Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Agong To Tee-off In Inter-Varsity Golf Tourney

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin heads a list of dignitaries who will take part in an Inter-Varsity Golf tournament at Sungai Long Golf Resort, near here on July 7.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Alumni Honorary secretary Mohd Lilansah Idris said former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Melaka Yang DiPertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, Higher Education minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and Works minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor are among others in the list.

The tournament, organised by the UTM Alumni (PAUTM), would also comprise 80 former students of Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia, he said.

Mohd Lilansah said each university is allowed to field 16 golfers and they would be divided into groups of 4 and play for the challenge trophy that was won by the UPM Alumni last year.

He added that this year, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia (UiTM) and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIA) were also invited to participate.


Olympic Council To Finalise Calendar Changes

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will finalise proposed changes to its competitions calendar which include re-scheduling its flagship event, Asian Games, to a five-year cycle, instead of the current four years at its 28th General Assembly in Singapore on Friday.

The OCA Sports Committee, at its meeting in the island republic on Monday, proposed that the Asian Games be held in 2019 -- a year before the Summer Olympic Games -- instead of the traditional two years before the Olympics.

According to the OCA website, the proposed changes include the merging of the Asian Indoor Games and the Asian Martial Arts Games into one event, held every four years.

This would leave the OCA with five events, as opposed to six in the current schedule.

According to the website, the final approval of the changes could only be given by the General Assembly, which meets on July 3.

With events already pencilled through to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, the new calendar would take effect from 2016, according to the website.

Sports committee chairman Wei Jizhong said, the new cycle would alleviate the logistical burden on the OCA's 45 national olympic committees and result in only one multi-sports event per year -- except in the year of an Asian Winter Games, when there would be two.

In general, the OCA would try and restrict one sport to one game but in special circumstances such as beach volleyball, the same sport could be played in two different games, he said.

"Beginning 2016, we will use the new cycle, following studies and discussions among committee members, and with the OCA technical department.

"This proposal will go to the Executive Board and in general, we accept, with some comments. We will say the Sports Committee agreed in principle with all these proposals, regarding the distribution of sports and the cycle," he added.

The OCA will hold three events this year, namely the first Asian Youth Games in Singapore, first Asian Martial Arts Games in Thailand and the third Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.

The proposed new cycle, including International Olympic Committee events, would be as follows:

2011: Asian Winter Games (Astana-Almaty, Kazakhstan).

2012: Olympic Games (London), Asian Beach Games (Haiyang, China).

2013: Asian Youth Games (Incheon, South Korea), Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (Doha, Qatar).

2014: Youth Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games, Asian Games (Incheon, South Korea).

2015: Asian Beach Games (to be decided).

2016: Olympic Games; Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (TBD).

2017: Asian Winter Games (TBD), Asian Youth Games (TBD).

2018: Youth Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games; Asian Beach Games (TBD).

2019: Asian Games (TBD).

2020: Olympic Games, Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (TBD).

The two OCA events next year will be the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November and the second Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman, in December.


Tiger Lee

Chong Wei's new aggression is a plus

Monday, June 29th, 2009 06:22:00

A MINOR back injury might have provided Lee Chong Wei with the answer to overcome the stumbling block that is Lin Dan in the World Championship in six week’s time.

Lee Chong Wei

STILL ON TOP: Chong Wei won his match despite not being 100 per cent fit — BERNAMApic

Since injuring his back in the first round of the RM425,000 Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold 2009, the world No 1 has become more aggressive on the court as he wants to finish off his opponents as quickly as possible.

It is this new style which could prove to be Chong Wei’s special weapon as he seeks his first world title and he knows his nemesis, Lin Dan, will still be the favourite.

“I suffered the injury on Wednesday and ever since then, I have been undergoing physiotherapy. It could be a blessing in disguise as I had to play more aggressively as I could not afford to spend too much time on the court,” said Chong Wei, whose best effort in the World Championships came in 2005 when he won a bronze medal.

“I’m determined to enter this year’s World Championship final and if I can, would love to win the title. Lin Dan is still my main threat but I can’t take anyone else for granted as that would be foolish.”

Asked if he will continue with his new style, which saw him crush all his opponents in straight games, Chong Wei just smiled and said: “I can’t reveal that now. I don’t normally attack too much, but I think it is quite an effective weapon to have.”

Yesterday’s win also made up for his shock defeat to Chen Long at the India Open in March when he was suffering from food poisoning and it also marked the first time Chong Wei has won back-to-back international titles.

He won the Indonesia Open last week. Lin Dan, who defeated Chong Wei in last year’s Beijing Olympics, may have dropped to No 3 in the world rankings, but he still remains the player to beat.

Chong Wei’s coach Datuk Misbun Sidek said his protégé is on track for Hyderabad, saying: “Chong Wei showed that despite not being 100 per cent fit, he can still win matches. This will boost his confidence for the World Championships. We have six weeks to prepare for Hyderabad and I’m confident he will be in tip top condition.”

Chong Wei took home US$9,000 (RM31,800) while Chen Long, who upset second seed Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia in the first round, walked away with US$4,560 (RM16,100) for finishing second.

On The Ball: BAM must ensure coaching talent leaves a legacy

IF there is one thing about the BA of Malaysia (BAM) that we have to admire, it has to be its ability to hire the best when it comes to coaching talent.

Former world champion Hendrawan of Indonesia is the latest big name coach to be hired and he will surely have an impact on Malaysian badminton.

The only question is how much?

BAM has, since the 1980s, been bringing in high profile coaches and their contributions to the national team have been immense but that is not where the problem lies in Malaysian badminton.

As seen in the recent Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold, the country is seriously lacking in talent below the national team.
If China are bold enough to expose players like men's singles finalist Chen Long and women's singles Wang Shixian, Malaysia had to field their best to ensure there would be returns in what is basically a second grade tournament.

No doubt, badminton has consistently delivered medals for Malaysia at the world stage but there can be no denying that it has been a mere trickle considering the nation's history in the sport.

This is why questions are already being asked about life after Lee Chong Wei.

Sure, he is in the form of his life and if he doesn't fumble, the World Championships title is within reach in August but what about the other singles players in the national squad?

For that matter, what exactly can we hope for from the impressively named men's singles back-up elite players?

The best performer from this batch was Tan Chun Seang but his campaign ended in the quarter-finals. Chun Seang is 22 but lost to Chen Long, who is two years younger.

What is really alarming is that after Chong Wei, Malaysia's best performer in the men's singles was 32-year-old Wong Choong Hann, and he is no longer with the national squad.

The situation in the men's doubles, women's singles and women's doubles is pretty much the same and the fact that Wong Mew Choo lost to China's Wang Xin, who had to go through a qualifying round to play in the tournament proper, shows how serious the situation is.

So BAM, as it basks in the glory of having lured yet another high profile coach into its stable, must ensure that Hendrawan's talents are utilised to the maximum.

In fact, this should apply to all coaches in the BAM stable.

Currently, most of the nation's future players are based in Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) but what BAM needs to do is increase the pool in the states.

BAM has to accept that the players in BJSS are not necessarily the future of Malaysian badminton and it should send its coaches, no matter how busy their schedule, to conduct training sessions and share knowledge with state-level coaches.

Badminton is not in the alarming state that football is but we can never be sure and seeing as BAM still has the ability to lure top quality coaches to our shores, it has to make sure that their talent is not wasted.


Misbun: Chong Wei must learn to say no to some outside activities

PETALING JAYA: The next few weeks will be crucial to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei as he steps up his preparations for the world championships, which will be held in Hyderabad from Aug 10-16.

And coach Misbun Sidek hopes that Chong Wei will politely say no to some invitations for outside activities that could distract his focus on training.

The Penangite has been invited by many to attend their functions and talks. And Misbun said that it was normal for a player of Chong Wei’s reputation to be in demand.

“He has to say no to some people sometimes in a nice way. It’s not easy for him to do this because he is an icon now.

“People may misconstrue ‘no’ as arrogance,” said Misbun.

“But if it is said politely, people will understand. It is important for Chong Wei to devote his time to his preparations for the world championships.”

Chong Wei will compete in the championships as the top seed and Misbun said that it was important for him to handle his emotions well.

“Being tagged as a favourite in the world championships can do good and also harm to a player. It is important to stay calm through it all,” he said.

On Sunday, Chong Wei won his fourth Open title this year at the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru after successes in the Super Series tournaments in Malaysia, Switzerland and Indonesia.

Cycling: Virus causing races to go off track

THE much awaited triple treat in the national cycling week next month has been severely hampered by fears over the spread of the Infuenza A (H1N1) virus.
Of the three, only the Perlis Open on July 28-30 will remain as a race with a majority of international entries.

The Tour of Negri Sembilan, while still on the UCI Asia Tour calendar as a 2.2 grade event, will feature local teams, with a limited number of international entries.

The Malacca Chief Minister's Cup on July 20-21 has been taken off the UCI Asia Tour calendar and will take place as a national race.

Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said concerns over the spread of the virus had taken its toll on the events.
"The Perlis Open has already confirmed a number of foreign teams, and arrangements have already been made. So, there was no turning back for that race, thus it will go ahead with international entries," said Naim.

"Even so, we trust the control measures taken at our airports and health departments to curb the spread of the virus.

"Teams will come knowing that they have to adhere to strict checks at the airport and they will be subject to quarantine immediately if they show symptoms of the virus, at any time."

The H1N1 virus has already seen Malaysia's withdrawal from the Asian Youth Games in Singapore, which officially began yesterday.

A number of withdrawals from overseas competitions are expected to follow suit.

With measures to curb the spread of the virus increasing by the day, MNCF will also soon consider the country's representation in the Asian Championships in Samarinda, Indonesia on Aug 12-17.


Beng Hai: Difficult to meet MHF’s target

KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Tai Beng Hai readily admits that it will be no easy task to meet the Malaysian Hockey Federation’s (MHF) target to win the Champions Challenge II tournament, which will be held in Dublin from July 6-12.

He said that Malaysia had not won any international tournaments of note other than the SEA Games and the target added pressure on the players.

“We realise that this is expected of us since the world rankings put us as the second seeds. We have to take one step at a time and go forward,” he said.

In the eight-team tournament, Malaysia will open their campaign in Group B against Austria on July 6. Their other group matches are against France (July 7) and Russia (July 9). Group A comprises Japan, Chile, Poland and Ireland.

The Japanese, who are ranked two rungs above Malaysia at No. 14 in the world, are the top seeds.

The top two teams from each group qualify for the crossover semi-finals, which will be played on July 11. The final is slated for July 12.

“It will not be easy. We have to first ensure that we get to the semi-finals. For many of the players, it will be a new experience to start as favourites,” said Beng Hai.

“We beat Japan 4-1 in the Asia Cup but we cannot get carried away with this result. I am sure the other teams like France and Ireland will also be among the contenders.”

The team left for Ireland on Sunday night and they will have two friendly matches against the hosts ahead of the tournament.

The Champions Challenge II is a new tournament under the International Hockey Federation (FIH) calendar of events. It offers ranking points and the winners will gain promotion to the Champions Challenge next year.

For Malaysia, raking in higher ranking points is important as it will help in their seedings for the World Cup qualifying tournaments in November.

Malaysia are among 18 teams vying for places in the 2010 World Cup Finals in India next year from three qualifying tournaments.

Hockey: MHF dismisses speculation over next general manager

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) is looking for a general manager to put its house in order, and this has put paid to whispers that a former international has been hired, and will start tomorrow..

"There is no truth to speculation that we have already hired a former international as MHF general manager. In fact, the only thing that was discussed in our recent meeting was to place an advertisement in the newspapers inviting suitable candidates to apply," said MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.

It had been widely speculated that the former international, who represented Malaysia in the World Cup, has received the blessing of MHF top guns and was only waiting for an official letter from the National Sports Council.

"The MHF would like to invite interested candidates, including former internationals, who have a degree to apply for the position. An added advantage will be if the person has experience in management, planning and a financial background."

The last general manager of the MHF was K. Paramasivam, whose contract was not extended by the NSC after it expired at the end of 2007.
Meanwhile, the national hockey team have arrived in Dublin, Ireland, to get acclimatised for the Champions Challenge II on July 6-12.

Malaysia are in Group B with Austria, France and Russia. Chile, Ireland, Japan and Poland are in Group A.

Malaysia, ranked 16th in the world, have never won a gold medal outside the Sea Games, and will be looking to break the duck and finish tops in Ireland.

The gold medallists will be promoted to Champions Challenge I, and only then can Malaysia start their campaign to break into the top-10 bracket, as targeted by MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.


Pusat Sukan Paralimpik Di Kampung Pandan

PUTRAJAYA, 29 Jun (Bernama) -- Pusat Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik bernilai RM40 juta akan dibina bersebelahan Kompleks Sukan Kampung Pandan di Kuala Lumpur dan dijangka siap dalam tempoh dua tahun lagi, kata Menteri Belia dan Sukan Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Beliau berkata pusat tersebut yang dibina mengikut keperluan golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) akan membolehkan atlet golongan tersebut membuat latihan dan persediaan rapi bagi menghadapi temasya tempatan dan antarabangsa.

"Pusat tersebut merupakan sumbangan dan pengiktirafan kerajaan dalam memajukan sukan paralimpik di negara ini," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Seminar Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik Prestasi Tinggi di sini Isnin.

Pusat itu akan mengandungi blok pentadbiran, blok asrama bagi 300 orang, gelanggang berbumbung yang menempatkan kolam renang serta gelanggang sukan, lapangan memanah dan kemudahan infrastruktur yang lain, katanya.

Mengenai seminar tersebut, Shabery berkata seminar julung kali itu diadakan untuk meningkatkan kerjasama pelbagai agensi yang terlibat secara langsung dengan golongan OKU dan membentuk struktur pembangunan sukan paralimpik yang sistematik dengan hala tuju yang jelas.

"Sukan paralimpik perlu diperhebatkan dengan meningkatkan penglibatan golongan OKU dan menggilap bakat mereka bagi menjadikan sukan paralimpik satu keistimewaan," katanya.

Dalam perkembangan lain, Shabery berkata beliau akan membawa isu atlet bertanding di luar negara ketika penularan wabak influenza A(H1N1) sekarang, ke Kabinet.


Shalin ada kelebihan di Las Vegas

Oleh Harris Rajahdin

Terbabit dalam sirkit pro jadi bekalan ke Kejohanan Dunia

PENGALAMAN beraksi dalam sirkit profesional tahun lalu, mampu memberi kelebihan buat Shalin Zulkifli untuk mengharungi Kejohanan Bowling Wanita Dunia di Las Vegas mulai 24 Julai hingga 2 Ogos ini.

Dengan dirinya adalah pemain pro tunggal negara, harapan tinggi diletakkan kepada bahu Shalin untuk menangani saingan pasukan Amerika Syarikat yang membariskan semua pemain profesional, buat pertama kali dibenarkan dalam acara ini.

“Pengalaman saya beraksi dalam saingan profesional akan membantu saya dalam kejohanan ini memandangkan ia adalah kali pertama pemain profesional dibenarkan untuk menyertainya,” katanya.

Shalin, 31, melihat penampilannya di kancah profesional sebagai banyak membantunya berkembang sebagai pemain. Namun, dia kini dalam keadaan tertanya-tanya sama ada mampu meneruskan pembabitannya tahun ini berikutan permohonan bantuan kewangan masih belum diluluskan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN).

“Tahun lalu, MSN memberikan RM70,000 bagi membiayai pembabitan saya di sana. Jumlah itu adalah untuk menampung kos penerbangan, penginapan dan penyertaan.

“Tahun ini saya meminta RM100,000 memandangkan saya akan menyertai lebih banyak kejohanan kali ini,” katanya.

Keadaannya dirumitkan berikutan pihaknya melepaskan hak milik pusat bowling yang diasaskannya sebelum ini, Pin Junction, Mutiara Damansara kepada ayah saudaranya awal tahun ini.

Najmee, Azian juara basikal kebangsaan

KUALA LUMPUR - Wan Mohammed Najmee Wan Mohammed dan Nor Azian Alias dinobat sebagai juara lelaki dan wanita selepas masing-masing mengungguli Kejohanan Lumba Basikal Lebuh Raya Kebangsaan di Melaka, kelmarin.

Paling mengejutkan adalah kejayaan Najmee yang mengetepikan saingan nama-nama besar seperti Anuar Manan dan Suhardi Hassan.

Pada perlumbaan sejauh 154.7 itu, Najmee yang mewakili Kuala Lumpur mencatat masa 3 jam 51min.51s.

Dia meninggalkan dua pelumba LeTua, Mohd. Hafiz Rosli di tempat kedua dan Mohd. Razif Mohd. Salleh, ketiga.

Anuar (Pahang) yang dianggap pilihan untuk muncul juara hanya sekadar mampu menduduki tempat kelima di belakang juara bertahan, Muhammad Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Polis).

Suhardi yang mewakili Kuala Lumpur pula berkedudukan lebih jauh di belakang iaitu di tempat ke-13.

"Kejayaan Najmee ini meletakkan dirinya kini bergelar pelumba ranking No. 1 negara dan akan memakai jersi putih dalam mana-mana jelajah bertaraf antarabangsa," kata Presiden Persekutuan Kebangsaan Berbasikal Malaysia (PKBM), Abu Samah Wahab.

Sementara itu, Nor Azian mempertahankan kejuaraan bahagian wanita walaupun dicabar hebat hingga ke garisan penamat pada perlumbaan sejauh 96km itu.

Pelumba yang mewakili Johor itu mencatat masa 2 jam 49 min:34s untuk meninggalkan pelumba Selangor, Nurul Ahmar Badeuzzaman satu saat di belakang di tempat kedua manakala pelumba Kedah Masziyaton Mohd. Radzi, ketiga.


Sasaran Kata: Lawak bola sepak profesional negara

Bersama Norbakti Alias

Tiada idea 'jual' sukan ini kepada penaja, balik-balik kerajaan negeri

APA sudah jadi dengan bola sepak profesional tempatan. Sana sini kedengaran pasukan negeri mahupun kelab dibayangi masalah kewangan.

Hampir setiap tahun sejak liga profesional yang diperkenalkan pada 1994, masalah pemain tak dibayar gaji bulanan dan tiada caruman Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) kerap dibangkitkan.

Antara negeri yang dilanda masalah kewangan adalah Sarawak, Pahang, Perlis serta Melaka dan terbaru, kelab UPB-MyTeam yang mengambil satu langkah ke depan dengan memohon untuk menarik diri daripada saingan Piala Malaysia musim ini.

Mengapa selepas lebih daripada 10 tahun liga profesional diperkenalkan, masalah seperti ini masih berlaku?

Sebenarnya, ia tidak memerlukan pemikir agung untuk mengesan masalah ini. Apa gunanya liga profesional jika terlalu ramai pegawai di persatuan negeri masih amatur.

Apakah sumbangan mereka dalam menjana pendapatan untuk persatuan negeri selain menagih dana daripada kerajaan negeri? Sikap pegawai persatuan negeri juga agak melucukan apabila menagih pemain pulang berkhidmat untuk negeri kelahiran, sesuatu yang cukup pelik ketika tawaran wang pasti ukuran utama dalam kancah profesional.

Tapi, itulah nada yang akan didendangkan persatuan negeri setiap tahun. Ada juga negeri berbelanja dengan tidak mengukur badan sendiri. Ini belum lagi termasuk tindakan 'bayaran tambahan bawah meja' untuk memikat pemain ketika Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) mengehadkan gaji maksimum RM8,000 sebulan sebelum ini.

Itulah bola sepak profesional Malaysia. Selagi tiada pegawai profesional menguruskan aliran wang tahunan dengan mengambil kira tajaan dan pendapatan lain, selagi itulah masalah seperti ini akan kita dengar. Apa lagi dengan sikap mahukan kerajaan negeri menghulur bantuan setiap kali tersepit.

Bagi penulis, masalah kali ini nampak sudah serius apabila bekas Timbalan Presiden FAM sendiri, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah turut mencadangkan Liga Malaysia kembali ke era Semi Pro sebagai langkah drastik menyelamatkan bola sepak negara.

Apa tidaknya, semakin jelas kini persatuan negeri tidak mampu menanggung kos menguruskan pasukan dan dengan kembali ke era Semi Pro, yang diperkenalkan pada 1989, pemain masih punya majikan lain untuk membayar gaji bulanan.

Kenyataan Tengku Abdullah itu hadir kira-kira 14 bulan selepas ayahandanya, Sultan Ahmad Shah yang juga Presiden FAM, bertegas bola sepak Malaysia tidak akan berundur ke era Semi Pro selepas timbul cadangan sebegitu.

Bagi penulis, apa sahaja perubahan tidak akan ke mana selagi mentaliti pegawai persatuan negeri masih di takuk lama.

Sudah masanya persatuan negeri mewujudkan cabang komersial atau anak syarikat, untuk mencari peluang menjana kewangan yang turut berperanan menguruskan pasukan negeri.

Dengan adanya cabang komersial diuruskan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO), persatuan negeri boleh melepaskan tanggungjawab kepadanya untuk mencari penaja serta mendapatkan pemain, pastinya dengan persetujuan jurulatih, mengikut peruntukan yang ada.

Tapi persatuan negeri harus serius dengan cara begini, dan bukannya sekadar melantik CEO yang bekerja mengikut cara lama yang tetap menyandarkan kepada penaja sedia ada dan kerajaan negeri.

Sebaliknya, CEO dilantik harus orang yang sanggup meneroka ruang dan peluang baru dalam memperkukuhkan sumber kewangan syarikat.

Bola sepak negara memerlukan pendekatan baru bukan saja kepada skuad negara tetapi juga persatuan negeri dalam mengembalikan kegemilangan sukan itu.

Cara lapuk dengan pegawai berjiwa amatur yang bertopengkan tugas sukarela sudah ketinggalan zaman. Sikap mahu duduk di kerusi persatuan negeri semata-mata untuk dapat anugerah daripada kerajaan negeri, tanpa ada idea membangunkan bola sepak, hanya akan memberi kesan buruk kepada sukan itu.

Jangan salahkan pemain sahaja apabila mengaitkan isu kejatuhan bola sepak negara tapi pegawai yang ada, sama ada di FAM mahupun di persatuan negeri wajar turut mencerminkan diri dan sama-sama harus berani bertanggungjawab.

MSN beri kelonggaran kepada KOAM

HASRAT Kesatuan Olahraga Amatur Malaysia (KOAM) menghantar atlitnya ke Kejohanan Dunia di Berlin, Jerman di sebalik penularan wabak Influenza A (H1N1), akhirnya mendapat restu Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN).

Pemangku Ketua Pengarah MSN, Abdul Jalil Abdullah berkata secara dasarnya MSN tidak menghalang atlit untuk menyertai mana-mana kejohanan luar negara ketika kes wabak selesema babi semakin serius kecuali ke negara berisiko tinggi seperti Amerika Syarikat.

"Dalam kes KOAM, MSN sedia memberi pelepasan jika atlit olahraga mahu ke Jerman. MSN tidak mahu menghalang atlit daripada bertanding di peringkat antarabangsa," katanya.

KOAM sebelum ini bertegas untuk menghantar atlitnya ke Jerman dan akan mencari penaja sendiri sekiranya MSN tidak membenarkan atlit tempatan ke luar negara atas alasan keselamatan akibat wabak tersebut.

Timbalan Presiden KOAM, Karim Ibrahim sebelum ini berkata Kejohanan Dunia dari 15 hingga 23 Ogos penting untuk disertai bagi mengelakkan atlit negara disenarai hitam akibat menarik diri daripada kejohanan berkenaan.

Abdul Jalil berkata dengan persetujuan MSN itu, perbelanjaan atlit negara ke Jerman akan ditanggung MSN.

Sebagai rekod, sehingga kini tiada atlit negara layak ke Kejohanan Dunia di Jerman itu secara merit.

Abdul Jalil berkata kekeliruan mengenai larangan ke luar negara mungkin timbul selepas Kementerian Belia dan Sukan pada Jumaat lalu membatalkan penyertaan kontinjen Malaysia ke Sukan Belia Asia yang berlangsung di Singapura yang bermula semalam.

Pembatalan itu, katanya, selaras dengan arahan Kementerian Pelajaran yang tidak membenarkan pelajar sekolah daripada menyertai sebarang kejohanan luar negara berikutan penularan wabak selesema babi.

Majoriti daripada 79 atlit yang sepatutnya ke Singapura terdiri daripada pelajar Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil yang terletak di bawah bidang kuasa Kementerian Pelajaran. - Bernama

H1N1: KBS bertindak bawa ke kabinet

PUTRAJAYA - Kecewa dengan apa yang berlaku, Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek bertindak membawa isu pertelagahan berhubung wabak selesema babi atau influenza A (H1N1) antara empat kementerian ke kabinet tidak lama lagi.

Kementerian yang dimaksudkan adalah Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS), Kementerian Kesihatan, Kementerian Pelajaran dan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi.

Sambil mengakui ada perbezaan pandangan dan masalah penyelarasan dalam membuat keputusan, Ahmad Shabery mahu perkara ini dapat diselesaikan segera agar atlet negara tidak menjadi mangsa.

"Saya akan bawa masalah ini untuk mendapat perhatian kabinet supaya selepas ini akan ada pelarasan dalam membuat keputusan.

"Memang ada pandangan berbeza antara empat kementerian ini dalam membuat keputusan berhubung penyertaan atlet elit dan pelapis negara ke kejohanan di luar negara," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian selepas merasmikan Seminar Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik Prestasi Tinggi Malaysia di sini, semalam.

Penyertaan atlet negara menjadi caca merba sejak kebelakangan ini berikutan wabak selesema babi yang melanda dunia ketika ini.

Sehingga ini dua penyertaan kontinjen negara terpaksa dibatalkan pada saat akhir iaitu ke Sukan Universiti Dunia di Serbia dan terbaru Sukan Remaja Asia di Singapura.

Ia berlaku disebabkan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi dan Kementerian Pelajaran mengeluarkan arahan tidak membenarkan mereka mengambil bahagian.

Sedangkan Kementerian Kesihatan dan KBS pula tidak mempunyai masalah untuk memberi lampu hijau kepada dua kontinjen negara asalkan bukan ke negara yang berisiko tinggi.

Dalam hal ini, timbul persoalan tentang arahan kementerian mana yang mahu dipatuhi dan didengar?

Siapa pula yang akan menanggung kerugiannya selepas belanja besar dikeluarkan untuk melatih atlet negara, memberi vaksin, mengadakan pemilihan dan sebagainya?

Tiadanya penyelarasan dalam membuat keputusan menyebabkan atlet negara yang telah melakukan persiapan berbulan-bulan menjadi mangsa perbezaan pandangan empat kementerian ini.


Paralimpik dapat kemudahan

Ahmad Shabery Cheek (kanan) menunjukkan angka 43, simbolik menjelang Sukan Paralimpik ASEAN di Putrajaya, semalam. Turut kelihatan, Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Mohd. Yasin Salleh (tengah) dan pemangku Ketua Pengarah MSN, A. Jalil Abdullah.

PUTRAJAYA - Sukan Paralimpik akan mempunyai pusat pembangunan mereka sendiri yang serba canggih dan memenuhi keperluan atlet orang kurang upaya (OKU) bernilai RM40 juta.

Ketika mengumumkannya, Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek berkata, ia bertujuan mengiktiraf sumbangan atlet paralimpik dengan menyediakan kemudahan terbaik untuk mereka.

"Pusat pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik berhampiran Kompleks Sukan Kg. Pandan itu nanti apabila siap nanti, boleh dianggap model yang terbaik di Asia Tenggara.

"Ia memiliki semua kemudahan yang mesra atlet paralimpik di negara ini serta kelengkapannya yang serba canggih seperti asrama dan pelbagai gelanggang untuk OKU," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian selepas merasmikan Seminar Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik Prestasi Tinggi Malaysia di sini, semalam.

Sehingga ini katanya, kerja-kerja konsultan dan lakaran bangunan sudah siap dilaksanakan dan hanya menunggu kebenaran daripada Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) untuk meluluskannya.

Sekiranya semuanya berjalan lancar kata beliau, Pusat Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik itu akan siap dua tahun dari sekarang.

"Pembinaan pusat yang boleh dianggap cukup sempurna itu merupakan satu lagi langkah ke depan buat atlet paralimpik negara," katanya.

Mengenai seminar pembangunan sukan paralimpik yang julung-julung kali diadakan, Ahmad Shabery berkata, ia sebagai antara persiapan untuk menghadapi Sukan Para-ASEAN di Kuala Lumpur, Ogos ini.

"Kita bukan sahaja mahukan publisiti tetapi ingin mewujudkan kesedaran di kalangan rakyat negara ini untuk bersama-sama menjadi sukarelawan bagi temasya sukan tersebut," tegasnya.


RM40j untuk tingkat sukan paralimpik

Oleh Rosnadiah Rosli

KEMENTERIAN Belia dan Sukan dijangka memulakan projek pembinaan sebuah Pusat Pembangunan Paralimpik di Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur bernilai RM40 juta bagi meningkatkan mutu sukan paralimpik di Malaysia, pada September ini.

Menterinya, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, berkata pembinaan pusat yang pertama seumpamanya di Malaysia itu, kini dalam peringkat akhir aspek pelannya.

"Pusat ini lengkap dengan pelbagai kemudahan termasuk kolam renang, lapangan memanah, gimnasium dan gelanggang, dijangka siap dalam dua tahun lagi.

"Ini adalah inisiatif kementerian dalam memberi keutamaan terhadap sukan paralimpik yang sering dijadikan sekadar sukan sampingan," katanya selepas merasmikan Seminar Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik Prestasi Tinggi, semalam.

Pusat Sukan OKU siap dalam tempoh dua tahun

AHMAD SHABERY yakin dengan perancangan yang diatur untuk kemudahan golongan OKU.

PUSAT Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik bernilai RM40 juta akan dibina bersebelahan Kompleks Sukan Kampung Pandan di Kuala Lumpur.

Ia dijangka siap dalam tempoh dua tahun, demikian jelas Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek semalam.

Beliau berkata, pusat tersebut yang dibina mengikut keperluan golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) akan membolehkan atlet golongan tersebut membuat latihan dan persediaan rapi bagi menghadapi temasya sukan tempatan dan antarabangsa.

"Pusat tersebut merupakan sumbangan dan pengiktirafan kerajaan dalam memajukan sukan paralimpik di negara ini," katanya selepas merasmikan Seminar Pembangunan Sukan Paralimpik Prestasi Tinggi di ibu negara semalam.

Pusat itu akan mengandungi blok pentadbiran, blok asrama untuk 300 orang, gelanggang berbumbung yang menempatkan kolam renang serta gelanggang sukan, lapangan memanah dan kemudahan infrastruktur yang lain.

Mengenai seminar tersebut, Shabery berkata aktiviti yang julung kali diadakan itu untuk akan meningkatkan kerjasama pelbagai agensi yang terlibat secara langsung dengan golongan OKU dan membentuk struktur pembangunan sukan paralimpik yang sistematik dengan hala tuju yang jelas.

"Sukan paralimpik perlu diperhebatkan dengan meningkatkan penglibatan golongan OKU dan menggilap bakat mereka bagi menjadikan sukan paralimpik satu keistimewaan," katanya.


Anugerah pencetus semangat Safuan

SAFUAN (kanan) dan Li Jane dinobatkan selaku Olahragawan dan
Olahragawati Perak bagi tahun 2008.

"ANUGERAH ini menaikkan semangat saya untuk terus bekerja keras bagi mempertahankan kedudukan sebagai Pemain No.1 Dunia."

Begitu azam baru pemain boling padang negara, Safuan Said setelah diumumkan sebagai Olahragawan Negeri Perak bagi tahun 2008 di Ipoh malam kelmarin.

Sebelum ini, Safuan turut memenangi anugerah tersebut pada tahun 2003 dan 2006 lalu.

Safuan yang menduduki takhta No. 1 dunia sejak tahun 2006 bertekad untuk menggandakan latihannya bagi mengekalkan prestasinya sesuai dengan statusnya sebagai pemain No. 1 dunia.

"Pemain dari England, Australia dan New Zealand sedang mengintai peluang untuk merampas kedudukan tersebut," jelasnya yang kini sedang giat menjalani latihan sebagai persediaan menghadapi Kejohanan Boling Padang Asia Pacifik di Kuala Lumpur tidak lama lagi.

Selain Safuan, pemain badminton negara, Koo Kien Keat turut dicalonkan untuk anugerah tersebut.

Safuan dipilih memenangi anugerah tersebut atas pencapaiannya merangkul pingat emas acara perseorangan pada Kejohanan Piala Dunia di Sydney, Australia, Kejohanan Dunia di New Zealand dan Kejohanan Boling Padang Asia di Shenzhen, China tahun lalu.

Kejayaan Sin Li Jane yang membawa pulang dua pingat emas dan tiga perak daripada Kejohanan Boling Tenpin Boling Komanwel IV di Belfast, Ireland Utara tahun lalu membolehkannya dipilih sebagai Olahragawati Perak bagi tahun 2008.

Turut dicalonkan untuk anugerah tersebut ialah pemain badminton negara, Wong Pei Tty dan pemain boling padang, Nur Fidrah Noh.

Sementara itu, atlet lompat kijang berbakat, Muhammad Hakimi Ismail dan jaguh lompat jauh negara, Noor Amira Mohamad Nafiah diumumkan sebagai Olahragawan dan Olahragawati Harapan 2008.

Bekas pemain boling padang kebangsaan, Sazeli Sani dipilih sebagai Jurulatih Terbaik.

Anugerah Jasamu Dikenang pula diberikan kepada bekas jurulatih olahraga, Miau Tong Hoi atas sumbangannya kepada Perak sejak tahun 1957 lalu.

Semua anugerah tersebut disampaikan oleh Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesenian, Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan negeri Perak, Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Pembatalan ke AYG tak jejas program atlit pelapis

Oleh Meor Hisham Zulkifli

PROGRAM untuk atlit pelapis tidak terjejas walaupun terpaksa menarik diri daripada Sukan Remaja Asia (AYG) di Singapura yang bermula hari ini akibat penularan wabak Influenza A (H1N1).

Pengarah Cawangan Pelapis Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN), Jefri Ngadirin, berkata program latihan dan pembangunan atlit tetap diteruskan kerana masih banyak kejohanan tempatan dianjurkan termasuk Karnival Atlit Pelapis pada Julai ini.

"Pembatalan ke kejohanan ini tidak menjejaskan keseluruhan program pembangunan kecuali atlit ini tidak mendapat pendedahan di peringkat serantau. Kami cuma tidak dapat nilai tahap kemampuan mereka berbanding atlit lain di dunia.

"Bagaimanapun, secara keseluruhannya, ia tidak menjejaskan persediaan negara untuk membentuk barisan pelapis yang mantap untuk skuad elit kebangsaan," katanya.

Kelmarin, Kementerian Pelajaran membuat keputusan muktamad melarang 71 atlit negara berlepas ke Singapura kerana bimbang penularan wabak H1N1 yang ketika ini sudah dikesan terhadap empat atlit dari Hong Kong selain beberapa kes yang dialami atlit Filipina.

Bagaimanapun, dua atlit pelayaran yang akan bertanding dalam acara baru C4 Byte, sudah pun berada di Singapura, dibenarkan terus bertanding di temasya itu.

Sementara itu, Jefri berkata, prestasi atlit negara dalam Kejohanan Olahraga Tiga Penjuru bawah 14 dan 15 tahun yang berakhir semalam, nyata memberangsangkan apabila pasukan negara menduduki tempat kedua di belakang Australia.

Malaysia memungut 27 emas, 17 perak dan 17 gangsa, tercicir lima emas berbanding Western Australia Little Athletics Association yang mengumpul 32 emas 36 perak dan 30 gangsa diikuti Majlis Sekolah Sukan Singapura 5-11-17.

Nur Aisyah Ahmat semalam turut menceriakan skuad negara apabila mencatat rekod dalam acara lumba jalan kaki 1,500 meter dengan catatan 7 minit 22.34s. Kelmarin, Mohd Azly Ghazali mencatat rekod dalam acara lompat tinggi dengan ketinggian 1.93m.

Dua lagi rekod kejohanan dipecahkan peserta luar iaitu merejam lembang dirakam atlit Australia, Cruz Hogan dengan catatan 62.50m dan Wong kai Yuan dari Singapura dalam acara lontar peluru, 17.26m.

Minister insists H1N1 will not spoil AYG party


Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, brought the first leg of the Asian Youth Games Torch Relay to an end on Sunday afternoon -- and promised a safe and healthy environment in the shadow of the H1N1 virus.

"I am confident the Games will go on," Dr. Balakrishnan told the media after the torch relay ceremony.

"It will not be interrupted. We will not let H1N1 spoil our party."

Dr. Balakrishnan carried the flame, which had been lit earlier in the day at the Kallang Waterfront, into Raffles City Atrium. The flame was transferred to a safety lantern, ahead of the second leg of the torch relay on Monday, culminating at the Opening Ceremony at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The government minister praised the organisers, SAYGOC, in the face of the unexpected threat posed by the H1N1 virus sweeping the globe.

"On the eve of the opening I am very confident and very happy with the work of the organising committee," he said.

"We are just about to open chapter one. The organising committee has been through a very tough time, quite apart from organising a multi-sports event like this in less than 12 months and on a very tight budget. Then H1N1 reared its head and added a whole new dimension of complexity to the operations."

Responding to the news that Malaysia would be sending a scaled-down team due to the threat of the virus, Dr. Balakrishnan said he respected all authorities and said different countries had different risk assessments and different strategies to respond to it.

"That is why we have been so careful to take every precaution possible and to make sure this is the safest and healthiest games possible.

"All the indications so far are that the people are coming and are happy and feel confident and safe. It is our responsibility to make sure that every child who is in our care will have a great time in Singapore, will make friends, will learn lessons and will have a safe time with us."

The first AYG will run from June 29 to July 7, with around 1,400 athletes aged from 14 to 17 competing for 90 gold medals in nine sports. - OCA News

Youths Must Unviel Talent In Sports To Boost Country's Image

KUDAT, June 29 (Bernama) -- Youths in the country must unveil their talent in sports to boost the country's image globally said Umno Puteri chief Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin.

Rosnah said since the government had already set the path and direction for the youths to develop their talent in sports, youths must seize the opportunity to unveil their talent so that the country will have a large number of talented athletes.

"Sports is one area identified for development by the government to provide opportunities, not only as an athlete but an avenue to seek a career in the field.

"Sports is now considered an important medium for the youths to generate good income," she said after presenting prizes at a Zone 1 Umno Puteri Futsal match here Monday.

Rosnah who is also the deputy Health Minister said youths of today must learn how to turn sports into a viable career and one that can give them an opportunity to hoist the pride of the country.

"I hope the youths, including Puteri UMNO, can accept the challenge and start laying the foundation for success early," she said.


NSAM Hopes Banned Trio's Return Can Boost Sea Games Medal Hopes

LANGKAWI, June 29 (Bernama) -- The return of experienced trio Bibiana Ng Pie Chin, Siti Nur Masitah Mohd Badrin and Joseline Cheah to the national shooting squad after a two-year suspension by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), has boosted the country medal hopes at the Laos Sea Games.

National shooting coach Mohd Hashim Desa hopes the presence of the three shooters would help the country achieve what the national squad had achieved in the past.

Bibiana Ng, Joseline Cheah and Siti who served a two-year suspension after testing positive for propranolol during the President Ally T. H. Ong Championships, joined the national squad in training after their suspension ended in April.

The trio are among 14 national elite shooters undergoing their first phase of training at the Langkawi International Shooting Range of Malaysia (Lisram) since June 18, under coaches Mohd Hashim and Saidov Isroil from Belarus.

The National Shooting Association of Malaysia (NSAM) are hoping that Malaysian shooters who won three gold medals at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand, would be able to increase that tally in Laos, come December.

Bibiana, winner of the 25m pistol gold at the Manila SEA Games in 2005 but who had to miss the Korat Games due to suspension just like Siti and Joseline Cheah, is expected to be reinstated as the favourite for the event in Laos.


Kien Keat-Boon Heong display their power

KOO Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong displayed an awesome show of power to nail the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold men’s doubles title yesterday.

But to national doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky, the duo’s overall performances in the tournament could have been better.

Yesterday, Kien Keat-Boon Heong blew away former national players and sparring partners Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen with a 21-11, 21-13 win in just 21 minutes. It was their easiest win in the tournament.

But in their two previous matches in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, the duo dropped the second game en route to beating China’s Sun Junjie-Tao Jiaming and Indonesians Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan respectively.

Rexy said that he would have to work on Kien Keat’s and Boon Heong’s lack of focus in a match.

“They have done well to win the title but they have the tendency to lose focus in a match,” said Rexy.

“They usually win the first game but drop the second. This allows their opponents to build confidence and momentum to make it even tougher for them. They should not be making life difficult for themselves.

“We have identified the area of their weaknesses and we will build from there.”

Boon Heong said that the win even though it was in a weakened field had given them a timely boost ahead of the World Championships in India in August.

“We have beaten a pair, whom we are so used to playing today. Winning the title easily is still a good boost to our morale,” he said.

It was the second title of the year for Kien Keat-Boon Heong after the Swiss Open in March.

“The intensity of the training will be tougher after this. Kien Keat and I will be prepared for the world championships,” said Boon Heong.

“Kien Keat has won a medal before but I have yet to get one. It will be my second outing in the championships and I hope to get among the medallists.”

Kien Keat has two bronze medals to show from the world championships — in a mixed doubles partnership with Wong Pei Tty in 2006 and with Chan Chong Ming in the men’s doubles in 2005.

Pelari Kenya warnai KL Marathon 2009

Rosmah Mansor menyampaikan replika cek bernilai RM70,000 kepada Julius Kilimo Kipkorir yang menjuarai larian Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 sambil diperhatikan oleh Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (kiri) di Dataran Merdeka, semalam . - UTUSAN/Zulhafiz Hanafiah

KUALA LUMPUR - Seperti biasa, pelari Kenya terus menguasai kebanyakan kejohanan maraton yang diadakan di negara ini.

Terbaru, Kejohanan Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 yang menawarkan hadiah wang tunai lebih AS$96,500 (RM340,838.85) dikuasai oleh Julius Kilimo Kipkorir, 29, dengan mencatatkan masa 2 jam 17 minit dan 2 saat.

Diikuti dua lagi rakan senegaranya di tempat kedua dan ketiga, Nelson Kirwa Rotich, 28, dan Armon Kipchirchir, 24, masing-masing melakukan catatan 2'18.24s dan 2'18.55s pada kejohanan itu.

Untuk kemenangan itu, Kipkorir menerima cek bernilai RM70,694 manakala rakan-rakannya Kirwa Rotich dan Kipchirchir masing-masing menerima RM28,277.60 dan RM17,673.50 daripada isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Kipkorir yang buat pertama kalinya melibatkan diri dalam acara marathon penuh itu masih tidak percaya dengan kemenangannya itu.

''Sebelum ini, saya hanya mengambil bahagian dalam acara separa maraton iaitu 21 kilometer.

''Saya memulakan latihan bagi maraton ini sejak tiga bulan lalu dan tidak percaya bahawa dapat bersaing dengan pelari handalan maraton yang lain,'' katanya.

Dalam pada itu, marathon penuh bagi warga tempatan pula dijuarai oleh Muniandy Ramadass dengan catatan masa 2'31.52s.

Tempat kedua dan kedua pula masing-masing dimenangi oleh Shaharudin Hashim dan Jayakumar Ramasamy dengan masa catatan 2'39.52s dan 2'46.19s.

Sementara itu, putera dan puteri Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin iaitu Tengku Nadhirah Zaharah, Tengku Muhammad Mua'az, dan Tengku Fatimatuz Zahra', turut serta mengambil bahagian dalam larian itu.

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin dan Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah turut berangkat untuk memberi sokongan kepada ketiga-tiga anakanda baginda.

Kejohanan kategori utama sejauh 42 kilometer yang bermula di Dataran Merdeka itu disertai oleh 12,500 peserta yang turut mempertandingkan acara separa maraton, 10km, 5km, Family & Fun Run serta Kids Dash.

Badminton / Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open: Kien Keat, Boon Heong silence critics

Koo Kien Keat (left) and Tan Boon Heong on their way to winning the doubles title in the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold  in Johor Baru yesterday.
Koo Kien Keat (left) and Tan Boon Heong on their way to winning the doubles title in the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru yesterday.

KOO Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong answered their critics with a classy performance to clinch their second men's doubles title this year in the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at the Johor Baru City Council Indoor Stadium yesterday.

But in the women's doubles, World No 1 Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui failed to recapture the form that won them the Indonesia Open when they were outclassed by China's Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli, losing 21-9, 21-11 in 29 minutes.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, known for their erratic display, brushed aside former national pair Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen 21-11, 21-13 in just 21 minutes to claim the winners' cheque for US$9,480 (RM33,483).

It was an encouraging victory though the Johor Baru meet was only a second tier event, for the pair who won the Swiss Open in March ahead of the World Championships in Hyderabad, India on Aug 10-16.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong displayed excellent understanding and near-perfect court control and it was evident from the start that they would win the title. They raced to a quick 18-10 lead before winning the opening game 21-11 in only eight minutes. Kien Keat-Boon Heong continued their momentum and led 13-10 before racing ahead for a 21-13 win to claim the title.
"We have played against them many times both in competition and training and it helped us to our win today (yesterday). I'm not sure whether we played well as our opponents were struggling to find their momentum, probably because of the draft in the stadium," said Boon Heong.

As for the world meet, Boon Heong said Kien Keat and himself will be more focused on training for the tournament.

"At this stage, it is tough to set targets. When we made our world meet debut in 2007, we could not handle the pressure. However, after years together we are more experienced and know what to expect.

"Past experiences have taught us never to take any pair lightly. We will discuss with coach Rexy (Mainaky) on our strategy for the world meet," added Boon Heong.

Pei Tty-Eei Hui's performance yesterday was unexpected but the duo felt the defeat is a blessing in disguise. "We could not move well against our speedy opponents. We tried to adjust but the China pair were just too good. It's a good learning experience, making us aware that we need to train harder for the world meet," said Eei Hui.

Rexy said pressure got the better of Pei Tty-Eei Hui. "They felt pressured because they were playing against lower ranked opponents. Most of the points earned by the China pair were because of Pei Tty-Eei Hui's mistakes today (yesterday)," said Rexy.

"It has nothing to do with stamina. They were just out of ideas to overcome the China pair."

Meanwhile, mixed doubles second seeds Zheng Bo-Ma Jin of China won their fourth consecutive title when teammates Xu Chen-Zhao Yunlei retired. Zhao Yunlei twisted her right knee with the score at 5-5 in the first game.


Pro & Kontra: Formula 4K perlu ada untuk kejayaan

Raja Ahmad Zainuddin

SAYA percaya, tidak ramai yang mengikuti bola sepak Piala Konfederasi yang sedang berlangsung di Afrika Selatan, iaitu gelanggang Piala Dunia 2010, secara serius sehingga pasukan Amerika Syarikat membuat kejutan.

Kekalahan juara Eropah, Sepanyol 2-0 di tangan Amerika Syarikat di separuh akhir, membuka mata ramai peminat. Mereka seperti tidak percaya pasukan ranking pertama Persekutuan Bola Sepak Antarabangsa (Fifa) itu tumbang.

Tapi, itulah bola sepak. Sebarang kemungkinan boleh berlaku dan pasukan Amerika Syarikat disifatkan melakukan kejutan paling besar untuk dekad ini.

Kejayaan mengalahkan Sepanyol itu di luar pemikiran orang biasa dan ia sebenarnya tidak berlaku dengan sendiri, tetapi dengan kajian, perancangan dan keupayaan menterjemahkan arahan jurulatih apabila berada di atas padang.

Yang pasti bagi saya ada formula tersendiri membabitkan empat perkara atau 4K. ia membabitkan kesungguhan, keyakinan, kerja keras dan kemahiran atau kepakaran. 4K inilah senjata pasukan Amerika Syarikat mengalahkan Sepanyol.

Bagi saya kalah menang Amerika Syarikat menentang Brazil di final tidak penting. Brazil bernasib baik menewaskan Afrika Selatan 1-0 pada perlawanan separuh akhir walaupun tidak menonjol.

Malah, kemenangan Brazil ke atas Mesir sebelum ini dengan 4-3 juga adalah kerana pengalaman dan mungkin rasa hormat yang terlalu tinggi oleh pasukan dari Afrika itu terhadap pasukan lawan.

Apakah kelebihan Amerika Syarikat yang tiba-tiba menjadi duri dalam daging kepada Sepanyol. Pertama, hampir 80 peratus pemain mereka, kini menimbang pengalaman, bermain di luar.

Lebih separuh pemain mereka bermain di Liga Perdana Inggeris (EPL) manakala yang lain di liga Sepanyol, Perancis, Sweden dan Belgium.

Antara mereka adalah Jozy Altidore yang tiba-tiba melonjak namanya kerana menjaringkan gol pertama ketika menentang Sepanyol yang kini bermain di La Liga bersama Villareal, Tim Howard (Everton), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Carlos Bocanegra di Liga Perancis, Clint Depmsey (Fulham) dan Jay Demerit (Watford).

Amat jelas dengan pendedahan di luar negara membolehkan pemain Amerika Syarikat, berada dalam kedudukan mental yang cukup bersedia. melalui kerja keras dan kesediaan untuk melawan selain mematuhi arahan jurulatih.

Pasukan itu juga berjaya menunjukkan kepada dunia bahawa selain strategi dan kemahiran, keyakinan adalah faktor utama.

Kita boleh belajar banyak daripada kejayaan pasukan muda seperti Amerika Syarikat ini, tetapi paling penting formula 4K itulah sebenarnya yang membawa kejayaan.

Tiga anakanda Tuanku Mizan sertai Maraton KL

TENGKU Muhammad Muaaz bersama adindanya Tengku
Fatimatuz Zahra (kanan) turut serta dalam larian Maraton KL di ibu kota semalam.

MUSA (tengah) turut menyertai Maraton KL di Dataran Merdeka semalam.

KUALA LUMPUR - Tiga anakanda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin menyertai larian Kids Dash, program sampingan dalam perlumbaan larian Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 di Dataran Merdeka di sini semalam.

Puteri sulung Tuanku Mizan, Tengku Nadhirah Zahrah, 12, mengambil bahagian dalam kategori 3 Kilometer (KM) dan dua lagi anakanda Seri Paduka, Tengku Muhammad Muaaz, 8, dan Tengku Fatimatuz Zahra, 7, mengambil bahagian dalam kategori 950 Meter yang disertai oleh lebih 500 orang kanak-kanak.

Tuanku Mizan dan Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah turut berangkat ke Dataran Merdeka untuk memberi sokongan.

Keberangkatan Seri Paduka berdua pada pukul 8.30 pagi itu disambut oleh isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek dan Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.

Ketiga-tiga anakanda Tuanku Mizan berjaya menamatkan larian tersebut mengikut kategori yang disertai.

Dua gelaran seminggu

PEMAIN No. 1 dunia, Datuk Lee Chong Wei terus unggul.
Semalam, dia meraih kejuaraan kedua dalam tempoh seminggu apabila muncul juara pada Kejoha- nan Grand Prix Emas Terbuka Malaysia Yonex-Sunrise 2009.

Chong Wei yang juga juara Terbuka Indonesia minggu lalu mudah menumbangkan pemain muda China, Chen Long 21-16, 21-9 pada perlawanan yang berlangsung di Stadium Tertutup Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru semalam.

Chong Wei ketika ditemui berkata, meskipun prestasinya tidak memuaskan berikutan kecederaan pada bahagian pinggang yang dialaminya sejak awal kejohanan itu, ia tidak menghalangnya untuk terus berjuang menentang Chen Long.

"Memang kesakitan pada baha- gian pinggang memberi kesan kepada saya tetapi saya cuba untuk terus bertahan.

"Bagi saya Chen Long seorang pemain yang sangat agresif selain kurang melakukan kesilapan," katanya.

PEI TTY (kiri) Eei Hui terpaksa akur kepada kehebatan Xiaoli-Ma Jin dalam acara beregu wanita.

CHONG WEI tepati ramalan selaku pilihan pertama kejohanan.

Tambah Chong Wei lagi, fokus- nya kini adalah untuk membuat persediaan rapi bagi menghadapi Kejohanan Dunia di Hyderabad, India, Ogos depan.

Chong Wei pernah tewas kepada Chen Long pada pusingan pertama Terbuka India, Mac lalu akibat keracunan makanan.

Dalam perlawanan di Hydera- bad itu, Chong Wei kalah 21-7, 16-21, 18-21.

Sementara itu jurulatihnya, Datuk Misbun Sidek berkata, beliau kini sudah bersedia untuk memberikan tumpuan sepenuhnya terhadap latihan Chong Wei.

Katanya, apa yang penting bagi Chong Wei adalah untuk terus mengekalkan tahap kecergasan kerana ia akan membantunya untuk beraksi cemerlang.

Kejohanan dunia bakal menghimpunkan jaguh dunia yang lain antaranya pemain China, Lin Dan.

"Saya akan memantau tahap kesihatan Chong Wei selain memberi latihan yang secukupnya," kata Misbun.

Ketika Chong Wei gagah di podium kemenangan, hasrat untuk melihat beregu wanita No. 1 dunia, Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui mengulangi kejayaan selepas memenangi Terbuka Indonesia, hampa apabila mereka tewas kepada pemain China, Wang Xiaoli- Ma Jin 9-21, 11-21.

Pada perlawanan tersebut, Pei Tty-Eei Hui dilihat banyak melakukan kesilapan sehingga membolehkan lawan mereka itu mengutip mata demi mata dalam perlawanan yang berlarutan selama 29 minit.

Menurut Pei Tty, meskipun agak kecewa kerana gagal memenangi perlawanan kali ini, dia enggan ter- lalu memikirkannya, sebaliknya terus memberikan fokus untuk kejo- hanan dunia nanti.

"Apa yang lebih penting seka- rang adalah untuk mencari strategi baru selain memantapkan lagi latihan bagi menebus kekecewaan pada kejohanan ini," ujarnya.

Sebelum itu, bagi perlawanan akhir beregu lelaki, gandingan Koo Kien Kiat-Tan Boon Heong tidak menghadapi masalah untuk menundukkan rakan sepasukan, Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen 21-11, 21-13.

"Saya tidak mahu terlalu leka dan selesa apabila memenangi kejohanan ini, sebaliknya akan terus bekerja keras untuk menyiapkan diri bagi menghadapi kejohanan yang lebih besar selepas ini," kata Kien Kiat.

Bagi ketua jurulatih beregu negara, Rexy Mainaky, tempoh yang singkat sebelum kejohanan dunia nanti akan digunakan sebaik mungkin bagi meningkatkan lagi gaya persembahan anak didiknya itu.

Terdahulu, gelaran untuk beregu campuran menjadi milik pasangan dari China, Zheng Bo-Ma Jin yang meraih kemenangan percuma apabila rakan senegara, Xu Chen-Zhao Yunlei menarik diri ketika mata terikat 5-5 pada set pertama akibat kecederaan kaki.

Pemain wanita China, Wang Shixian pula muncul juara perseorangan wanita selepas menewaskan Wang Xin 21-16, 18-21, 21-10.

Chong Wei terus aksi cemerlang

Oleh Ahmad Khawari Isa dan Rizar Mohd Noor

CHONG Wei (kiri) dan Chen Long bersama hadiah juara dan naib juara perseorangan lelaki yang mereka menangi di Kejohanan Grand Prix Emas Terbuka Malaysia, semalam.

Hajat Pei Tty-Eei Hui raih juara berganda tak sampai

TANPA perlu bertunjangkan kecergasan terbaiknya, Lee Chong Wei tetap terlalu hebat untuk cuba disaingi pemain muda China, Chen Long dalam laluannya mengungguli Kejohanan Grand Prix Emas Terbuka Malaysia, semalam.

Chong Wei, menerima rawatan fisioterapi setiap hari selepas mengadu sakit belakang ketika pusingan pertama lalu, hanya perlukan 31 minit untuk menundukkan Chen Long 21-15, 21-9 di Stadium Tertutup Johor Bahru.

Ia adalah gelaran kedua berturut-turutnya selepas memenangi Siri Super Terbuka Indonesia, minggu lalu.

Turut melakar gemilang ialah gandingan Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong yang muncul juara beregu lelaki selepas menundukkan pasangan senegara, Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen 21-11, 21-13.

Sayangnya, Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui, gagal untuk turut bergelar juara berganda selepas tumpas 9-21, 11-21 kepada pasangan muda China, Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli pada final beregu wanita.

Chong Wei bagaimanapun memuji persembahan Chen Long dan menyifatkan pemain berusia 20 tahun itu sebagai jaguh muda dalam pembikinan.

"Dia akan suatu hari nanti menggantikan tempat Lin Dan, Chen Jin dan Bao Chunlai. Dia punya serangan yang bagus dan mampu jadi pencabar digeruni nanti.

"Kini, tumpuan saya ialah Kejohanan Dunia. Pencapaian terbaik sebelum ini hanyalah pingat gangsa. Tahun ini adalah peluang terbaik saya tetapi ia perlu dibantu persiapan yang sempurna," katanya.

Pei Tty-Eei Hui pula mengakui kecewa gagal meraih gelaran kedua selepas memenangi Terbuka Indonesia, minggu lalu.

"Kami dapat tahu mereka adalah pasangan yang pantas, tetapi kami tidak sangka mereka amat pantas. Kami hadapi masalah menyesuaikan diri dengan rentak mereka. Kini, kami perlu kembali fokus untuk persiapan ke Kejohanan Dunia," kata Pei Tty.

Malaysia Tarik Diri Sukan Belia Asia Persetujuan Singapura

SINGAPURA, 28 Jun (Bernama) -- Malaysia yang menarik diri daripada menyertai Sukan Belia Asia (AYG) yang bermula esok di republik ini berikutan wabak Influenze A(H1N1) adalah dengan persetujuan negara tuan rumah.

Pengerusi Bersama Jawatankuasa Penganjur AYG, Oon Jin Teik berkata mereka menghormati keputusan Malaysia tidak menghantar kontinjennya ke sukan itu yang bermula esok sehingga 7 Julai.

"Kami faham keputusan dan mereka lakukan apa yang terbaik untuk pasukan mereka," kata Oon dalam satu taklimat media di sini hari ini.

Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) telah memaklumkan kepada jawatankuasa itu lewat petang semalam bahawa Malaysia tidak akan menyertai sukan tersebut, kecuali dua anggota pasukan perahu layar yang sudah pun berada di Singapura dan akan meneruskan penyertaan dalam acara mereka masing-masing, kata beliau.

"Tetapi setakat ini tidak ada sesiapa daripada Jawatankuasa Olimpik Kebangsaan memberitahu kami bahawa mereka tidak akan menghantar pasukannya dan sukan itu akan diteruskan seperti yang dijadualkan," tambahnya.

Malaysia sepatutnya menghantar kontinjen 109 atlet dan pegawai yang diketuai Chef de Mission Marina Chin untuk AYG sehingga arahan daripada Kementerian Pelajaran yang melarang pelajar dan guru daripada menyertai pertandingan sukan di luar negara berikutan dengan wabak Influenze A(H1N1).

Bagaimanapun pasukan bola sepak di bawah jurulatih Khalid Shahdan mengambil bahagian dalam AYG yang bermula lebih awal dan pulang ke tanah air selepas tewas pada pusingan kelakan minggu lepas.


Chong Wei Is Still King

JOHOR BAHARU, June 28 (Bernama) -- Lee Chong Wei was unstoppable and the Koo Kein Keat and Tan Boon Heong combination found their winning touch to keep the Malaysian flag flying at the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton championship here today.

On a day when Malaysia had three finalists in the US$120,000 tournament, it was the World No. 1 women's doubles pair, Chin Ee Hui and Wong Pei Tty, who found the burden of carrying the nation's hopes a little too heavy to bear and were knocked out in straight games by an unknown pair from China.

But there was Chong Wei of course and the World No. 1 took only a little more than half an hour to beat China's former World Junior champion Chen Long to win his second title in as many weeks.

The pre-match prediction that Chong Wei would come up against yet another great Chinese wall was blown to pieces right from the very start. Chong Wei led 6-0 but then allowed the 20-year-old Chen Long to draw level at 7-7 before the lanky Chinese pulled ahead at 8-7.

That was as far as he could go because once Chong Wei got into his stride, spraying all those delicate drops and releasing those powerful sideline smashes, the Indoor Stadium crowd here knew the Chinese resistance would soon crumble.

The opening game ended 21-16 in Chong Wei's favour and the second game was merely an exhibition of the Malaysian's range of shots, the delicate drop shots, the subtle net play and the ferocious smashes along the sidelines.

Chen Long, conqueror of Indonesia's 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist in the first round here, just could not cope and surrendered the second game 9-21 to allow Chong Wei to pick up the winner's cheque of US$9,000.

"I felt good throughout the match even though I am carrying a slight back injury suffered in the opening round. Chen Long had a brief fightback. But I knew I was in control.

"He is a young talent and will carry China's future. He attacks well and as he develops he will be a tough opponent in future," said Chong Wei.

He added that he will take a rest from tournaments after this and concentrate on his preparation for the World Championship in India in August.

Kien Keat and Boon Heong also smelt the sweet scent of victory today after a barren spell in the international front.

They beat fellow Malaysians Tan Bin Shen and Gan Teik Chai in a one-sided clash to add to the only international title they have won this year, the Swiss Open in March.

"Hopefully this victory will spur us on at the World Championship in August," said Kien Keat.

But there was no joy for Ee Hui and Pei Tty, comprehensively beaten by the No. 29 pair in the world, China's Ma Jin and Wang Xiaoli 9-21,11-21 on a day when the Malaysian World No. 1 could hardly put a foot right.

Results: All finals

Mixed Doubles: Ma Jin-Zhang Bo (CHN) bt Xu Chen-Zhao Yunlei (CHN) 5-5 rtd.

Women's Doubles: Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli (CHN) by Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty (MAS) 21-9, 21-11.

Men's Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (MAS) bt Gan Teck Chai-Tan Bin Shen (MAS) 21-11, 21-13.

Women's Singles: Wang Shixian (CHN) bt Wang Xin (CHN) 21-16, 18-21, 21-10.

Men's Singles: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Chen Long (CHN) 21-16, 21-9.


Kenyans Dominate Inaugural Standard Chartered KL Marathon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 (Bernama) -- Julius Kilimo Kipkorir, running his maiden 42km full marathon, clocked two hours 17 minutes and two seconds to win the inaugural Standard Chartered KL Marathon, leading a Kenyan clean sweep of the top three places in the men's category, here today.

Kipkorir came home more than a minute ahead of his compatriots, Nelson Kirwa Rotich and Armon Kipchirchir who clocked 2'18:24s and 2'18:55s respectively to clinch second and third places.

The race started and finished at Dataran Merdeka.

For his feat, Kipkorir received USD20,000 (RM70,694) from the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor while Kirwa Rotich and Kipchirchir took home USD8,000 (RM28,277.60) and USD5,000 (RM17,673.50) respectively.

Kipkorir said he could not believe he had won, since this was his first attempt in a full marathon.

"Previously, I took part only in the 21km event (half marathon)," he told reporters here today after the race.

"When I came here, I set my mind that I'm here to compete. It is not hard to compete in the full marathon event. What I need was just hard work.

"I started training for the marathon (KL Marathon) since the last three month and I'am just shocked to have won over other top marathon runners," said Kipkorir."

His next international participation would be the Hong Kong Marathon in December.

Kipkorir also expressed confidence that he would be back here to defend the title next year.

In the women's 42km category, Frieda Jepkite Lodepa bettered the time of 2'54:23s she registered at the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon last year by clocking 2'40:13s today.

Following about five minutes behind her was Japan's Doreen Kitaka who clocked 2'45:51s.

"It was great to win it again in Malaysia. However, the competition is tougher than in the previous year," said Lodepa whose personal best time is 2'13:00s clocked at the Milan Marathon in 2007.

The best Malaysian in the men's 42km race was Muniandy Ramadass who clocked 2'31:52s while Yuan Yu Fang topped the women's category with a time of 3'16:36s. For their feat, Muniandy and Yu Fang took home a cash prize of RM8,750 each.

The KL Marathon with its theme 'Run Your Race' is divided into five categories with distances of 42km (full marathon), 21km (half marathon), 10km, 5km, Family & Fun Run, as well as the Kids Dash (3km and 950m).

The route for the KL Marathon event was sanctioned by the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU), and covers some of the more popular tourist destinations in the city.


Sailors To Compete In Asian Youth Sailing Despite NSC's Directive To Withdraw

LANGKAWI, June 28 (Bernama) -- Two national sailors who are already in Singapore for the Asian Youth Sailing Championships which started today, would continue their participation despite a directive from the National Sports Council (NSC) to withdraw, due to the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak.

Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) general manager Mohd Afendy Abdullah said the two sailors, Mohd Amirul Shafiq and Khairuneeta Mohd Afendy had arrived in Singapore two days ago and will compete in the Byte C2 category.

Mohd Afendy in an e-mail to Bernama said national sailors have been trained to take care of their health, including precautionary measures against H1N1 as they have been given vaccine and their body temperatures monitored every six hours.

He added that Singapore, as the organiser, had also ensured maximum control and preventive measures by screening everyone at the venue.

"Every participant has been given a log book to record their body temperature while cleanliness at the competition venues are inspected constantly," he said.

Mohd Afendy who accompanied the duo said though Singapore and Thailand are Malaysia's main contenders in the championships, both Mohd Amirul and Khairuneeta are capable of winning medals.


Singapore Understanding Over M'sia's Withdrawal From AYG Due To Flu Fear

SINGAPORE, June 28 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's withdrawal from the Asian Youth Games (AYG) starting here tomorrow because of the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak has met with understanding from the host.

In a media briefing here today, the AYG Organising Committee co-chairman Oon Jin Teik said they respected Malaysia's decision not to send their contingent for the AYG from tomorrow until July 7.

"We understand their decision and they are doing what they feel is best for their teams," said Oon.

In fact, the Olympic Council of Malaysia had informed the AYG organising committee yesterday evening that Malaysia would not be taking part in the Games except for the two members of the sailing team who are already in Singapore and would continue to participate in their respective events.

"But so far, no national olympic committee have informed us that they will not be sending their teams and the Games will go on as planned," he said.

Malaysia was to have sent a contingent of 109 athletes and officials headed by chef de mission Marina Chin for the AYG until the directive from the Education Ministry which barred students and teachers from participating in overseas sports competition because of the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak.

But the football team coached by Khalid Shahdan took part in the Games which began a little earlier and was knocked out after the qualifying rounds last week and has since returned home.


Malaysia absence fails to dull AYG torch relay

Members of the Philippine youth soccer team are taken to the Aloha Loyang Resort to be kept in quarantine in Singapore June 20, 2009. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, June 29 — The torch relay for the Asian Youth Games (AYG) blazed a spectacular trail across Singapore yesterday, setting the scene for a nine-day sporting fiesta that will bring together some 1,400 of the continent’s finest young athletes.

The flame, which was ignited at dawn by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, will reach the Singapore Indoor Stadium tonight for a glittering opening ceremony attended by all 43 participating countries.

Despite the spectre of Influenza A (H1N1) and Malaysia’s late decision not to send its full contingent here, the stage is now set for Singapore’s first multi-sport extravaganza since the 1993 South-east Asian Games.

“It’s important that not only do we see this as a sporting event, but also an event for bringing people together from Asia, especially young people,” said Teo, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Council.

“I think if they get to know each other, play sports together, they’ll get to understand each other and that will help to bring all our countries together.”

After the flame was lit at the Kallang Waterfront yesterday morning, it fanned its way across the island in three separate torches, making stopovers in Singapore’s five districts as well as Orchard Road.

The torches will travel across 45 schools today, and by the time they complete their historic journey, over 60,000 people would have been involved in the relay, including about 200 torch-bearers from diverse walks of life.

Amongst those who had the honour of running with the torch was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who graced the Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang Community Sports Festival in the morning.

He was handed the torch by veteran national discus thrower James Wong, before embarking on a 200m run accompanied by hundreds of residents.

Other torch-bearers yesterday included national footballer Lionel Lewis, Singapore’s AYG swimmer Quah Ting Wen, and Benson Tan, an intellectually-disabled athlete.

Organisers pulled off the relay yesterday while scrambling to deal with Malaysia’s last-minute move not to send most of its athletes to the nine-sport Games.

The decision was made by the country’s Education Ministry, which issued a directive barring student athletes from overseas competitions due to concerns about the global H1N1 outbreak.

Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong told The Straits Times yesterday that the government did not want the students to risk contracting the flu.

“We want to be consistent in our decisions. We cannot allow anyone to take the risk,” he said.

The 79-strong Malaysian contingent —- of which 42 were students under the purview of the Education Ministry — was supposed to arrive from yesterday onwards.

But only two sailors, who arrived here last week to acclimatise to the local water conditions, will take part in the competition.

Malaysia’s football team returned home last week after being knocked out of the preliminary stage of the competition.

Just last Friday, the country’s National Sports Council was adamant that it wanted to send the contingent to the AYG despite an earlier instruction by the Education Ministry to cancel Malaysia’s participation.

Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, said he had no choice but to comply with the latest orders.

“It was a decision made on Saturday night and a government directive was sent out to us,” he said. “This is obviously a big loss for the kids and they are disappointed to miss the chance to compete in Singapore.”

AYG organisers have said they respected Malaysia’s decision, while expressing confidence that the Games will continue to shine. Officials from other participating countries shared this sentiment.

Said the treasurer of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Gamini Jayasinghe: “I don’t think (the withdrawal) will affect the AYG much. The powerhouses like China and Japan are still here.” —The Straits Times

Sunday, June 28, 2009


DATUK Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak (tiga dari kiri) ketika mengumumkan kejohahan Jelajah Persatuan Tenis Profesional (ATP) yang akan berlangsung di Kuala Lumpur pada September depan, semalam.

MALAYSIA mencipta satu lagi sejarah.
Jelajah Persatuan Tenis Profesional (ATP), kejohanan paling unggul di dunia akan berada di Kuala Lumpur pada September depan.

Kali ini bukan untuk perlawanan pertunjukan tetapi hadir sebagai kejohanan yang akan menghimpunkan ramai gergasi tenis dunia.

Ia dijadualkan berlangsung pada 26 September hingga 4 Oktober dan menawarkan hadiah wang tunai AS$947,750 (RM3.5 juta).

Pengumuman itu dibuat oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak yang turut bangga dengan pemilihan Kuala Lumpur sebagai tuan rumah Terbuka Malaysia 2009 yang diserapkan dalam kalendar ATP.

Terbuka Malaysia adalah antara lima kejohanan dalam Jela- jah ATP iaitu pusingan ke-64 dalam kalendar mereka musim ini. Malaysia mendapat hak untuk menganjur selama lima tahun akan datang.

Pemilihan Kuala Lumpur sebagai tuan rumah itu dibuat sendiri oleh Lembaga Jelajah ATP dan ia merupakan suatu penghargaan buat negara, khususnya dalam sukan tenis.

“Saya sangat bangga apabila Malaysia menjadi tuan rumah untuk Jelajah ATP Dunia. Seperti mana penganjuran Formula Satu (F1) di Sepang, ia secara tidak langsung akan mempromosikan Malaysia di seluruh dunia.

“Pada masa yang sama, ia juga mampu mempromosikan sukan dan gaya hidup sihat yang menjadi amalan penting bagi kita semua.

“Saya harap, kejohanan ini akan menjadi inspirasi kepada pemain Malaysia bahawa suatu hari nanti, kita akan melahirkan pemain yang boleh memenangi gelaran pada Jelajah ATP Dunia.

“Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Lembaga ATP kerana memilih Malaysia sebagai salah satu destinasi sukan yang cukup popular ini,” kata Najib.

Kejohanan Terbuka Malaysia 2009 ini akan dianjurkan oleh IMG, iaitu peneraju dalam pemasaran sukan dan gaya hidup selain tenis.

Kejohanan ini akan menyaksi- kan 28 pemain perseorangan dan 16 beregu beraksi pada pusi- ngan utama.

Ia akan berlangsung di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil yang boleh memuatkan 16,000 penonton.

Chong Wei's title to lose

Misbun Sidek (left) hugs Lee Chong Wei after his 21-9, 21-15 win over Kenichi Tago on
Misbun Sidek (left) hugs Lee Chong Wei after his 21-9, 21-15 win over Kenichi Tago on

WORLD No 1 Lee Chong Wei is on course for his fourth title of 2009 after a masterful performance while it was the end of the road for veteran Wong Choong Hann in the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold men's singles semi-finals at the Johor Baru City Council Indoor Stadium yesterday.

And Chong Wei will get a chance to exact revenge on China's Chen Long, who defeated the Malaysian in the first round of the India Open in March, in the final today.

As for Wong Mew Choo, her career could hit rock bottom after her unexpected defeat to China qualifier Wang Xin in the women's semi-finals.

Wang Xin, 24, who just recently joined China's national team, is competing in her first Open tournament.

Chong Wei, who has won the Malaysia, Swiss and Indonesia Open titles this year, thrashed Hong Kong's Hu Yun 21-9, 21-8 in only 20 minutes.
In the first game, Chong Wei raced to a 14-3 lead before winning 21-9 in 11 minutes. The Malaysian maintained his momentum and won the second 21-8 to advance to the final.

"I didn't expect to win so easily today (yesterday). He is quite a dangerous player but I prepared well for this encounter. I was physically and mentally prepared and played a fast game and my opponent failed to read my style," said Chong Wei.

Chong Wei is also confident of getting the better of Chen Long in the final.

"It should not be a problem. I was not feeling well in India and I don't want to think about it now.

"The singles title is important to Malaysian fans and I will try my best to win my fourth title here," he said.

Chen Long, a former World and Asian junior champion, turned in a precision performance to overcome Choong Hann 21-10, 21-16.

"I'm really excited about the final. Though I defeated Chong Wei in India, he will be the favourite here.

"My problem is that I'm inconsistent during crucial stage of tournaments. I'm still learning and I hope to give a good account in the final," said Chen Long, a runner-up in the Asian Championships in Suwon.

Mew Choo, after her shock 21-18, 21-14 defeat to Wang Xin yesterday, admitted that her game is deteriorating but promised to train harder for the World Championships.

"I admit my game is not good. I'm currently low in confidence, skills and court control. I'm not strong mentally. However, I have more than a month before the world meet to work on my game. I hope I can get back to my former self," said Mew Choo.

The 24-year-old Wang Xin faces another China qualifier Wang Shixian, who upset top seed Pi Hongyan 21-14, 21-15 in 36 minutes.


Pesta malam Malaysia

CHIN Eei Hui dan Wong Pei Tty (depan) tidak menghadapi masalah untuk membenam Frances Lui-Vanessa Neo dengan 21-10, 21-9 di Stadium Tertutup MBJB, Johor Bahru, semalam. - mingguan/NasirruddinYazid

JOHOR BAHRU - Benar seperti yang dijangka, Pemain No. 1 dunia, Datuk Lee Chong Wei menerajui kemaraan barisan pemain pilihan untuk beraksi di gelanggang akhir Kejohanan Grand Prix Emas Terbuka Malaysia di sini, semalam.

Namun jangkaan untuk melihat Juara Terbuka Indonesia itu berentap dengan pemain veteran negara, Wong Choong Hann yang juga pemain pilihan ke lapan kejohanan ternyata meleset.

Chong Wei dengan mudah menewaskan pemain Hong Kong, Hu Yun dengan 21-9, 21-8 manakala Choong Hann pula tersungkur di tangan pemain remaja China, Cheng Long dengan 10-21, 16-21.

Kemenangan Chong Wee sekali gus melayakkan dia untuk bertemu buat kali kedua dengan juara remaja dunia dan Asia itu.

"Saya langsung tidak menyangka bahawa saya boleh menang mudah untuk perlawanan kali ini," kata Chong Wei.

Mengulas pertemuan hari ini, Chong Wei berkata, Cheng Long adalah seorang pemain pelapis yang jarang membuat kesilapan.

"Saya pernah kalah dengan dia semasa Kejohanan Badminton Terbuka India Mac lalu selepas mengalami keracunan makanan namun untuk pertemuan kali ini saya akan berusaha untuk mempamerkan aksi yang cemerlang.

"Jangan sesekali terlalu yakin dengan kemampuan sendiri dan memandang rendah kepada kemampuan lawan," katanya lagi.

Turut mengiringi Chong Wei ke pusingan akhir ialah pasangan beregu wanita, Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty yang tidak menghadapi sebarang masalah untuk membenam cabaran pasangan dari Singapura, Frances Lui-Vanessa Neo dengan 21-10, 21-9.

Kemenangan tersebut membolehkan mereka untuk bertemu beregu dari China, Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli yang sebelum ini mengalahkan rakan senegara Goa Ling-Wei Yili, 21-13, 21-14.

Sementara itu, beregu utama negara, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong turut berjaya mengalahkan pasangan dari Indonesia, Alvent Yulianto Chandra-Hendra Aprida Gunawan selepas bergelut di set penentuan 21-13, 17-21, 21-11.

Mereka akan bertemu dengan rakan senegara Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen pada slot akhir selepas pasangan itu berjaya mengalahkan Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong yang juga rakan senegara dengan 21-11, 21-15.

Namun, sandaran negara kepada ratu badminton, Wong Mew Choo nyata tersasar apabila pemain pilihan kedua kejohanan itu gagal meneruskan cabaran selepas tumpas di tangan jaguh China, Wang Xin dengan 18-21, 14-21.