold on proceedings in the first week, before crumbling in the hands of the Australian Savings & Loans outfit on the decisive Genting stage.

The Malaysians, after many experiences of the Iranian climbing ability that has proven decisive in many overall title wins, are now looking towards the Iranian mountains to improve in this area.

It may work, but back home there needs to also be an improved level of cycling.

Malaysia this year has three other UCI 2.2 grade events -- the Tour of Negri Sembilan, the Malacca Chief Minister's Cup and the Perlis Open -- all of which run on shoestring budgets, which is the main reason for having this lowest ranking for cycling events.

If Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek meant what he said about the development of the cycling community and the importance of giving the smaller clubs in the country a chance to compete at the entry level on the international stage, then more low budget 2.2 events should be developed.

The Jelajah Malaysia, with such a budget, should no longer remain in this category simply because it is too good an event to offer the same number of ranking points as those smaller races. If there needs to be races which Malaysians can win, then the three smaller races are ideal.

With Le Tour de Langkawi already at the pinnacle of UCI Asia Tour calendar races, there has to be something between the 2.2 races in Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Perlis and that race.

Something with bigger ranking points but at a level not too high as the LTdL is, for the cream of Asian cycling to chase what is most important in the UCI Asia Tour -- individual, team and nation ranking points.

An RM285,000 total prize packet, as the Jelajah Malaysia had this time, would also be more justified with 2.1 status as was offered by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Thus, organiser 10-Speed Sdn Berhad should have just two options -- ensure the 2.2 race is maintained within a budget that is sustainable for the race, or accept the upgrading to 2.1 status for next year, which justifies the RM4 million budget.-NEW STRAITS TIMES

Azizul decides to pursue degree in sports management


PETALING JAYA: Winning a World Championships medal in Poland last month may have earned track cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang fame and fortune.

But without education, Azizul knows that his life is not complete yet.

So, the 21-year-old is ready to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in sports management.

Azizul will start attending classes at the Deakin University in Melbourne next month. This will also allow him to continue training with the rest of the elite track squad based there under coach John Beasley.

“I applied to join the university through the normal channel like everyone else. Coach Beasley also encouraged me to go for it and the university was quick to accept me,” said Azizul after meeting Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek at his office yesterday.

“My training base in Melbourne (Joe Chiabola velodrome) is about 30 minutes away by car. I don’t think there will be any problem allocating time for training.”

Azizul, who only completed secondary school education in Dungun, Terengganu, will return to Melbourne early next month after enjoying a month-long break following his exploits at the World Championships in Poland last month.

Azizul was on the verge of creating the biggest upset in World Championships cycling when he made it all the way to the sprint final before losing to Frenchman Gregory Bauge in three heats.

The double Asian champion in keirin and overall UCI Track World Cup winner said he decided to further his studies after considering what he would do once his track exploits came to an end.

“At least, I will have a proper education to fall back on when my career is over. I also want to be an example to other young people my age,”said Azizul.

Azizul also need not worry about finance as the National Sports Council (NSC) have agreed to pay for his studies.

Azizul first served notice of his immense potential on the world stage last year when he emerged as the only Asian to reach the quarter-finals in the Beijing Olympics, losing to eventual winner Sir Chris Hoy of Britain.-THE STAR

Bowlers forced to pay excess baggage fees

KUALA LUMPUR: The national elite bowlers had to pay excess baggage fees for their bowling equipment before leaving the country for Italy on Saturday.

But it could very well be worth it because the bowlers will be banking on these specially drilled bowling balls when they go for glory at the World Ranking Masters, which will begin in Naples tomorrow.

In their element: The bowlers (from left) Zulmazran Zulkifli, Alex Liew, Siti Safiyah, Shalin Zulkifli and Zandra Aziela posing outside a bowling alley in Napoli yesterday.

Malaysia will be represented by two men - Zulmazran Zulkifli and Alex Liew – and three women - Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, Shalin Zulkifli and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman.

And they will all be bowling on a new lane condition, which is being introduced in the tournament.

The bowlers, who arrived in Italy yesterday, will have to get used to the medium oiling lane patterns. Previously, they had to master only the short and long lane conditions.

With the right bowling balls, they may be able to register high scores.

Team manager Cheah Ban Cheng said the bowlers were rattled by the setback at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“It was an ordeal for the bowlers ... having to negotiate with the officers of the Malaysian Airlines to reduce the charges for the excess baggage. Finally, our extra load was reduced from 70kg to 15kg. We left after paying the fees (RM2,600),” Ban Cheng said in a press release yesterday.

He, however, said that the bowlers had calmed down after receiving a warm welcome in Naples.

“All the bowlers arrived safely. In fact, we even had a chance to test out the lanes. The bowlers have adjusted well to the environment here,” he said.

The Malaysian women stand a better chance compared to their male counterparts in the tournament as Europe and the United States have strong men bowlers in their ranks.

In the women’s competition, the main challengers for Zandra, Shalin and Siti will be Europe’s and America’s top qualifiers – Nina Flack of Sweden and Alicia Marcano of Venezuela.

It will be tougher for Zulmazran and Alex as they have prominent bowlers like Finland’s Osku Palermma, Norway’s Tore Torgersen, England’s Paul Moor and Venezuela’s Arturo Hernandez for company.

For the record, Malaysia won the women’s title through Wendy Chai and finished second in the men’s event through Zulmazran in Jakarta last year.-THE STAR

Hafiz, Beng Hong in running for Sudirman Cup spot


KUALA LUMPUR: A couple of months ago men’s singles shuttlers Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Kuan Beng Hong were going through a slump and were on the brink of being dropped from the national team.

But how their fortunes have changed since.

In the next few days, the duo are likely to be told that they will be retained in the national team. But the best part is that one of them is expected to be named for the Sudirman Cup, which will be held in Guangzhou from May 10-17.

The move is to strengthen Malaysia’s bid to reach their first-ever semi-finals in the world mixed team event. Those already confirmed for the trip to China are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Wong Mew Choo, Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty and Ng Hui Lin.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have decided to keep Hafiz and Beng Hong under their wings following the duo’s improved performances in the Indian Open and Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) in Suwon, South Korea, earlier this month.

With BAM preferring to rely on a senior player for the Sudirman Cup, youngster Tan Chun Seang will have to forget about representing Malaysia for the first time in a major tournament.

The BAM had earlier given singles chief coach Rashid Sidek the green light to name one of the elite back-up shuttlers for the Sudirman Cup.

Currently, the elite back-up shuttlers on the reserve list are Chun Seang, Hafiz and Beng Hong.

The doubles players in the reserve list are Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, Julia Wong, Vivian Hoo, Woon Khe Wei and Goh Liu Ying.

The BAM are expected to approve a 10-member team after a coaching and training committee meeting this week – either on Thursday or Friday.

Chun Seang admitted that he had probably blown away a good chance following his inconsistent performances in the last two international tournaments.

He made it to his first quarter-finals in the Indian Open after beating higher ranked players – Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam and Anup Sridhar of India.

“But in the ABC, he lost to Hong Kong’s Ng Wei in the opening round.

“The final list is not out yet but I think one of the seniors will be selected. They had better results than me,” said Chun Seang.

“I am happy that a nagging ankle injury is not bothering me any more. I promise to work even harder in training to be a better player.”

Based on the draw recently, Malaysia are in the same group with top seeds Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong in Division One. The other group comprises defending champions China, Indonesia, Japan and England.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals. For the record, Malaysia’s best results in the world mixed team event is a sixth placing in Glasgow two years ago.-THE STAR

TTAM want an improved show from paddlers

KUALA LUMPUR: A two-week training stint in China could see the Malaysian paddlers going one step better in the World Individual Table Tennis Championships in Yokohama, Japan, which starts today.

A six-member Malaysian team were based in Beijing for intensive training over the last two weeks and they only made their way to Japan on Sunday.

Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) secretary general Chan Foong Keong said they had not set any targets for the team in Japan.

“It will be difficult for our players against the world class field. China, Singapore and Taiwan have good players,” said Foong Keong before leaving for Japan on Sunday.

“For us, this tournament will be part of the players’ training for the SEA Games (in Laos in December). We hope that the training stint in China will help them to put up improved performances.”

The Malaysian team comprise three men - Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim, Kho Mao Sheng, Chai Kian Beng – and three women – Beh Lee Wei, Ng Sock Khim and Chiu Soo Jin.

Malaysia’s best-ever performance in the world meet came at the last championships in Zagreb, Croatia in 2007 when the women’s doubles pair of Lee Wei-Sock Khim reached the last 16.-THE STAR

Nicol mahu tunjuk kuasa di Cayman

Oleh Harris Rajahdin


Pentas ujian selepas berehat hampir dua bulan

IA bukan percutian semata-mata buat Nicol David yang akan berkunjung ke destinasi pelancongan, kepulauan Cayman minggu depan dalam misinya menegakkan kembali penguasaannya dalam pentas skuasy wanita dunia.

Di sana, dia akan menjadikan negara kecil di Caribbean itu sebagai pentas aksi kompetitif selepas berehat hampir dua bulan.

Sambil mengakui dirinya teruja memikirkan mengenai kunjungan pertamanya ke kepulauan yang terletak di Lautan Atlantik itu, pemain nombor satu dunia itu menyedari terdapat misi lebih penting yang perlu dilangsaikan di sana pada Terbuka Cayman pada 5-10 Mei ini.

"Saya belum pernah ke sana dan tidak sabar menimba pengalaman pertama di sana. Saya mengetahui Cayman dikenali dengan pantainya dan resort percutian indah.

"Tetapi saya tidak akan ke sana untuk bercuti semata-mata kerana terdapat sesuatu yang lebih penting iaitu untuk kembali ke rentak kemenangan pada Terbuka Cayman nanti," katanya.

Juara dunia itu yang memburu gelaran pertamanya tahun ini selepas tewas kepada Natalie Grainger pada final Terbuka Kuala Lumpur, Mac lalu berpeluang untuk membalas dendam kepada pemain Amerika Syarikat yang besar kemungkinan menjadi lawannya pada pentas akhir nanti.

Pilihan pertama Nicol, diundi bertemu pemain kelayakan pada pusingan pertama dengan pilihan keenam, Omneya Abdel Kawy menunggunya di suku akhir.

Separuh akhir bakal menyaksikannya kembali beradu dengan pilihan ketiga, Rachael Grinham yang kali terakhir menewaskannya dua tahun lalu di Manchester pada Terbuka British.

Natalie yang menghentikan rentetan tanpa kalah Nicol pada takat 53 perlawanan, diletakkan sebagai pilihan kedua dijangka berdepan pemain yang digantikannya di ranking kedua dunia, Natalie Grinham dari Australia yang jatuh satu anak tangga ke tempat ketiga, pada pusingan empat terakhir nanti.

Dua hari selepas itu, Nicol akan mengalihkan perhatiannya kepada Terbuka Texas di Plano, Dallas yang menandakan kepulangan Nicol ke Texas buat pertama kali dalam lima tahun, dengan penampilan terakhirnya pada 2005 menyaksikan pencapaian terbaiknya mara ke suku akhir.-BERITA HARIAN

Azizulhasni turut utamakan pelajaran

AHMAD Shabery (kanan) berbincang sesuatu dengan Azizulhasni di Kementerian Belia dan Sukan di Putrajaya semalam.

JAGUH lumba basikal negara, Azizulhasni Awang akan melanjutkan pelajaran pada peringkat ijazah sarjana muda dalam bidang pengurusan sukan di Universiti Deakin, Melbourne, Australia pada awal Jun depan.

Beliau berkata keputusan itu diambil bagi melengkapkan diri dengan ilmu pengetahuan sebagai persediaan pada masa depan.

"Walaupun perlu memberikan tumpuan dan 'berkayuh' di Sukan Olimpik 2012 London, saya juga perlu mencari ilmu bagi kegunaan diri sendiri," katanya kepada pemberita selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek semalam.

"Langkah melanjutkan pelajaran itu tidak akan menjejaskan latihannya di Australia kerana jarak antara universiti berkenaan dengan pusat latihan iaitu Velodrom Joe Ciavola hanya melibatkan perjalanan 20 minit sahaja," katanya.

"Saya akan cuba membahagikan masa yang seimbang antara pelajaran dan latihan kerana kedua-duanya adalah penting dan menjadi keutamaan kepada diri saya."-KOSMO

Pendekatan baru cungkil bakat

MALAYSIA akan melaksanakan pendekatan baru untuk mencungkil bakat pada usia muda dalam usaha melahirkan atlet negara bertaraf dunia.

Demikian tegas Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, semalam.

Beliau berkata, pendekatan yang digunapakai selama ini seperti melalui sistem pendidikan bagi melahirkan atlet negara dilihat kurang bersesuaian.

"Seseorang atlet seharusnya bermula di peringkat umur yang lebih awal dan fokus sukannya mestilah bersesuaian dengan bentuk badan dan sebagainya," katanya selepas mengadakan lawatan ke Stadium Hoki Tun Razak, Jalan Duta semalam.

Ahmad Shabery berkata, di sesetengah negara seperti China, pemilihan atlet dilakukan di peringkat kanak-kanak lagi dan kerana itu mereka mempunyai jumlah atlet yang besar.

"Dua sekolah sukan yang kita ada sekarang (Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil dan Sekolah Sukan Bandar Penawar) juga tidak sepatutnya memberikan tumpuan kepada semua jenis sukan," katanya.

Menurutnya, pendekatan sekolah-sekolah itu bagaimanapun mampu melahirkan atlet-atlet yang hebat seperti Datuk Lee Chong Wei (badminton), atlet lumba basikal dan memanah.

Namun, beberapa atlet lain bertaraf dunia seperti Datuk Nicol Ann David (skuasy), Shalin Zulkifli (tenpin boling) dan Nurul Huda Abdullah (renang) pula lahir daripada kaedah lain.

Ahmad Shabery berkata, satu badan akan ditubuhkan untuk mengkaji pendekatan itu dengan lebih mendalam dan ia juga akan dibawa ke mesyuarat jawatankuasa bersama Kementerian Belia dan Sukan, Kementerian Pelajaran dan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi dalam masa terdekat. -KOSMO

Akta ISN dipinda, KBS tagih sumbangan NGO

Oleh Meor Hisham Zulkifli

AHMAD Shabery bersama pasukan hoki SMK Convent (jersi oren) dan SM Sains Seri Puteri di Stadium Hoki Tun Razak semalam.

KEMENTERIAN Belia dan Sukan (KBS) akan membuat pindaan terhadap Akta Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) dalam usaha menjadikan badan itu sebagai peneraju utama pembangunan sukan negara.

Menterinya, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek berkata, banyak perkara boleh dibuat oleh ISN dalam membantu pembangunan sukan negara kerana sukan dan sains adalah bidang yang besar dan sering berkembang.

"Akta ISN perlu diubah bagi membolehkan ia bergerak sendiri sebagai sebuah badan dan tidak perlu lagi bergantung dengan badan lain," katanya selepas membuat lawatan ke ISN, Bukit Jalil, semalam.

Beliau berkata, bacaan pertama bagi pindaan akta itu akan dibentangkan di Parlimen Oktober ini dan dijangka diluluskan dalam tahun ini.

"ISN perlu melakukan perubahan bagi menghidupkan industri sukan di negara ini sehingga sampai satu tahap kerajaan tidak perlu banyak campur tangan dan mengeluarkan belanja yang besar bagi membantu pembangunan sukan negara," katanya.

Ahmad Shabery berkata beliau yakin ISN dapat menjadi penggerak kepada perubahan itu dan pihaknya sedia menerima cadangan daripada ISN dalam usaha untuk sama-sama membangunkan sukan negara.

Dalam majlis berasingan, Ahmad Shabery berkata, KBS akan mengkaji bentuk bantuan yang boleh disalurkan terhadap badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) terutama yang terbabit dalam sukan prestasi tinggi.

"Dalam bidang badminton umpamanya, kita akan memberikan sokongan yang berterusan kepada NGO selain badan induk supaya badminton mampu meraih pingat emas pertama negara di Olimpik kelak," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan wakil Nusa Mahsuri, Jalani Sidek. Turut hadir Rashid Sidek, Roslin Hashim dan Rahman Sidek serta beberapa pemain kelab berkenaan.

Ahmad Shabery berkata, kewujudan NGO seperti Nusa Mahsuri dapat membantu usaha kerajaan melahirkan generasi atlit pelapis terutama dengan rekod kelab berkenaan yang sebelum ini pernah menjalankan klinik badminton di sekolah-sekolah.

"Usaha ini selaras dengan langkah kementerian meningkatkan penyertaan massa dalam aktiviti sukan. Selepas ini, bukan saja badan induk sukan saja yang dibantu, persatuan seperti ini juga akan mendapat bantuan kerana ia turut menyumbang ke arah sukan massa.

"Nusa Mahsuri mungkin akan dapat banyak bantuan bagi menjalankan program klinik badminton kerana ia dianggap berkesan kerana sudah mempunyai ikonnya sendiri, selaras dengan usaha kementerian melahirkan lebih ramai ikon sukan." -BERITA HARIAN

Azizulhasni sambil menyelam minum air

Oleh Meor Hisham Zulkifli

Azizulhasni Awang

JAGUH berbasikal negara, Azizulhasni Awang, bertekad membuktikan kejayaan di trek mampu seiring dengan kecemerlangan dalam pendidikan apabila mula mendaftar sebagai siswazah di Universiti Deakin, Australia pada Jun ini.

Dia yang akan mengikuti pengajian jurusan perdagangan dengan pengkhususan sains sukan di universiti itu selama empat tahun, merasakan pengajiannya tidak akan menggugat prestasinya selaku atlit.

"Saya merasakan di samping berkayuh, nak isi diri juga dengan ilmu. Jadi selepas ini saya perlu pandai membahagi masa dan akan cuba menjadi teladan kepada adik-adik generasi muda mengenai kepentingan membahagi masa.

"Saya harap walaupun berjaya dalam sukan, saya juga berjaya dalam pelajaran," katanya yang turut disandarkan harapan untuk meraih pingat emas pertama negara di Olimpik dalam acara trek lumba basikal.

Dia yang diletakkan sebagai pelumba ranking nombor satu dunia menjelang saingan dunia di Poland baru-baru ini berkata, kemasukannya ke universiti itu turut mendapat dorongan daripada jurulatih, John Beasley.

"Dia menggalakkan saya memohon belajar di universiti itu dan selepas dua minggu mengemukakan permohonan, saya diterima masuk. Malah, lokasi universiti ini terletak kira-kira 20 minit dari tempat saya berlatih di Veledrom Joe Chiabola di Melbourne.

"Malah, MSN (Majlis Sukan Negara) banyak membantu saya dalam aspek ini, termasuk memberikan biasiswa untuk menampung yuran pengajian di sana," katanya selepas bertemu dengan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, di Putrajaya semalam.

Sementara itu, Ahmad Shabery berkata kementerian akan memberikan sokongan penuh dan mengucapkan selamat berjaya pada Azizul yang bakal menyambung pengajiannya di sana.

"Kita akan memberikan segala bantuan yang diperlukannya. Kita akan lihat apa lagi bantuan yang boleh disalurkan kepadanya andai ia tidak diliputi oleh MSN dan kerajaan Terengganu.

"Pada masa sama, kementerian akan turut membantu daripada segi mencari penajaan kerana kementerian merasakan tidak ada masalah, bagi atlit negara ditaja oleh mana-mana pihak untuk menyertai pertandingan.

"Pada Jelajah Malaysia yang berakhir semalam, Annuar Manan beraksi untuk Universiti Azad, Iran. Untuk atlit lain, kita tiada sebarang masalah untuk membenarkan mereka mendapat tajaaan, malah akan turut membantu mencari penaja," katanya. BERITA HARIAN

Monday, April 27, 2009

Former great Lund set to become COO of the BWF

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Danish mixed doubles king Thomas Lund is set to become the new chief operating officer (COO) of the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

It is learnt that Lund, who became one of the most widely acclaimed sports administrators in Denmark after retiring in the mid-1990s, was interviewed by the BWF executive board during the Swiss Open in March.

The other candidate vying for the post is Steve Baddeley, who is credited with charting the fortunes of English badminton in the 1980s.

If everything falls into place, Lund is expected to be based at the world body’s head office in Cheras.

Lund had earlier tried to get into the world body when he applied for the post of general manager.

The post of COO has been vacant for almost two years. Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary P. Ganga Rao had held the post briefly.

The presence of Lund is expected to lift the profile of the BWF.

If Lund gets the job, he would have come a full circle in badminton – from being a player to coaching and to holding several top administrative posts.

The former Danish national team coach also has vast knowledge in marketing, which should come in handy in promoting the sport.

During his playing days, Lund was named ‘King of the Grand Prix’ in the mixed doubles from 1990-1994. He won three All-England and two world titles with different partners.

The BWF are likely to confirm the appointment of the new COO when the council meet during the Sudirman Cup, which will be held in Guangzhou from May 10-17.

The BWF will hold their annual general meeting (AGM) on May 10.

Anuar tunaikan janji

Pelumba Tempatan Terbaik,
Muhammad Rauf Misbah.

ANUAR meraih gelaran Raja Pecut pada Kejohanan Lumba Basikal Jelajah Malaysia 2009 semalam.

PELUMBA sensasi negara, Anuar Manan telah mengotakan janjinya.

Semalam, Anuar melakar hatrik dengan meraih gelaran Raja Pecut (Jersi Hijau) pada Kejohanan Lumba Basikal Jelajah Malaysia 2009 (JM'09).

Selepas mengharumkan nama pasukan benua negara, LeTua Cycling Team dengan meraih gelaran Raja Pecut untuk dua tahun berturut-turut sebelum ini, semalam Anuar membawa keceriaan buat pasukan barunya, Azad University Continental Team.

"Pertama sekali, saya mahu mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia kerana sentiasa memberi sokongan kepada saya sejak awal hingga akhir perlumbaan ini.

"Tidak dilupakan juga pihak penganjur JM'09 (Ten Speed Events Sdn. Bhd.) kerana telah banyak menaikkan nama saya sehingga saya mencapai kejayaan seperti sekarang.

"Saya gembira kerana dapat mengekalkan Jersi Hijau selaku Raja Pecut buat tahun ketiga berturut-turut. Ini adalah detik yang cukup menggembirakan dalam karier saya," kata Anuar pada sidang media semalam.

Jika dinilai, kejayaan yang dilakar Anuar tidak dicapai dengan mudah kerana dia terpaksa mengesahkan gelaran selaku Raja Pecut pada peringkat terakhir JM'09 yang berakhir dengan acara kriterium (12 pusingan) di Dataran Merdeka semalam.

Sebelum acara kriterium, Anuar berada di tangga ketiga keseluruhan dalam pemburuan Jersi Hijau apabila dia ketinggalan lima mata di belakang pendahuluan, Mohd. Nor Rizuan Zainal daripada pasukan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.

Bagaimanapun, 10 mata yang dikutip pada zon pecutan pertama (pusingan ketiga) dan kedua (pusingan keenam) semalam membolehkan pelumba kelahiran Kuala Ibai, Terengganu itu mengumpul keseluruhan 29 mata manakala Nor Rizuan kekal dengan 24 mata.

Anuar gagal mengutip mata pada zon pecutan ketiga (pusingan kesembilan) selepas mengalami tayar pancit ketika saingan memasuki pusingan kesepuluh.

"Selain gembira dengan kejayaan meraih gelaran Raja Pecut buat tahun ketiga, saya juga berpuas hati dengan kejayaan saya memenangi dua peringkat perlumbaan pada JM'09.

"Secara keseluruhannya, pasukan saya telah memenangi empat peringkat perlumbaan tahun ini dan ia satu keputusan yang membanggakan," tambah pelumba berusia 23 tahun itu.

SEBAHAGIAN daripada pelumba meredah hujan lebat pada perlumbaan yang berlangsung di Kuala Lumpur semalam.

Mengulas mengenai sasaran utamanya selepas kejayaan pada JM'09, Anuar menjawab: "Saya mahu memberi tumpuan pada Kejohanan Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) tahun depan.

"Pada LTdL tahun ini, saya gagal mencapai keputusan yangmembanggakan. Jadi dengan kejayaan pada JM'09, ia telah membangkitkan semangat saya untuk kembali melakar kejayaan lebih gemilang pada LTdL tahun depan.

"Diharapkan saya dapat sekurang-kurangnya memenangi satu peringkat perlumbaan dan meraih Jersi Hijau pada LTdL tahun depan," kata Anuar yang mengikat kontrak dengan Azad University Continental Team sehingga hujung tahun ini.

Selain Anuar, Azad University Continental Team mempertaruhkan Raja Bukit Jelajah Indonesia, Amir Zargari pada kejohanan tahun ini.

Turut membarisi pasukan yang berpangkalan di Iran itu ialah seorang lagi pakar pecut, Hossien Nateghi selain Abbas Saeiditanha dan Hamid Shiriseysan.


Anuar Manan Is Sprint King For The Third Time

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 (Bernama) -- National rider Anuar Manan has achieved his target of donning the green jersey for the third time consecutively when he emerged as the best sprint rider in the Tour of Malaysia 2009 (JM2009) today.

With the success in adding 10 points at the Kuala Lumpur Criterium today, Anuar, 23, beat his nearest rival Mohd Nor Rizuan Zainal from the Malaysian Defence Forces (ATM) team and Mehdi Sohrabi (Iran) from the Tabriz Petrochemical team.

He amassed 29 points, followed by Mohd Nor Rizuan and Mehdi with 24 and 20 points respectively.

"I am thankful to my teammates who helped me a lot in planning my strategy to win in the two sprint zones today.

"I'm also proud that my team (Azad University Continental Team) won four stages of the race and two championship jerseys. I still have my contract until the end of the year with the team I'm representing, and may change to another team or remain with the present team," said the rider who originates from Kuala Ibai, Terengganu.

However, Anuar's target of winning the stage eight of the race today was dashed when he had a puncture with three more laps to go.

"It was quite disappointing when I could not make the sprint to win in the criterium today. After I had the puncture, my team placed their hope of winning on another sprinter from the team, Hossein Nathegi," he said.

Throughout the JM2009, Anuar had won two stages of the race, namely the fourth stage from Tanah Merah to Kuala Terengganu and stage five from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan.

Meanwhile, Hossein, 22, managed to break away from the group of 61 riders to win the 80.4km Kuala Lumpur Criterium. It was Hossein's second victory in the race.

In the battle for the white jersey, Malaysia's best rider, Muhamad Rauf Misbah beat his team captain and the champion for two years consecutively, Suhardi Hassan who was 17 seconds slower.

After completing the race today, Muhamad Rauf clocked a total of 29 hours, 52 minutes while Suhardi clocked 29 hours, 52 minutes and 41 seconds. In third place was Mohd Saufi Mat Senan who represented the Terengganu Toshiba Bike Labz team (29'55:31s).

"This is the third time I competed in the Tour of Malaysia but the first time that I won the jersey. Although I had beaten Suhardi, it was he who had helped me a lot," said Muhamad Rauf.

Iranian rider Abbas Saeditanha from the Azad University Continental team retained the King of the Mountain title by collecting 15 points after the seventh stage from Tanjung Malim to Gohtong Jaya yesterday.

The yellow jersey for the best overall rider was won by Timothy Roe from the Savings & Loan team after clocking a total of 29 hours 31 minutes and 28 seconds.

"I am ecstatic as I thought the Iranian riders would win the jersey since they are strong riders. I took part in Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2009 earlier this year but this is my first win internationally. I will definitely come again for Jelajah Malaysia in future," said Roe.

Trailing him by 24 seconds were Jai Crawford and Ghader Mizbani who were both from the Tabriz Petrochemical team who were in third placing with a total time of 29 hours 31 minutes 53 seconds.

In the competition for the best team overall, Tabriz Petrochemical from Iran became the champion with a total time of 88 hours, 37 minutes and 12 seconds. Meanwhile, another team from Iran, Azad University Continental Team and Savings & Loan, each clocked 88'46:57s and 88'58:47s respectively.

Among the local teams, LeTua won for the second time consecutively with a time of 89'27:51s.


Three Measures To Develop Cycling - Shabery

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 (Bernama) -- The Youth and Sports Ministry plans to implement three measures to develop cycling in the country.

Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said it wanted to set up cycling communities in all the states, create more cyclists of international stature and develop the bicycle industry.

"A big cycling community will help our search for new talents capable of becoming professional riders," he said after witnessing the eight leg of Jelajah Malaysia 2009 (Tour of Malaysia) at Dataran Merdeka today.

Shabery said the ministry was willing to cooperate with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) to find the best way to improve cycling.

It was also planning to build an indoor velodrome by 2011 under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP).

"This is important as we have riders with the potential to win medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games."

He said with the indoor velodrome, the riders would not have to be go overseas for training which was rather costly.


National Shooters Win Sultan Iskandar Cup, Ending 12-year Drought

KOTA TINGGI, April 26 (Bernama) -- National shooters representing the Johor Clay Target Shooting Association (JCTSA) won the 12th edition of the Sultan Iskandar Cup, ending a 12-year trophy drought.

Edward Khor, Tan Tiang Xiang and Choi Kim Mun who made up the JSTSA A-Team beat their nearest rival and runner-up, JCTSA B-Team while the third place was clinched by the SCTSA C-Team.

It was double joy when Khor won the gold medal while Tan and Choi took the silver and bronze respectively.

"We had a healthy lead from the start of this competition on Friday which contributed to this historical win," said Khor who has several years of experience competiting in various international tournaments.

More than 200 shooters from Asean countries competed in three clay target events, namely the Double Trap, Olympic Trap and Skeet, during the three-day competition.

Meanwhile, Khor lamented the absence of shooting at the Laos SEA Games in December in which Malaysia could win at least bronze medals.

"At the 2007 Korat SEA Games in Thailand, we didn't win any medal. But we are much better now and we are therefore disappointed with the exclusion of shooting at the Laos SEA Games," he said.

"However, this will not affect our motivation as we will compete extensively to further polish our skills and improve our focus," he said.


Piala FA - Selangor kecewakan Kelantan

SELANGOR menang bergaya, Kelantan pula kecewa.
Begitulah yang boleh disimpulkan kepada keputusan perlawanan akhir bola sepak Piala FA di Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil malam tadi.

Kesudahan babak drama penuh mendebarkan itu, Selangor akhirnya muncul juara selepas mencatat kemenangan 4-1 menerusi penentuan sepakan penalti setelah kedua-dua pasukan terikat 1-1 selepas berakhirnya 120 minit masa permainan.

Ia sekali gus memberikan trofi kejuaraan Piala FA kelima buat Selangor selepas mereka memenanginya pada 1991, 1997, 2001 dan 2005.

Pada penentuan sepakan penalti, empat sepakan Selangor berjaya disempurnakan Khairul Anuar Baharom, Nasriq Baharom, D. Surendran dan Safee Sali.

Bagi Kelantan, hanya sepakan kedua oleh Ahmad Ezrie Shafizie Sazali menemui sasaran manakala sepakan pertama Indra Putra Mahayuddin terkena palang dan sepakan ketiga oleh Zairul Fitree Ishak tersasar.

Suasana di stadium nyata begitu meriah dengan kehadiran seimbang penyokong kedua-dua pasukan yang dianggarkan hampir mencecah 90,000 orang.

Babak awal permainan jelas dikuasai sepenuhnya oleh Selangor dan lambungan ke belakang Safee Sali pada minit kelima nyaris memerangkap penjaga gol Kelantan, Shahrizan Ismail.

Kelantan mula mengimbangi perlawanan selepas memperoleh sepakan sudut pertama pada minit kelapan disusuli keadaan kelam-kabut di dalam kotak penalti Selangor seminit kemudian tetapi berjaya dikeluarkan kapten Selangor, Amri Yahyah.

GEMBIRA... Pemain Selangor meraikan kejayaan mereka muncul juara Piala FA.

Selangor selepas itu kembali mengasak tetapi tiada percubaan berbahaya terhasil, sebaliknya Kelantan pula mula menemui rentak sebaik mereka memberikan penjaga gol Selangor, Hamsani Ahmad sentuhan bola pertama pada minit ke-19.

Kelantan memperoleh dua peluang terbaik berturut-turut, menerusi sepakan Ahmad Ezrie Shafizie Sazali yang sedikit melewati palang pada minit ke-21 dan sepakan padu Indra Putra Mahayuddin dari luar kotak penalti pada minit ke-27 tetapi sekadar menggegar palang gol Selangor.

Namun Selangor tidak membiarkan Kelantan terus berkuasa dengan sesekali melakukan gerakan menarik dan pada minit ke-29 hantaran lintang R. Surendren dari sebelah kanan berjaya dipintas Shahrizan sebelum sempat Rudie Ramli menyambarnya.

Sepanjang babak pertama juga, para penonton dihidangkan 'aksi panas' dua bekas pemain Perak, Indra Putra Mahayuddin (Kelantan) dan Hardi Jaafar (Selangor) yang saling berkejaran dan tolak menolak sehingga memaksa pengadil, Subkhiddin Md. Salleh meleraikannya.

Kedudukan separuh masa pertama terikat 0-0.

Babak kedua bermula, peluang terbaik Kelantan hadir pada minit ke-48 tetapi Rizal Fahmi Rosid gagal menanduk tepat hantaran Badhri Radzi manakala peluang Selangor dilepaskan Safee yang gagal mendada kemas hantaran R. Surendren pada minit ke-55.

Jurulatih Selangor, K. Devan cuba menambah kekuatan pada jentera serangan mereka dengan membuat pertukaran pertama pada minit ke-57, memasukkan Amirulhadi Zainal bagi menggantikan posisi Surendren.

Permainan selepas itu semakin rancak apabila kedua-dua pasukan saling melakukan serangan di mana larian solo Khalid Jamlus dipintas Nasriq Baharom pada minit ke-65 dan percubaan Rudie diselamatkan Shahrizan dua minit kemudian.

Babak 10 minit terakhir perlawanan nyata mencemaskan buat Selangor dengan rembatan Nor Farhan Muhammad diselamatkan Hamsani pada minit ke-83 dan libasan cantik Indra Putra sedikit tersasar minit ke-88.

Terikat tanpa jaringan selepas 90 minit masa sebenar, perlawanan terpaksa diheret ke masa tambahan selama 30 minit.

Baru dua minit masa tambahan dimulakan, Kelantan akhirnya berjaya mendahului 1-0 menerusi jaringan Nor Farhan yang terlepas kawalan Razman Roslan lalu menanduk masuk hantaran lintang Badhri dari sebelah kanan.

KECEWA... Pemain Kelantan kempunan untuk merasai kejuaraan Piala FA.

Terdesak memburu gol penyamaan, Selangor melakukan dua pertukaran pada minit ke-96 dan 97 dengan memasukkan Fitri Shazwan Raduwan dan Asraruddin Putra Omar menggantikan Rudie dan Razman.

Hasilnya Selangor berjaya menyamakan kedudukan 1-1 pada minit ke-100 apabila Amri menanduk masuk hantaran lintang D. Surendran dari sebelah kanan untuk menewaskan Shahrizan.

Namun, kedudukan 1-1 yang kekal sehingga tamat 30 minit masa tambahan memaksa pemenang perlawanan ditentukan menerusi sepakan penalti.

Piala disampaikan oleh Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. Turut hadir Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim selaku Presiden FAS, Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Presiden Kafa) dan Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad (Timbalan Presiden FAM).

Jelajah Malaysia - Roe rampas Jersi Kuning

ROE (kanan) muncul pendahulu keseluruhan selepas menjuarai
perlumbaan peringkat ketujuh Jelajah Malaysia 2009 semalam.

SELEPAS empat hari gah muncul pendahulu keseluruhan Kejohanan Lumba Basikal Jelajah Malaysia 2009 (JM’09), kini Mehdi Sohrabi terpaksa menyerahkan Jersi Kuning kepada pelumba pasu- kan Savings & Loan Cycling Team, Timothy Roe.

Roe berjaya merampas Jersi Kuning daripada pelumba pasukan Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team itu selepas berjaya menjuarai peringkat ketujuh dari Tanjung Malim ke Genting Highlands semalam.

Catatan 3 jam 01 minit 21 saat yang dilakukan Roe semalam sudah cukup baginya untuk muncul pendahulu keseluruhan buat pertama kali pada kejohanan kali ini.

Tempat kedua menjadi milik Ghader Mizbani dari pasukan Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team manakala rakan sepasukan Roe, Jai Crawford menduduki tempat ketiga selepas kedua-dua pelumba itu turut mencatat masa 3’01:21s.

Bagi Roe, kejayaan berganda yang diraih itu dianggap cukup manis, apatah lagi dia kini memimpin saingan ketika perlumbaan JM’09 berbaki satu peringkat sahaja lagi.

“Ini adalah hari terbaik saya pada JM’09. Saya cukup gembira kerana berjaya menjuarai perlumbaan pada peringkat yang paling mencabar pada kejohanan ini.

“Segala-galanya berjalan dengan baik sejak awal perlumbaan lagi. Saya dan rakan sepasukan yang lain tidak banyak menghadapi masalah besar dan kami saling bekerja- sama antara satu sama lain.

“Kejayaan ini memberi petanda bahawa kami mampu memberi cabaran kepada pasukan pilihan lain,” kata pelumba kelahiran Australia itu.

Roe menambah, kejayaannya itu telah membakar sema- ngatnya untuk terus mempertahankan Jersi Kuning dalam acara kriterium (peringkat kelapan) di Dataran Merdeka hari ini.

“Bagaimanapun, saya sedar para pencabar saya pasti akan cuba untuk memburu masa terbaik pada perlumbaan esok (hari ini).

“Saya cuma berharap dapat mengekalkan kayuhan konsisten dari awal hingga tamat perlumbaan nanti,” katanya.

Crawford pula mengakui, dia agak kecewa selepas hanya menamatkan perlumbaan di tempat ketiga.

“Mungkin pada perlumbaan akan datang, saya mampu muncul juara tetapi apa yang lebih penting, pelumba dari pasukan kami menjuarai peringkat ketujuh ini,” kata

Crawford yang disebut-sebut antara pelumba pilihan yang mampu menawan Genting Highlands semalam.

Pada perlumbaan sejauh 116. 2 kilometer semalam, para pelumba terpaksa mengharungi tiga zon pecutan dan tiga zon pendakian.

Zon pecutan pertama di Batang Kali (32.5km), zon pecu- tan kedua di Serendah (45..4km) manakala zon pecu- tan ketiga di Sungai Tua (70.4km).

Zon pendakian pertama pula di Templer Park (63km), zon pendakian kedua di Batu Dam (85km) dan zon pendakian ketiga di Genting (116.2km).

Kegembiraan Anuar tidak berpanjangan

KEGEMBIRAAN yang dikecapi Anuar Manan semalam tidak kekal lama.

Kira-kira empat jam selepas ditabalkan selaku pemegang baru Jersi Hijau (Raja Pecut) pada peringkat keenam JM'09 dari Kuantan ke Bera, Anuar terpaksa akur apabila jersi yang dimena- nginya itu ditarik balik.

Semuanya gara-gara keputusan pegawai perlumbaan (komisar) yang menarik balik hukuman terhadap pelumba pasukan LeTua Cycling Team, Samai.

Terdahulu, komisar tidak mengesahkan kemenangan Samai pada zon pecutan kedua di Maran (58.6 kilometer) selepas pelumba kelahiran Indo- nesia itu didakwa menyiku Anuar.

Begitupun, selepas pengurusan LeTua Cycling Team membuat bantahan dengan mengemukakan hujah serta bukti sahih kepada pihak komisar, akhirnya Samai didapati tidak melakukan seba- rang kesalahan seperti yang didakwa.

Situasi itu menyaksikan Samai kembali diiktiraf sebagai pemenang pada zon pecutan kedua, sementara Anuar sekadar berada di tempat kedua.

Sekalipun Jersi Hijau yang dimenanginya telah ditarik balik, Anuar tidak menganggap insiden yang berlaku itu sebagai satu masalah besar buat dirinya.

Sebaliknya, dia semakin bersemangat untuk kembali mendapatkan jersi tersebut pada perlum- baan peringkat ketujuh dari Tanjung Malim ke Genting Highlands hari ini.

"Saya tidak ada masalah dengan apa yang telah berlaku dan saya terima keputusan yang dibuat komisar.

"Pada perlumbaan esok (hari ini), saya akan cuba berjuang habis-habisan dan saya yakin boleh dapat Jersi Hijau semula," kata Anuar yang menamatkan perlumbaan di tempat ke-71 semalam.

Anuar menambah, selain berusaha mengutip se- berapa banyak mata pada perlumbaan sejauh 117km hari ini, dia juga mengintai peluang untuk menduduki kedudukan terbaik dalam acara krite- rium pada peringkat kelapan di Dataran Merdeka esok.

"Dalam saingan kriterium, saya akan buat sehabis baik bagi membolehkan saya menyarung Jersi Hijau buat tahun ketiga berturut-turut," kata pelumba pasukan Azad University Continental Team itu.

Untuk rekod, Anuar berjaya memenangi gelaran Raja Pecut selama dua tahun berturut-turut sebelum ini ketika mewakili pasukan LeTua Cycling Team.

Friday, April 24, 2009

SportCheck: Push for sporting culture

Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek (centre), Razali Ibrahim (left) and Zolkples Embong watch 110m hurdler Mohd Rohaizah Jamil in training at NSC yesterday. — Pic: EFFENDY RASHID
Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek (centre), Razali Ibrahim (left) and Zolkples Embong watch 110m hurdler Mohd Rohaizah Jamil in training at NSC yesterday. — Pic: EFFENDY RASHID

SPORTS Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, after avoiding making any statements over the last two weeks, finally announced his visions for Malaysian sport yesterday.

Ahmad Shabery, addressing the national athletes at the National Sports Council for the first time since taking charge of the Sports Ministry, said his visions is to see Malaysians becoming a sporting society, national athletes winning more medals at the highest level and sport turning into an industry.

Ahmad Shabery said although his visions are not new, he wants to ensure that these three areas are developed in order to see Malaysia becoming a proud sporting nation again.

Ahmad Shabery believes creating a sporting culture is the start towards bringing sport to the forefront.

"We need to become a sporting society where every Malaysian should be focused on at least one sport, If they are not involved in any sport at all, they should not be considered Malaysians," said Ahmad Shabery.
"Everyone should be asking each other what sport they are involved in and every child is urged to specialise in at least one sport.

"The athletes should not just be focused on competing alone but striving to win medals at every level -- from the Sea Games to the Olympics. Go as high as you can and our priority will be the 2012 London Olympics.

"Sports must also become an industry as a whole and it must be viewed as a career. Our athletes should not end up jobless when they retire and if sport can turn into an industry, it will provide a career at all levels.

"Children should not aim to become doctors or engineers but should be saying that they want to be sportsmen like Lee Chong Wei or (the late Datuk) Mokhtar Dahari.

"As I have promised, I am ever willing to listen to your (athletes') views and ideas on what I need to do as a minister to ensure sports reach the highest level.

"I'm not here to make drastic changes and I will not disrupt things that are moving smoothly."

Ahmad Shabery also had a discussion with NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong and other officials, inspected the facilities in Bukit Jalil and also visited the training sessions of the archers, shooters, track and field athletes, wushu, bowling and badminton.

Ahmad Shabery and Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim also took time to play a doubles match, partnering Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat respectively at the end of their visit.


Shabery makes an impression in first visit to the NSC

KUALA LUMPUR: First impression, they say, always matters.

And the country’s new Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek certainly showed himself as a down-to-earth and hands-on Minister after his first official visit to the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil, the home of the national athletes and sports administrators, yesterday.

From his speech and his action, he showed that he had the interest of the national athletes close to his heart.

“Time and distance can be measured but not courage and determination. But that is what I see in the faces of the athletes here, and I will do all I can to help them achieve excellence for the country,” said Shabery to a thunderous applause from the national athletes and officials.

“Today, I have been given a red carpet welcome. Next time I intend to come here and listen to what the athletes have to say without having all these officials around. I am open to the athletes’ ideas and suggestions. I may even drop by and use the gymnasium here.”

Shabery also took time to visit some of the athletes in training yesterday, including those from weightlifting, archery, athletics, gymnastics, wushu and badminton.

He also shared with the athletes his three-pronged vision to strengthen Malaysian sports.

He aims to establish Malaysia as a sporting nation, to improve the nation’s medal tally in major sporting events and to turn sport into an industry.

“In future, I hope every Malaysian will be able to play at least one game. I hope many will be inspired to become like Lee Chong Wei or Nicol David or Shalin Zulkifli,” he said.

“We also want to improve our excellence in major tournaments. It is also my intention to make sport an industry. Rather than importing sporting goods from overseas, we can explore avenues to produce our very own. In future, there should be careers and job opportunities for people in sports.”

Shabery also said that he would look at successful sports models – like those in England, Australia and China – for Malaysia to emulate.

For now, Shabery plans to continue with the existing set-up in the Malaysian sport and not make changes just for the sake of changing.

Shabery has made a good start, let’s hope he will make a lasting impression.

The Star