Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2011 Host Wants a Games to Remember

As Indonesia prepares to host the Southeast Asian Games for the first time since 1997, it wants to make sure the 26th edition of the regional games is the most memorable yet.

Plans to stamp Indonesia’s mark on the next SEA Games began when the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) proposed changing the starting date.

"We have been trying to propose that the Games start on November 11 in 2011 during our presentations in the [Southeast Asian Games Federation] meeting. I think it would be beautiful to put it this way: 11/11/11," KOI secretary general Arie Ariotedjo told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday.

A decision on the start date is expected at a SEA Games Council meeting in April. The location and exact day of the meeting have yet to be announced.

Arie also denied Indonesia proposed holding the Games in June and July, citing potential difficulties with securing funding.

"We know the government always has its state budget allocated between March and April. It would be impossible for us to hold it in June or July while almost all the facilities and infrastructure in the four host provinces would not be ready yet," he said.

Semarang, Central Java, and Bandung, West Java, are scheduled to serve as main hosts for the 2011 Games, with Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, acting as supporting hosts.

KOI has proposed the next Games contain 37 sports, 22 Olympic and 15 non-Olympic. The four Olympic sports left out are handball, field hockey, modern pentathlon and triathlon.

"We know Southeast Asian countries are not ready yet to play those sports in regional-level competition, from the sports federations to the athletes," said Arie, who is also president of the Indonesian Handball Association.

The 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos, featured 28 disciplines, down from 43 in 2007.

Non-Olympic sports at the 2011 Games will include chess, fencing and wall climbing, none of which took place in Laos. Kempo, a martial art which originated in Japan, will make its debut.

The goal, Arie said, is to promote those events for eventual inclusion in the Asian Games or Olympics.

“It seems now as if Europe and America dominate the world of sport. It is time for Asia, where half of the world’s population lives, to prove itself in world competitions,” Arie said. JAKARTA GLOBE

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SPECTACULAR END TO 25th SEA GAMES IN LAOS





The 25th edition of the SouthEast Asian Games came to a spectacular end tonight where in true ASEAN spirit, songs from all participating countries marked the beginning of the closing ceremony at the Main Stadium. And as government leaders and VIP Guests slowly trickled into the gathering pace of songs, the marching in of the SEA Games flag began making their way into the stadium to the pace of the Laos Police Band. Athletes and officials in their different multi-coloured costumes but all in celebratory mood were then paraded in just prior to the giving of the official closing ceremony speech by the Laos Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Somsavat Lengsavad.

The flags of hosts Laos and also that of the SEA Games were lowered before the SEA Games flag was handed to the delegates from Indonesia to make their taking over of the next hosting job in 2011. That marked the start of the official cultural and artistic performance beginning with the 'Paddy Thrash Dance'.

Then came an ensemble of Laotian favourites of the 'Lao New Year' dance, the 'Rocket Festival' dance, the 'Boat Racing Festival' dance and which culminates in the 'Gather Together Again' dance - a performance from the delegation from Indonesia.

A spectacular display of fireworks to light the night sky then marked the end of the official closing ceremony and also a fabulous chapter to the 25th edition of the SEA Games when Laos played hosts to an incident-free meet.

SEAG

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sedia awal hadapi temasya 2011



AHMAD SHABERY (kanan) dan Zolkples bercakap kepada pemberita ketika memberi ulasan mengenai Mesyuarat Lembaga Pengurus Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) di Kuala Lumpur semalam.


WALAUPUN Sukan SEA di Laos baru sahaja berakhir, Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) telah mengarahkan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) untuk mengadakan persiapan awal bagi menghadapi edisi seterusnya di Indonesia pada 2011.

Menterinya, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek berkata perkara itu perlu kerana temasya sukan dwi-tahunan itu akan dilangsungkan pada bulan Jun iaitu kira-kira 18 bulan dari sekarang.

"Malah kita perlu mengatur terutama dari segi koordinasi pegawai dan sebagainya dari sekarang kerana ia akan melibatkan empat tempat (daerah)," katanya selepas mempengerusikan Mesyuarat Lembaga Pengurus MSN, semalam.

Negara yang mempunyai kira-kira 222 juta rakyat itu dilaporkan akan menganjurkan temasya sukan dwi-tahunan itu di Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung dan Semarang. Ahmad Shabery berkata, mesyuarat itu juga telah bersetuju untuk menggunakan beberapa pendekatan berbeza pada masa depan terutamanya kesungguhan negara lain mendapat ranking (kedudukan) yang lebih tinggi di Sukan SEA.

"Walaupun kita tidak melihat kepada itu, namun ia perlu diberi perhatian kerana ia adalah kehendak rakyat.

"Seperti acara bola sepak yang merupakan sukan utama juga perlu mengekalkan prestasi untuk mempertahankan pingat emas. Kita pernah memenanginya di Jakarta pada 1979," katanya.


TINJU berjaya menghadiahkan satu pingat emas menerusi Muhamad Farkhan Haron (kiri) pada temasya di Laos baru-baru ini.


Mengulas lanjut mengenai perkara itu, Ketua Pengarah MSN, Datuk Zolkples Embong berkata, program untuk Sukan SEA 2011 akan dirancang dan dilaksanakan secepat mungkin.

"Kita juga akan mengamalkan perbelanjaan lebih berhati-hati kerana peruntukan MSN juga telah dikurangkan tahun depan yang pasti akan melibatkan program dan aktiviti persatuan sukan.

"Jadi kejayaan di Laos seperti yang dibuktikan oleh sukan tinju dan silat akan diambil kira kerana menjadi amalan kita memberikan bantuan yang lebih kepada sukan-sukan yang berjaya," katanya.

Mesyuarat itu juga bersetuju menghantar 12 jurulatih tempatan ke Kanada tahun depan bagi mendalami ilmu kejurulatihan selama setahun.

"Setakat ini kita belum menetapkan 12 jurulatih terbabit namun ia mungkin menjurus kepada empat jenis sukan yang terlibat di dalam program Road To London 2012 (badminton, memanah, lumba basikal dan terjun)," katanya.


TUGAS berat menanti skuad B-23 negara untuk mempertahankan pingat emas pada temasya di Indonesia 2011 nanti.


Beliau berkata, langkah itu diambil bagi membolehkan pihaknya menumpukan pembangunan di peringkat bawah usia yang muda, tidak seperti sebelum ini yang membabitkan penumpuan atlet elit sahaja.

Mengenai Skim Hadiah Kemenangan Sukan (Shakam) yang dikatakan terlalu kecil berbanding negara lain di Asia Tenggara, Zolkples berkata, perkara itu sedang dikaji pihaknya.

"Pelbagai aspek perlu diambil kira kerana Sukan SEA tidak diutamakan seperti Sukan Asia, Komanwel dan Olimpik malah kita juga membayar gaji, elaun dan penginapan yang mungkin tidak diberikan negara lain," katanya. Malaysia membayar RM5,000 kepada atlet negara yang berjaya memenangi pingat emas serta RM1,000 jika berjaya memecahkan rekod kejohanan manakala Indonesia memberikan ganjaran AS$20,000 (RM68,000), Singapura (AS$10,000 - RM34,000) dan Laos (AS$2,000 - RM6,800) untuk pingat emas.

Sementara itu, mengenai Konvensyen Sukan Kebangsaan 2009 yang akan berlangsung selama dua hari bermula hari ini, Zolkples berkata, terdapat enam jawatankuasa kecil yang membentangkan perkembangan mengenai 100 resolusi yang diluluskan tahun lepas.

Ahmad Shabery: We will start early for 2011 Sea Games


PREPARATIONS for the 2011 Sea Games in Indonesia is expected to start early.

Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said since Indonesia are expected to host the 2011 Sea Games in June, there will be only 18 months to prepare.

"Furthermore, we have to start preparing all the logistics involved, including the delegation of duties for officers involved since the Games will be hosted at four main venues," he told reporters after chairing the National Sports Council's board meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Ahmad Shabery said the meeting also adopted a proposal to take a different approach for the Sea Games.

"It must be given proper attention because it is what the people want. With football being the most popular sport, we need to defend the gold medal."

NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong said preparations for the 2011 SEA Games would start soon.

However,since the allocation for the NSC had been reduced, the council would be prudent in its spending.

"The meeting also agreed to send 12 coaches for a one-year stint in Canada as part of preparations for the 2012 London Olympics."

He added that though NSC has yet to identify the coaches, there was a possibility that the coaches would be among those involved in the Road To London 2012 programme involving badminton, archery, cycling and diving. -- Bernama

Impian jadi kenyataan




UNTUKMU MALAYSIA... Pemain negara merealisasikan impian negara untuk meraih pingat emas
di pentas Sukan SEA selepas 20 tahun.





VIENTIANE, Laos - Selepas menanti selama 20 tahun, akhirnya pingat emas acara bola sepak Sukan SEA kembali berada dalam genggaman Malaysia.

Skuad negara kendalian K. Rajagobal mengakhiri kemarau selama 20 tahun itu apabila berjaya membenam Vietnam 1-0 pada final Sukan SEA XXV di Stadium Utama, Kompleks Sukan Nasional.

Jaringan sendiri oleh pemain Vietnam, Mai Xuan Hop pada minit ke-83 sudah cukup buat barisan muda negara melakar sejarah penuh gemilang di bumi Laos, sekali gus membantu kontinjen Malaysia meraih pingat emas ke-40 semalam.

"Selepas kita menanti 20 tahun, kini anak-anak buah saya sudah mengembalikan semula pingat emas acara bola sepak Sukan SEA buat Malaysia. Kami sememangnya berhak meraih untuk pingat emas ini.

"Selama ini, kita menunggu untuk bergelar juara Sukan SEA dan akhirnya para pemain saya telah merealisasikan impian seluruh peminat bola sepak Malaysia. Saya harap, dengan kejayaan ini, ia akan kembali mengangkat kembali martabat bola sepak Malaysia," kata Rajagobal.

Kali terakhir skuad negara memenangi pingat emas acara bola sepak ialah pada Sukan SEA 1989 di Kuala Lumpur selepas menewaskan Singapura 1-0. Pada Sukan SEA 2001 juga di Kuala Lumpur, skuad negara turut melangkah ke final, namun tewas 0-1 kepada Thailand.

Mengulas lanjut kejayaan anak-anak buahnya mengulangi pencapaian pada Sukan SEA 1989, Rajagobal berkata, kesungguhan serta semangat yang ditunjukkan menjadi antara kunci utama mereka ditabalkan selaku juara pada temasya kali ini.



Successful outing despite fourth finish


THE National Sports Council's (NSC) target of 35 gold medals was surpassed on the final day of competition for the Malaysian Sea Games contingent, but despite being ranked fourth overall -- the lowest final position in 22 years -- Malaysia finished the 25th edition of the regional meet relatively on a high.

Not only did swimmer Daniel Bego emerge the top male athlete of the Games with his five gold and a bronze medal, the final tally of 40 gold, 40 silver and 59 bronze medals also included some of the more significant victories in the Sea Games.

Without a big number of sports in which Malaysia stood strong chances of winning, this tally was widely regarded a success.

Most stunning of all was the Under-23 national football team's recovery from the brink of elimination to beat Thailand and end their domination of the football competition that stretches back to the 1993 Games.

Malaysia then beat hosts Laos convincingly in the semi-finals and put to rest their controversial 3-1 preliminary round defeat to beat Vietnam (1-0) in the final.

The end of football's 20-year gold medal drought was the biggest victory for the contingent, but it wasn't the only new milestone achieved.



The boxing squad finally proved that they were capable of being just as competitive abroad when they ended a 42-year wait for their first gold medals outside of the country through Farkhan Haron and Fairus Azwan Abdullah.

The aquatics squad contributed the most to the national contingent's final tally with nine gold, five silver and six bronze medals from swimming and six gold, one silver and two bronze medals from diving.

The swimming squad powered by Daniel, triple gold medallist Siow Yi Ting and Khoo Cai Lin also impressed in setting 18 new national records. All but one of the nine gold medals won were in Sea Games record time.

All the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) had targeted initially were four gold medals from swimming and four from diving.

The next best performers were the karate squad, who surpassed the target of three gold medals with a final tally of five gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

But in some instances there were still questions about the level of development in the squad, more so in the men's kumite team that only managed the silver medal, thanks mainly to 35-year old R. Puvaneswaran.

Puvaneswaran also won the 55kg gold medal on his Sea Games swansong. All signs show that the 55kg gold medal is set to be lost with his absence from the next Sea Games.

The silat squad too bounced back from the controversy of biased judging at the Korat Sea Games two years ago, to surpass their target of two gold with a total haul of four gold and six bronze medals.

This was by contrast an exceptional case of surpassing a modest target instead of the bold target of 10 gold medals by the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU), which eventually turned out to be an embarrassment, when they only managed six.


While it was a done deal from the start for pole vaulter Rosinda Samsu, the end result was more about the MAAU even failing to meet the modest seven gold medal target set by the NSC.

Athletics was at least saved by the six gold medals, unlike the shooting squad, who featured seasoned shooters Hasli Izwan Amir Hasan, Bibiana Ng and Nur Suryani Taibi.

They were also one of the largest squads in the contingent, but failed to deliver a single gold medal, ending the campaign with six silver and five bronze medals. NST

NSAs directed to prepare for gold chase

THE Road to London programme is still the biggest priority, but Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants the 2011 Sea Games in Indonesia to also be treated more seriously with all national sports associations (NSAs) directed to prepare their best athletes for it.

This would also mean a change in the development structure of elite athletes, with the Sea Games being moved back into a list of major priorities, apart from the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

"My biggest personal aim is still to hear the Negara Ku being played at the London Olympics, but to get there we must keep achieving at the Sea Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games," said Ahmad Shabery.

While this renewed approach to the Sea Games could mean a reduced number of back-up athletes under the Pelapis programme being given exposure in the regional meet, Ahmad Shabery said this was a matter of the back-up athletes themselves raising their game.

"If they do not raise their standards, then they will continue to be in the Pelapis programme.

"This is not only a matter of national pride but also a matter of diplomacy and respecting the hosts.

AHMAD SHABERY CHEEK
AHMAD SHABERY CHEEK

"They might not be too happy if we treat the Sea Games lightly and send only our back-up athletes."

He stated Vietnam as a key example, as that country has risen to be a sporting power after hosting the Sea Games in 2003.

"They are achieving success by taking the Sea Games very seriously. In the space of six years, they have become the dominant force in combat sports and are now moving way ahead of us in these areas."

He added that he will be arranging a working visit to Vietnam specifically to study the facilities and programmes involved in the development of their athletes.

"Maybe we would not have to venture too far to learn how other countries develop athletes. We might be able to learn a lot from Vietnam." NST

Football spirit drive for future campaigns

THERE were more highs than lows for Malaysia as the contingent completed the 25th Sea Games in Laos with a lot of positives in their total haul of 40 gold, 40 silver and 59 bronze medals.

Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said although Malaysia dropped to fourth in the overall rankings, it was a total that surpassed the National Sports Council's (NSC) target of 35 gold medals. "We can be proud that we surpassed the target of 30 to 35 gold medals.

We started this Sea Games as the country most affected by the number of regular medal contributing sports not contested.

This is why our ranking wasn't as high as what we achieved in Korat (second)," said Ahmad Shabery. "We didn't set too high a target this time around because many sports in which we are strong in like bowling, lawn bowls, equestrian, hockey, squash, gymnastics, sailing, basketball and track cycling -- which could have added another 34 gold medals -- were not contested." Ahmad Shabery praised the aquatics squad for their successful outing -- diving and swimming combined to deliver a total of 15 gold medals -- while five-gold medal winner Daniel Bego, who set four records, was the top male athlete of the Games. "Some sports surpassed their target.

The karate squad bagged five gold, wushu got us three and boxing delivered two surprise gold medals," said Ahmad Shabery, who also congratulated the football squad for their gold medal. "This is the talk of the town.

People say that we can win so many medals, but if we lose in football, we lose the whole Games.

  Coach K. Rajagobal celebrates  with his  players after winning the football gold medal.
Coach K. Rajagobal celebrates with his players after winning the football gold medal.

I was there in the changing room at half-time when (coach) K.

Rajagobal spurred on his players and made a change in strategy, calling for his players to be more aggressive or face being substituted. "This was what worked and they piled on the pressure in the second half, forcing Vietnam into a mistake that led to their own goal.

We hope to build on this success so that there is continuity." As far as the lows are concerned, Ahmad Shabery pointed out the shooting squad as among the failures, ending the Games without a single gold medal. The sepak takraw team, who returned with only one silver and a bronze medal and lost in the preliminary round of the doubles to minnows Laos and Vietnam, were another failure. "The athletics squad, too, entered the Games with the Malaysian AAU targeting 10 gold medals, while the NSC targeted seven and they ended with six gold medals." BH

Sports science the key to success



THE success of the football team in Vientiane symbolised the strength of the Malaysian contingent, said chef-de-mission Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz. 
 
Dr Ramlan, who is also National Sports Institute director general, hopes this has raised awareness of the time and focus in development that brought about the success.

Overall, Dr Ramlan stressed that sports science has played a major role in the football team's triumph even if it is yet to be fully accepted by many athletes.

"While we celebrate our success, I'm already thinking about next year, 2011 and 2012. What is important for us to remember, apart from what caused us to lose in certain sports, is to learn about how we won," said Dr Ramlan.

He said the success of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore was largely due to the fact that they have moved sports science down to the very beginning of the development structure.

"In the Singapore sports school, they have their own sports science team working with the students, which we don't have yet," said Dr Ramlan.


He noted that the majority of the Under-23 football squad under coach K. Rajagobal were the first batch of players that had been together since their days in the national Under-16 squad based at the Bukit Jalil Sports School.

Dr Ramlan revealed that a team of psychologists were assigned to the players to find out what was wrong and to lift their spirits after the 3-1 preliminary round defeat to Vietnam.

"This was a team who had been worked on and they were able to absorb the sports science approach from quite early. What also helped was that they had a coach who was receptive, so this made it easier for us to get to the players," said Dr Ramlan.

"Further than that, we need coaches who are steeped in a scientific and systematic approach. When you have got this, then you have kids who have the foundation.

"Most of our kids don't have this. Our kids are only given sports science exposure when they reach a level where they are prepared for the Malaysia Games.

"It has helped them, but it cannot garner that consistent performance that you are looking for."

As to the sports which failed (shooting, sepak takraw, archery and athletics), Dr Ramlan there need not be a punitive approach.

"We must strike the right balance. As much as we would like to say that they have to be accountable for their failures, this is an ongoing situation. We still have to work on them," said Dr Ramlan.

"We should know what we want and we should know that it costs money (to develop athletes). When we are properly 'resourced', both financially and in the human resource aspect, then we can say we are a developed sporting nation.

"There was a wise man who said there are no failures, but only early attempts at success. The failures of today mean our job is to turn them into the successes of tomorrow.



 Laos Games organisers hand the flag to Indonesian officials as the next Games hosts.

Laos Games organisers hand the flag to Indonesian officials as the next Games hosts.

"Never mind the failures. We will study how we failed and ensure they will be turned into successes in the future. But those who have succeeded, they, too, must know why they have succeeded. That has been our previous problem. In celebrating our success, we always forget to study why we have succeeded." - NST

Minister wants Malaysia to be silat power


THE marked improvement shown by the silat squad has significantly raised their profile and this is one sport where the government, will from now, provide full support in preparation for the Sea Games.

Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek explained that silat, unlike most sports, is an indigenous Southeast Asian sport and for which the Sea Games is of high importance.

"This is why we have to look at silat differently, because it is a matter of pride between the countries in this region. In fact, it is a sport which we consider our own, so it should also be surprising that a country like Vietnam can dominate this sport," said Ahmad Shabery.

Malaysia ended their Sea Games silat campaign with four gold and six bronze medals -- second in the overall silat standings behind Vietnam, who registered six gold, four silver and one bronze medal.

"It is also a sport that is important to Indonesia, so definitely as hosts of the next Sea Games, they will be preparing all out to improve on their disappointing outing this time around.

"So, we too have to start thinking about the next Sea Games and how our silat exponents are going to be prepared." NST

Atlit terbaik pilihan Berita Harian


DANIEL mendominasi acara 100, 200 dan 400 meter gaya bebas serta 100 dan 200 meter kuak kupu-kupu dan membantu pasukan renang menyumbangkan sembilan emas.

  • Daniel Bego (renang - individu)
  • Bola sepak lelaki (berpasukan)

    DENGAN lima pingat emas dan empat rekod kejohanan dan kebangsaan, tidak syak lagi perenang sensasi negara, Daniel Bego dijulang selaku atlit individu terbaik negara dalam temasya edisi ini.

    Dilahirkan di Kuching, Sarawak, Daniel, 21, melakarkan sejarah tersendiri di Pusat Akuatik, Vientiane dengan menjadi perenang lelaki dalam sejarah Sukan Sea memenangi lima emas dalam satu temasya.

    Acara yang didominasi ialah 100 dan 200 meter gaya bebas, 400 meter gaya bebas dan 100 dan 200 kupu-kupu dan membantu pasukan renang menyumbangkan sejumlah sembilan emas.

    Sementara itu, menamatkan penantian 20 tahun untuk pingat emas acara bola sepak adalah kejayaan paling manis buat anak buah K Rajagobal selepas terpaksa menempuh gelora merenung penyingkiran awal.

    Bermula garang dengan kemenangan 11 gol ke atas Timor Leste sebelum tunduk 3-1 kepada Vietnam. Kemudian mereka bangkit dengan kejayaan 4-1 ke atas Kemboja sebelum melakarkan kemenangan gemilang ka atas raja bola sepak Asia Tenggara, Thailand 2-1 untuk mara ke separuh akhir, sekali gus menamatkan dominasi negara Gajah Putih itu sebagai juara lapan kali bertuut-turut.

    Di separuh akhir, Malaysia menewaskan tuan rumah 3-1 sebelum kejayaan hebat meruntuhkan keegoan Vietnam 1-0 di final, untuk menaikkan kembali martabat bola sepak negara.

  • 40 emas satu kejayaan buat Dr Ramlan




    SASARAN minimum dicapai dengan mudah, malah catatan 40 pingat emas boleh dirumuskan sebagai satu kejayaan buat chef-de-mission negara, Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz (gambar).

    Dengan catatan 40 emas, 40 perak dan 59 gangsa, tugasan Ramlan dianggap berjaya walaupun sebelum ini dilabel sebagai 'bersendirian' menjalankan tugas utama selaku orang nombor satu kontingen negara.

    "Ia temasya kecil tetapi cukup memuaskan hati dan amat meninggalkan kesan," katanya.


    Bagi Dr Ramlan, pencapaian kali ini adalah kejayaan buat masa depan namun ada amaran diluahkan Ketua Pengarah Institut Sukan Negara (iSn) itu betapa kita tidak seharusnya hanya memandang kemenangan dan melupakan kegagalan.

    "Kita perlu mengkaji kenapa kita tidak berjaya, kita perlu tahu kenapa ia terjadi.

    "Perkara ini sentiasa kita lupakan dan kita tidak mengeksploitasi kelebihan milik kita," katanya.

    Menurut Dr Ramlan, walaupun sudah menamatkan tugasannya, beliau akan memanggil pengurus-pengurus pasukan pada Januari ini untuk melihat kembali apa yang mampu dilakukan untuk memperbaiki kelemahan yang ada.

    Dr Ramlan berkata, dia mahu berbincang dan mengkaji kelemahan ditunjukkan atlit pada temasya kali ini dan meneruskan usaha berterusan dalam aspek pembangunan untuk kejohanan utama selepas ini dengan sasaran utama bagi program 'Road to London'. BH

    Hanya atlit terbaik sertai Sukan Sea masa depan



    HANYA atlit terbaik dan elit yang akan menyertai Sukan Sea pada masa akan datang dan Malaysia juga kemungkinan mengambil bahagian dalam sukan tradisional seperti muay thai, semata-mata untuk menjana ‘faktor rasa seronok’ di kalangan rakyat.

    Berdepan ‘rasa seronok' pertamanya dengan pencapaian kontinjen negara, Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, dalam apa yang boleh dianggap sebagai pengumuman dasar baru kementerian, tampak meletakkan faktor keceriaan sebagai faktor penting temasya dwitahunan itu.

    Pada sidang akhbar mengumumkan rumusan prestasi kontinjen negara, Ahmad Shabery yang sentiasa menekankan 'faktor rasa seronok" juga mahu sukan negara melihat ke arah Vietnam, yang mencapaia kejayaan cemerlang kali ini.


    "Kemenangan bola sepak membangkitkan ‘rasa seronok’ di kalangan rakyat Malaysia," katanya pada majlis yang turut dihadiri Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Wee Jeck Seng, chef-de-mission Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz dan Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN), Datuk Zolkples Embong.

    "Kita harus memandang Sukan Sea sebagai temasya serius dan saya minta persatuan menghantar hanya atlit terbaik kerana kemenangan pingat boleh membangkit ‘rasa seronok’ di kalangan rakyat.

    "Selain itu, jika kita menghantar atlit pelapis ia boleh membangkitkan masalah diplomatik antara negara peserta apabila mereka menghantar yang terbaik sedangkan kita tidak.

    "Kita juga perlu melihat kepada sukan lain yang boleh menyumbang pingat seperti muay thai di mana sukan ini dimainkan di tanah air tetapi kita tidak mempunyai pasukan sedangkan ia menawarkan banyak pingat. Orang ingin melihat kemenangan kerana ia dapat membangkit rasa seronok."

    Ahmad Shabery mahu Malaysia melihat kepada Vietnam, yang mencapai kejayaan cemerlang di temasya ini terutama dalam sukan mempertahankan diri.

    "Dalam tempoh enam tahun sejak menjadi tuan rumah 2003, Vietnam meningat dengan mendadak," kata Ahmad Shabery. "Mungkin kita boleh mencontohi kejayaan mereka dalam tempoh yang singkat itu, Oleh itu, saya bercadang berkunjung ke negara itu bagi melihat secara dekat perancangan sukannya."

    Untuk rekod, sebaik Malaysia muncul juara Sukan Sea 2001 di Kuala Lumpur, MSN menyatakan temasya itu bukan lagi keutamaan dengan tumpuan kepada Sukan Asia, Komanwel dan Olimpik manakala atlit pelapis diberi peluang beraksi di Sukan Sea.

    Namun, dengan pengumuman baru Ahmad Shabery itu, Sukan Sea kembali diberi keutamaan dan atlit terbaik akan beraksi dalam usaha mengejar emas bagi mewujudkan rasa seronok berkenaan. BH

    'Tidak pernah duga ini kesudahannya'



    APA yang digapainya di Stadium Utama, Kompleks Sukan Nasional Laos, malam kelmarin adalah sesuatu yang masih sukar untuk dipercayai Mohd Sharbinee Allawee.

    Manakan tidak, daripada hampir tidak dapat menaiki penerbangan ke Vientiane, dia sebaliknya mengakhiri cabaran bola sepak temasya ini dengan pengiktirafan baru selaku penjaga gol utama negara dan kalungan pingat emas di leher.

    "Memang saya tidak pernah duga semua ini. Gembira sangat-sangat. Ini Sukan Sea pertama dan juga yang terakhir buat saya. Terima kasih kepada jurulatih, K Rajagobal, yang berani untuk percaya dengan saya," kata Sharbinee, 22.


    Sharbinee sebelumnya bersaing dengan Syed Adney Syed Hussein untuk tempat selaku penjaga gol kedua negara - di belakang Farizal Marlias - sebelum dia memanfaat sebaik mungkin peluang beraksi ketika menentang Kemboja di peringkat kumpulan, selepas Farizal tersisih akibat penggantungan.

    Semenjak itu, posisi selaku benteng terakhir negara kekal miliknya - diperkukuh aksi mantap ketika menentang Thailand selain kekentalan aksi bertemu Laos di separuh akhir dan penampilan persembahan penuh yakin serta tenang ketika menyerap asakan Vietnam di final.

    Tuah juga dikongsi pemain sayap lincah, S Kunanlan, yang juga hadir selaku pemain simpanan, tetapi diberi kepercayaan untuk memikul cabaran dalam barisan utama pada dua perlawanan terakhir negara.

    "Pingat emas ini memang sesuatu yang amat berharga buat saya. Selepas menang Piala Malaysia bersama Negeri Sembilan, saya dapat pula menang emas Sukan Sea bersama pasukan ini," katanya. BH

    25th SEA Games/Football: Determination drives Malaysia

    JUST a week ago they were seconds away from elimination but a redeemed national Under-23 football team were the ones celebrating the sweet taste of Sea Games gold 20 years on from Malaysia's last success yesterday.


    Never mind that it took an own goal to settle an entertaining tactical battle with Vietnam at the National Stadium in Vientiane.

    Because here are 20 players who carried the burden of a nation on their young shoulders and emerging with their reputation enhanced.

    It was what skipper Aidil Zafuan Radzak called upon his teammates to do in a bid to prove to doubters that there is hope in Malaysian football yet.

    "What proved the difference today (yesterday) from that 3-1 loss to Vietnam before was the team's spirit and discipline.

    "We have matured because of that experience and in just two weeks have grown from boys to men.

    Pham Thanh Luong (left)   of Vietnam fights for the ball with Malaysia’s  Mohd Sabre Mat Abu in the final at the National Stadium in Vientiane yesterday. Malaysia won 1-0.
    Pham Thanh Luong (left) of Vietnam fights for the ball with Malaysia’s Mohd Sabre Mat Abu in the final at the National Stadium in Vientiane yesterday. Malaysia won 1-0.

    "Our desire not to give up and our hunger to end the country's 20-year wait for the football gold was what drove us to this victory.

    "Every time the coach showed us a video of that earlier Vietnam match, we became even more motivated. This is a perfect reward for the players, coaches and people of Malaysia," said Aidil, 23, having led by example with a stellar performance in defence.

    A half-time pep talk by coach K. Rajagobal saw Malaysia emerge re-energised for the second half when they wore down the Vietnam defence with their incisive breakaway attacks.

    Rajagobal proved a master tactician against a host of foreign-coached sides in Vientiane, including Vietnam's Portuguese coach Henrique Callisto.

    "All I told the players was that they had 45 minutes left to make their dreams come true. We soaked up Vietnam's pressure without cracking so now it was our chance to turn on the style.

    "Our final pass was not good and we kept losing possession. If they wanted the gold as badly as I know they did, then they had to prove it on the field," said Rajagobal.

    And so they did, Azmi Muslim's introduction with 10 minutes left for Baddrol Bakhtiar doing the trick.

    Picking up the ball in his own half, Azmi drove through the Vietnam midfield and tried to feed Zaquan before laying it off for Safiq.

    Safiq's cross from the left eluded Zaquan Adha Radzak, which caught Vietnam defender Mai Xuan Hop by surprise as the ball bounced off him and past goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong in the 84th minute.


    "We knew we could score because we saw the Vietnam defence was a bit shaky. I don't care how the ball went in, scoring the goal was all we cared about," added Aidil. NST

    Perfect ending!

    VIETNAM stood in Malaysia's way to several milestones yesterday, most significantly the football final but the nation's 20-year wait for the gold medal ended when K. Rajagobal's squad triumphed 1-0 at the National Stadium.

    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed his happiness at the achievement of the football team in winning the gold medal at the Sea Games in Laos and hopes that it is not a seasonal success.

    "We wish to see a significant change in the position of our football team compared to the other nations"

    "We should use this victory as a stepping stone for greater success in future," he told Malaysian journalists after delivering his speech at the Conference on Climatic Change organised by the United Nations, yesterday.

    On the success of the Malaysian contingent in winning 40 gold medals so far, Najib said it was a good achievement compared to the minimum target of 25 gold medals.

    "But there are still other events going on, and we may raise the tally," he said.

    The Jalur Gemilang-waving Malaysian team  celebrate their gold medal triumph yesterday.
    The Jalur Gemilang-waving Malaysian team celebrate their gold medal triumph yesterday.

    He also congratulated all the Malaysian athletes who had succeeded in winning medals in the biennial games and described the success as "most encouraging".

    Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin joined in the joy and congratulated the Malaysian players.

    He said Malaysians were proud they had ended the 20-year wait.

    "I hope this victory will spur the national team to greater heights and deliver consistent results in future tournaments," said Muhyiddin in a statement from Mecca.

    The Malaysian contingent started the day by first meeting the minimal 30-gold medal target set by the National Sports Council (NSC), when 22-year-old silat exponent Mohd Fauzi Khalid overcame Vietnamese rival Truong Van Mao in the 70-75kg category.

    That was followed by three more gold medals from silat exponents Faizal Abdullah, Mohd Hafiz Mahari and Emy Latip as Malaysia surged towards the optimistic target of 35 gold medals.

    Pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu, high jumper Lee Hup Wei and quartermiler Zafril Zuslaini with a surprise gold in the men's 400m at the athletics track ensured that was met.

    Then, later in the day boxers Farkhan Haron and Fairus Azwan Abdullah ended the country's 42-year wait for a gold medal outside of Kuala Lumpur in the regional meet that began with the SEAP Games.

    It was a first ever outside of Kuala Lumpur since the SEAP Games became the Sea Games in 1977.


    The women's badminton pair of Wong Pei Tty and Chin Ee Hui delivered the 40th gold medal when they overcame Singapore's Yao Lei and Shinta M Sari in the final.

    The final tally of 40 gold, 40 silver and 59 bronze medals for Malaysia, who ended their Sea Games campaign on the penultimate day as no athletes are involved today, was even sweeter as the football gold was once again in Malaysian hands. NST

    Kemarau sudah berakhir


    RAJAGOBAL meraikan kejayaan skuadnya muncul juara selepas menewaskan Vietnam 1-0, malam tadi.

    Emas ke-40 kontinjen negara sumbangan anak buah Raja

    DUA puluh tahun menanti, ianya berakhir dengan nikmat yang sukar digambarkan.

    Malaysia kini kembali bermegah selaku juara Sukan Sea apabila menangani dengan bijak segala percaturan dijelmakan Vietnam dalam laluan melakar kemenangan 1-0 pada final, semalam.


    Kejayaan itu, hadir selaku pingat emas ke-40 kontinjen Malaysia, adalah kali pertama membawa pulang pengiktirafan daripada gelanggang asing selepas kali terakhir dilakukan generasi pemain dikepalai Mokhtar Dahari di Jakarta pada 1979.

    Ia juga mengembalikan gembira bergelar juara yang kali terakhir dirasai di Stadium Merdeka, 20 tahun lalu.

    "Perasaan ini sukar digambarkan. Ini untuk bola sepak negara. Untuk rakyat Malaysia. Tetapi sekali lagi saya ingatkan, ini hanya permulaan. Kita perlu bersabar untuk melihat skuad negara yang lebih mantap pada masa depan," tegas jurulatih, K Rajagobal.

    GOL kemenangan Malaysia bermula detik ini apabila percubaan Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (kiri) terkena pertahanan lawan menyebabkan bola membias sekali gus menewaskan penjaga gol Vietnam, Tan Truong Bui, semalam.

    Cuma, Rajagobal tidak lokek pujian kepada barisan pemain yang jelas mencetus rasa bangga buatnya.

    Kerana sejak awal permainan, rintangan menanti memang tidak mudah. Vietnam barisan jauh lebih tersusun dan kemas berbanding Laos yang ditumpaskan sebelum ini. Malah untuk beberapa detik awal, mereka lebih kerap mengatur gerak ancaman buat menguji kubu skuad negara.

    Selepas saling mematahkan ancaman cuba dijelmakan, Vietnam beroleh peluang pertama pada minit ke-26 apabila umpanan lintang jauh melepasi Mohd Sabre Mat Abu dan S Kunanlan dalam kawasan penalti untuk ditanduk Mai Tien Thanh.

    Namun penjaga gol, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee sempat melayangkan diri untuk menepis keluar ancaman.

    Empat minit kemudiannya, Kunanlan meledakkan rembatan dari jarak 25 meter yang bagaimanapun terus ke dakapan penjaga gol Vietnam, Bui Tan Truong manakala umpanan lintang dari sebelah kanan, beberapa minit kemudiannya, melepasi Safiq Rahim untuk menanduk ke sasaran.

    Dominasi babak kedua jelas milik skuad negara. Terbukti menerusi cubaan K Gurusamy yang sipi pada minit ke-46, tandukan Ahmad Fakri Saarani yang sedikit melewati palang pada minit ke-57 serta cubaan Norshahrul Idlan Talaha yang diselamatkan benteng lawan di atas garisan pada minit ke-62.

    Vietnam dipaksa lebih bertahan, dengan dihadkan sesekali mengatur ancaman yang ditangani cantik barisan benteng penuh berdisiplin diterajui Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, Mohamad Muslim Ahmad, Nasriq Baharom, Mohd Sabre Mat Abu dan Sharbinee di gawang.

    Pemecah kebuntuan gol akhirnya ditemui skuad negara pada minit ke-84. Berpunca daripada hantaran lintang Mohd Azmi Muslim, Safiq menyaksikan umpanannya terlepas daripada Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak dan untungnya buat skuad negara, terkena kaki pertahanan Vietnam, Mai Xuan Hop sebelum masuk ke gawang Vietnam. BH

    'Kejayaan terbesar dalam hidup saya'



    Aidil Zafuan

    Saya bangga kerana berjaya melaksanakan tugas yang diberi dengan amat baik: Aidil Zafuan

    "INI kejayaan terbesar dalam hidup saya. Inilah permulaan yang terbaik untuk kami."

    Luahan itu adalah yang pertama diucapkan kapten, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, sebaik skuad negara menamatkan penantian emas selama 20 tahun untuk kembali mengungguli pentas saingan Sukan Sea.


    Wajahnya jelas penuh kelegaan, terutama mengambil kira betapa hebatnya Aidil dan rakan seganding lain - Mohamad Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Sabre Mat Abu dan Nasriq Baharom - diuji dengan serangan tanpa henti Vietnam, terutamanya pada babak pertama perlawanan.

    "Memang kami jadi mangsa asakan yang ibarat tanpa henti pada babak pertama. Saya amat-amat bersyukur kerana kami berjaya bertahan dengan baik. Selepas gol itu, matlamat saya ialah memastikan kubu kami kekal tidak dibolosi.

    "Terima kasih kepada semua rakan sepasukan. Kami sudah berusaha sebaik mungkin dan hadiah ini juga bukan untuk kami, tetapi juga kepada semua pihak yang memberikan sokongan. Juga kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia," katanya.

    Turut wajar diberi pujian ialah penjaga gol, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, yang ibarat tembok tanpa ada ruang mampu ditembusi lawan.

    Beberapa gerak aksinya menakjubkan, dengan layangan badan untuk menepis keluar cubaan ataupun bertindak berani keluar merebahkan diri dan merampas bola di kaki penyerang lawan.

    "Saya berterima kasih kepada jurulatih, K Rajagobal, kerana percaya kepada saya. Saya sentiasa ingat bahawa ini rezeki saya - untuk dapat awalnya terpilih dalam pasukan dan kemudiannya mendapat peluang beraksi dalam kesebelasan utama.

    "Saya bangga kerana berjaya melaksanakan tugas yang diberi dengan amat baik," katanya. BH

    'Masuk ke padang, nikmati detik hebat ini'





    BABAK pertama terikat tanpa jaringan. Apa yang dilakukan kesebelasan negara tampak lebih kepada melunturkan sebarang percaturan taktikal Vietnam.

    Tetapi segalanya berubah pada babak kedua apabila dominasi dan ancaman ketara milik negara dalam laluan menang 1-0 dan meraih emas bola sepak temasya kali ini.

    Lantas, apa rahsianya? Jurulatih, K Rajagobal berkongsi juga apa mesejnya kepada pemain, sebaik tamat upacara penyampaian hadiah di Stadium Utama, Kompleks Sukan Nasional Laos, malam tadi.


    "Saya katakan kepada pemain bahawa mereka sudah melakukan tugas yang baik pada 45 minit pertama. Vietnam langsung tidak berjaya memperolehi jaringan. Cuma, ada kekurangan yang perlu diperbaiki. Ketika itu, mereka kerap dan cepat hilang penguasaan bola. Peluang yang ada juga tidak dimanfaatkan.

    "Saya tegaskan kepada penyerang-penyerang saya, jika mereka tidak agresif pada babak kedua, saya tidak akan teragak-agak mengeluarkan mereka, tidak kira siapa.

    "Saya mahu mereka yakin dengan diri sendiri. Mereka sudah buktikan dengan kemaraan sejauh ini. Beraksi di final yang tiada siapa percaya pada mulanya. Jadi, jangan biarkan tekanan ataupun harapan tinggi mengganggu mereka lagi.

    "Saya mahu mereka fikirkan bagaimana perasaannya nanti apabila dapat membawa balik emas. Lebih utama, saya mahu mereka masuk ke padang dan menikmati detik bersejarah buat mereka ini. Bermain, dan nikmatilah detik ini," katanya.

    Ianya jelas menjadi kerana Vietnam yang sebelumnya berbangga dengan kelebihan psikologi selepas menang 3-1 di peringkat kumpulan, akhirnya akur dengan hakikat betapa malam tadi, kesebelasan negara adalah pemenang yang berhak.

    Lawan itu kini pulang dengan kecewa dan dipaksa terus menanti - tanpa pernah sekalipun merasai nikmat dikalungkan pingat emas bola sepak Sukan Sea dalam sejarah penyertaan mereka.BH

    Hari menakjubkan: Chef-de-mission


    KILAUAN emas ke-40 milik kontinjen negara, yang dijelmakan pasukan bola sepak negara, bingkas diiktiraf chef-de-mission, Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz, sebagai pelengkap bagi edisi ke-25 kali ini.


    “Kemenangan bola sepak melengkapkan kempen cabaran kontinjen negara kali ini. Semalam (kelmarin), pungutan pingat emas agak perlahan, tetapi saya yakin kita mampu sekurang-kurangnya mencapai angka 36 pingat emas hari ini.

    "Apa yang dihasilkan hari ini - 11 pingat pada satu hari - memang menakjubkan. Tahniah kepada atlit-atlit negara yang berjaya melakukannya, terutamanya skuad bola sepak negara," katanya.

    Najib, Muhyiddin turut ucap tahniah

    DATUK Seri Najib Razak berharap kejayaan pasukan bola sepak negara akan menjadi detik perubahan kepada sukan popular ini dan bukan sekadar kejayaan bermusim.


    Sambil menyatakan rasa gembira dengan kejayaan itu, Perdana Menteri mahu pasukan negara terus berusaha meningkatkan kedudukan mereka.

    “Saya begitu gembira sebab kita sudah lama tunggu kejayaan ini. Tetapi saya berharap ia bukan kejayaan bermusim atau seketika saja.


    “Saya mahu melihat perubahan ketara kepada pencapaian pasukan kita dalam kedudukan dunia.

    “Gunalah kejayaan di Sukan Sea ini sebagai batu lonjatan ke arah kejayaan lebih baik pada masa akan datang," katanya di Copenhagen, Denmark ketika diminta mengulas kejayaan bersejarah skuad negara.

    Perdana Menteri juga gembira dengan kejayaan kontijen negara meraih 40 pingat emas sehingga petang semalam berbanding sasaran hanya 35 emas.

    “Ia satu pencapaian yang begitu baik...saya difahamkan masih ada beberapa acara lagi dan 40 emas itu bukan jumlah muktamad dan kita harap akan ada lagi.

    “Kejayaan kita itu amat memberangsangkan dan kita ucap tahniah kepada atlit kita,” katanya.

    Sementara itu Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin turut mengucap tahniah kepada pasukan negara yang berjaya memenangi pingat emas selepas menumpaskan Vietnam.

    “Syukur alhamdulillah. Tahniah diucapkan kepada pasukan Malaysia yang menjadi juara Sukan Sea. Seluruh rakyat berbangga dengan kemenangan ini selepas musim kemarau yang panjang,” katanya semalam.

    Beliau yang kini berada di Makkah berharap ia akan menjadi penyuntik semangat kepada pemain supaya pasukan negara akan terus konsisten dan cemerlang.

    Warga Malaysia turut sumbang kejayaan temasya

    KEJAYAAN penganjuran temasya kali ini sebenarnya adalah kejayaan warga Malaysia - yang jadi 'orang di belakang tabir' demi memastikan pengendalian acara mahupun pengurusan keputusan, berjalan dengan lancar.

    Antara pemegang watak utama ialah syarikat WSL Sdn Bhd (WSL) - yang diberi kepercayaan oleh Jawatankuasa Penganjur Sukan Sea Laos (Laosoc) untuk menguruskan sistem pendaftaran atlit, profil semua 25 acara selain keputusan selepas berakhirnya setiap pertandingan.

    "Kami bertanggungjawab untuk mengendalikan pendaftaran atlit sejak mula selain menyediakan pelbagai program dan perisian berkaitan untuk memastikan maklumat diperlukan semua pihak termasuk media, disediakan," kata Ketua Perunding Media WSL, Abdullah Abdul Rahman.


    Selain itu, kepakaran pegawai-pegawai Malaysia juga digunakan penganjur Laos dalam merangka persiapan awal, seperti pegawai Persekutuan Kebangsaan Berbasikal Malaysia (MNCF), Maniam Manickam yang sudah lebih sebulan di Vientiane selaku Pengarah Perlumbaan acara sukan itu.

    Selain itu, pembabitan syarikat Malaysia juga ketara, seperti Mesuma Sdn Bhd - dengan kehadiran perunding dan penasihatnya, George Heng - yang bukan setakat membekalkan kelengkapan pakaian kontinjen negara, tetapi turut membantu Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) menjaga segala urusan berkaitan atlit negara di Vientiane. BH

    Zolkples sanjung Daniel, Yi Ting


    ADA rasa kagum diakui Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN), Datuk Zolkples Embong terhadap Daniel Bego dan Siow Yi Ting yang menunjangi pencapaian sembilan emas skuad negara pada temasya kali ini.


    "Saya memang kagum dan hormati Daniel atas apa yang dilakukan. Pada awalnya, memang jadual ketat dalam sesuatu acara jadi penghalang, tetapi Daniel buktikan bahawa dia mampu mengatasi rintangan sebegitu dan meraih lima emas untuk negara.

    "Yi Ting juga sama. Tiga emasnya begitu bermakna dan jika tidak kerana dia demam dan tidak sihat pada hari terakhir renang sebelumnya, mungkin dia mampu untuk menyumbang satu lagi emas.


    "Mereka menghasilkan prestasi yang bukan sahaja menepati sasaran, tetapi jauh melangkauinya lagi," katanya.

    Apa dimaksudkan Zolkples ialah betapa bukan sahaja kilauan emas dicapai, tetapi lakaran rekod baru kebangsaan serta kejohanan yang ibarat mudah tumbang satu persatu.

    "Biasanya, apabila mengejar pingat, catatan masa untuk rekod baru tidak terlalu kita pentingkan. Tetapi mereka membuktikan bahawa mereka mampu untuk melakukan kedua-duanya sekali gus," katanya.

    Semua emas yang disumbangkan Bego dan Yi Ting adalah catatan rekod baru, sama ada rekod kebangsaan ataupun rekod Sukan Sea.

    Selain mereka, turut menyumbang emas menerusi renang ialah Khoo Cai Lin. Pencapaian skuad akuatik negara disempurnakan hasil sumbangan enam emas menerusi barisan penerjun seperti Yeoh Ken Nee, Bryan Nickson Lomas, Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong dan Ng Yan Yee.

    Zafril penuhi janji untuk ibu


    ZAFRIL bangga dengan pingat emas yang dinantinya sejak 2005.

    MOHD Zafril Mohd Zuslaini menenuhi janji yang dibuat di hadapan arwah ibunya, Zainun Abidin empat tahun lalu, apabila mempamerkan larian bertenaga untuk memenangi emas acara 400 meter lelaki dengan catatan peribadi terbaiknya, 47.11 saat.

    Selepas gagal memenangi emas di Manila 2005 ketika arwah ibu dan bapanya hadir di stadium, Zafril tekad untuk meraih emas untuk anugerah kepada ibu tersayang, yang meninggal dunia pada September 2007 akibat barah paru-paru.

    Sebahagian daripada janji itu sudahpun tertunai ketika dia membantu kuartet 4x400m meraih emas di Korat dan semalam, bertempat di balapan Stadium Utama, Zafril melunaskan janjinya, untuk mengatasi pelari tempat kedua, Heru Astriyanto dari Indonesia (47.35s) dan atlit pilihan, Jukkatip Pojaroean dari Thailand, (47.53s).


    "Tekad saya di sini untuk memenangi emas individu dan mengotakan janji kepada arwah ibu saya," katanya, yang kemenangannya turut disambut Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Sabery Cheek, yang berada di garisan penamat. "Saya tanam azam ini sejak tiba di sini.

    "Saya sungguh gembira kerana akhirnya berjaya menunaikan janji pada arwah ibu untuk memenangi emas selepas kegagalan berbuat demikian enam tahun lalu ketika ibu berada di stadium menyaksikan saya berlari.

    "Sewaktu perlumbaan, saya tidak memikirkan pelari lain sebaliknya hanya menumpu kepada garisan penamat dan sentiasa memberi semangat kepada diri sendiri dengan berkata 'Ayuh Zafril, hanya ada 30m lagi... ayuh Zafril hanya 20m dan 10m, sehingga saya berjaya melepas garisan penamat.

    "Ia kemenangan yang cukup bermakna dalam diri saya," kata atlit berusia 24 tahun berasal dari Kemaman, Terengganu itu.

    Jelas terpancar keazaman dalam diri Zafril apabila memecut dan mendahului perlumbaan sebaik pistol permulaan dibunyikan, dan dia tidak menoleh selepas itu.

    Kemenangan Zafril itu menyaksikan dia berjaya menamatkan kemarau 12 tahun untuk pingat emas 400m lelaki dengan kejayaan terakhir diraih pelari Kedah, Romzi Bakar di Jakarta pada 1997.

    Masuk perangkap ciptaan sendiri

    KETIADAAN strategi antara dua pelari negara - Mohd Jironi Riduan dan M Vadivellan dalam acara 1,500 meter menyaksikan Malaysia kempunan untuk meraih emas tatkala jaguh dari Vietnam, Nguyen Dinh Coung mudah menjinakkan kedua-duanya dalam perlumbaan, semalam.

    Sama seperti apa yang berlaku dalam perlumbaan 800m dua hari ini, apabila tiada kerjasama atau strategi antara Jironi dan M Mathialagan, yang turut menyaksikan Malaysia kempunan, emas, ia juga tiada bezanya semalam apabila kedua-dua wakil negara tampak berlari mengikut strategi masing-masing.

    Jironi mengakui tidak ada strategi antara dirinya dan Vadivellan semalam, sama ketika dia bersama Mathialagan dalam acara 800m.


    "Memang tidak ada kerjasama untuk merangka strategi kemenangan," katanya sebaik berakhir akhir 1,500m di mana dia menduduki tempat kedua. "Masing-masing berlari mengikut arahan jurulatih masing-masing kerana kami berlatih di bawah jurulatih berbeza.

    "Jika kerjasama antara kami dapat menghasilkan kemenangan apa salahnya. Apa yang penting ialah negara mendapat emas dan saya pasti kami bersedia untuk berkorban bagi memastikan kemenangan.

    "Tetapi setahu saya memang tidak ada strategi perlumbaan dirangka atau dibincangkan sebelum perlumbaan 1,500m atau 800m," katanya.

    Jironi ketika ini dibimbing jurulatih dari Iran, Azizollah Mirzaei, Vadivellan di bawah tunjuk ajar bekas jaguh 1,500m S Muthiah manakala Mathialagan pula dilatih K Jayabalan.

    Arshad tuding jari ke arah PSM

    MEMANG senang mencari alasan tetapi hakikat sebenar jelas tidak mampu ditutup betapa skuad negara memang tidak berada di ‘kelas' sepatutnya pada saingan temasya kali ini.

    Ketika gelaran gergasi masih melekat di kalangan negara rantau ini sebelum bermula saingan di Laos - semalam terdedah betapa gergasi itu sudah hilang giginya.

    Dan kejayaan pasangan Mohd Saifullah Mohd Nor serta Nurakmal Firdauz Ahmad menundukkan Indonesia dalam acara double, itupun menerusi tie break 15-13 selepas kecundang set pertama 21-15 dan menang set kedua 21-17 membuktikan ada sesuatu yang harus diperbaiki secepat mungkin.


    "Kita ada semua kemampuan tetapi pemain kerap hilang fokus, mereka ada kelebihan tetapi sering melakukan kesilapan kecil yang membawa padah," kata pengurus pasukan yang juga Setiausaha Agung Persatuan Sepak Takraw Malaysia (PSM), Datuk Arshad Yahya.

    "Kita juga diletakkan dalam kumpulan kuat terdiri daripada Laos, Indonesia dan Vietnam."

    Tampak seperti sekadar alasan remeh, negara luar seperti Laos diakui Arshad sudah lama bersedia untuk Sukan Sea - namun PSM lebih gemar menjauhkan diri gara-gara masalah penggunaan bola di temasya Korat.

    Hasilnya, pengalaman harus ditimba pemain tidak dapat direalisasikan sambil janji membawa pulang dua emas menjadi sekadar cakap kosong dengan hanya satu perak menerusi acara berpasukan lelaki dan gangsa antara regu.

    Lebih daripada itu, jika dulu hanya Thailand mampu mencetus rasa bimbang kini Arshad menegaskan skuad negara perlu melihat lebih teliti pasukan lain yang sudah semakin meningkat terutama bagi menghadapi Sukan Asia tahun depan.

    "Kita harus perhatikan Korea Selatan dan China di Sukan Asia nanti, Laos juga boleh mendatangkan ancaman terutama dalam acara regu, mungkin mereka dibantu penyokong tetapi memang mereka memiliki skuad yang bagus," kata Arshad.

    Fauzi surprise boosts squad

    THE silat squad put to rest the failure in Korat two years ago by ending the Laos Sea Games with four gold medals on the final day of competition at the Lao International Trade and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

    The day began with a surprise when 22-year-old policeman Mohd Fauzi Khalid overcame the odds to trounce long time rival Truong Van Mao of Vietnam in the below 75kg category final 5-0.

    At the time of his win, Fauzi had delivered Malaysia's 30th gold medal of this Sea Games, which meant the National Sports Council's minimal target was already met, although it would eventually be surpassed.

    Faizal Abdullah, Mohd Hafiz Mahari and Emy Latip followed that up for a perfect performance of four wins from the four finalists Malaysia paraded yesterday. That also ended Vietnam's almost total dominance of silat events, as Malaysia finished second in the overall silat medal standings.

    "I really focused on beating this Vietnamese exponent as I had lost to him in the semi-finals of the Asian Martial Arts Games in Bangkok. I managed to land a kick to score points in the first round and I was already confident the gold was mine," said Fauzi, who is based at the Dang Wangi police station in Kuala Lumpur.

    "I fought in my first Sea Games in Korat but did not win a medal, so getting the gold here means so much to me."

    Mohd Fauzi Khalid (right) in action against Vietnam’s Truong Van Mao en route to winning gold in the 75kg category yesterday.
    Mohd Fauzi Khalid (right) in action against Vietnam’s Truong Van Mao en route to winning gold in the 75kg category yesterday.

    Faizal, 29, bagged the second gold medal in the men's below 85kg category with an equally impressive 5-0 win over Chanon Untakool of Thailand.

    This had effectively been a marked improvement from the single silver and six bronze medals the team had won in Korat.

    "The current team are more focussed and we were better prepared this time," said military policeman Faizal, a father of two, who was one of the six bronze medallists in Korat.

    The third gold and the optimal target-equalling 35th came from Hafiz, who overcame Laotian Okhe Botsavang in the men's below 50kg final.

    Emy, who was the only silat exponent targeted to win a gold medal at this Sea Games, bagged the final title in the women's below 60kg after beating Thai Jutarat Noytapa in the final. NST

    'Emas ini untuk nenek'


    FARKHAN (kiri) dan Fairus menunjukkan emas kategori 75kg dan 81kg yang mereka menangi semalam.

    "EMAS ini untuk nenek saya, semoga dia sedar daripada koma dan dapat melihatnya," kata Muhamad Farkhan Mohd Haron yang menjuarai kelas middleweight di Universiti Nasional Laos, semalam.

    Jelas tiada apa lebih menggembirakan anak muda berusia 21 tahun dari Johor Bahru itu selain ingin melihat neneknya, Zainab Abu Tahir, kembali pulih selepas diserang angin ahmar sebelum dia berlepas ke Laos.

    Dan kejayaan memenangi emas itu begitu besar ertinya bukan saja buat Farkhan, malah menjadi penantian yang cukup lama kerana sepanjang Sukan Seap bermula di Bangkok pada 1959 sehingga ditukar ke Sukan Sea 1977, hanya sekali Malaysia memungut emas di gelanggang luar iaitu pada Sukan Seap, Bangkok, pada 1967.


    Farkhan yang hanya sempat berlatih kira-kira sebulan selain menerima berita neneknya dalam keadaan nazak, menyifatkan apa yang ada padanya hanyalah semangat ketika berdepan peninju Vietnam, Cao Van Trong untuk menang 4-1.

    "Memang saya tidak terdaya, saya hanya berlatih selama sebulan setengah dengan Sukma Terengganu adalah kejohanan terakhir saya," katanya yang turut mengalahkan lawan sama untuk pingat gangsa di Korat, dua tahun lalu.

    "Saya harap emas ini akan membuka mata banyak pihak untuk terus membantu sukan tinju. Memang kami tidak menampilkan prestasi baik tetapi saya harap ini akan mengubah keadaan itu supaya peninju muda akan dapat meningkat."

    Anak kepada pemenang perak acara tinju pada temasya 1989, Haron Ismail itu juga tidak mahu menghampakan bapanya selain mengharapkan untuk menyamai catatan jurulatihnya, Zulkifli Yaakob yang turut menang emas kategori sama pada temasya di Kuala Lumpur itu.

    Ceria dicipta Farkhan kemudiannya diteruskan seorang lagi wakil negara, Muhd Fairus Azwan yang menang selesa 11-3 dalam saingan light heavyweight bertemu peninju Indonesia, Ahmad Amri.

    Tiga atlit jadi penyelamat maruah KOAM

    SELEPAS kemarau pingat emas kelmarin, skuad negara bangkit pada hari terakhir pertandingan untuk menyumbang tiga emas bagi menyelamatkan Kesatuan Olahraga Amatur Malaysia (KOAM) yang tersasar daripada lapan yang diletakkan.

    Roslinda Samsu memulakan pungutan emas negara apabila mudah memenangi acara lompat bergalah wanita dengan rekod baru kejohanan, 4.15 meter, disusuli Lee Hup Wei dalam acara lompat tinggi lelaki dengan paras 2.18m dan terakhir Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini menerusi 400m lelaki, yang menjadikan keseluruhan enam emas diraih skuad negara.

    Sasaran dua emas melalui 1,500m lelaki dan 400m wanita tidak kesampaian apabila masing-masing, Mohd Jironi Riduan menduduki tempat kedua dengan masa 3:47.34 saat dan Noraseela Khalid menamatkan saingan di tempat ketiga dengan 54.32s.


    Secara keseluruhan, ia pungutan emas terburuk negara dalam sejarah Sukan Sea, sejak ditukar namanya daripada Sukan Seap pada 1977 serta menunjukkan kemerosotan daripada tahun ke tahun apabila dua tahun lalu, tujuh emas diperolehi. Sekali lagi, atlit senior menjadi penyelamat.

    “Saya puas hati dengan ketinggian dilakukan," katanya. "Memang saya nak menang emas dan memecahkan rekod Sukan Sea dan berhasil melakukan kedua-duanya," kata atlit berusia 26 tahun dari Kuala Nerang, Kedah itu.

    Hup Wei, juga tidak banyak tentangan apabila berjaya melepasi ketinggian 2.18m dengan pencabar terdekatnya, Pramote Pumurai hanya melepasi 2.14m.

    "Saya cuba untuk mengatasi rekod Sukan Sea (2.24m) tetapi tidak berjaya," kata atlit berasal dari Dengkil, yang kini berkhidmat dengan Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia (TLDM). "Tapi yang penting, saya dapat mempertahankan emas yang dimenangi di Korat."

    Seela pula, tersilap percaturan dalam percubaan pertamanya memenangi emas 400m apabila bermula pantas tetapi kehabisan tenaga menuju garisan penamat, sekali gus dipintas pemenang, Treewadee Yongphan dari Thailand, yang mencatat 54.16s.

    Seela sekadar gangsa dengan 54.32s dan perak menjadi milik pelari Myanmar, Kay Khine Lwin, 54.25s. Dalam 4x100m wanita, rangkaian pelari negara sekadar di tempat kelima dengan masa 45.69s. BH

    Easy for Hup Wei, Roslinda

    ROSLINDA Samsu and Lee Hup Wei barely broke a sweat in defending their gold medals at the National Stadium in Vientiane yesterday but there was heartbreak for Noraseela Khalid, who was pipped on the line in the women's 400m.

    Zafril Zuslaini sprang a surprise with victory in the men's 400m but it was not enough to prevent Malaysia's worst showing in athletics in 34 years.

    Not since the four-gold haul in 1975 in Jakarta has Malaysian athletics delivered less than seven gold medals while the six gold won here also fell short of the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union's target of eight.

    Roslinda won the women's pole vault in a new Sea Games record of 4.15m and needed only three vaults to secure gold after Vietnam's silver medallist Le Thi Phuong managed to clear only 3.90m.

    Despite failing at her first attempt at 3.90 -- her opening height -- Roslinda was hardly challenged in winning her third consecutive Sea Games gold.

    "I was a little nervous at first after missing that one but I managed to calm myself. The Vietnamese girl appeared to be very confident, probably boosted by the fact that I only did 3.60m at the Asian Championships.

    Roslinda Samsu clears the bar at 4.15m to win her third consecutive Sea Games gold in Laos yesterday.
    Roslinda Samsu clears the bar at 4.15m to win her third consecutive Sea Games gold in Laos yesterday.

    "But it was rainy and windy there while the hot condition here is more suited to me. I'm happy to have also got the Games record but I had also hoped to break my national record (4.40m).

    "Anyway there is plenty to look forward to next year since I have already qualified for both the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

    "But I'll need higher level competitions to prepare for those big events, not competitions like this where the motivation to go higher once you've won is hard to find," said Roslinda, 27, whose best this year remains at 4.35m.

    Hup Wei, too, did not need to be at his best as he won his second straight high jump gold with a 2.18m effort long after his challengers fell by the wayside.

    "I was going after the Games record (2.24m) but I was having some trouble with my run-up today (yesterday). My technique was fine so I was confident of winning," said Hup Wei, 22.

    Noraseela, who won the 400m hurdles on Sunday, was denied a double after leading the 400m final with just 30 metres to go only to be edged near the finish by Thailand's Trewadee Yongphan and Kay Khine Lwin of Myanmar.

    Trewadee won in 54.16 seconds, ahead of Kay Khine Lwin (54.25) while Noraseela was left with the bronze after timing 54.32.

    Cramps set in as Noraseela, 30, headed for the finish and she nearly swayed into the lane on her right as she struggled home.

    "I ran too fast for the first 300 metres and used the wrong strategy. I felt fine with 100m to go but all of sudden I felt stiff and began cramping.


    "I'm not used to running 400m flat but it's still so frustrating to miss out on gold. It's been a long year and this was my 30th race I think in all events. I'm just glad to have gotten through the year injury-free," said Noraseela.

    Cheeky Lee Hup Wei celebrates after winning the high jump gold.
    Cheeky Lee Hup Wei celebrates after winning the high jump gold.

    Malaysia were also edged out for gold in the men's 1,500m when Vietnam's Nguyen Dih Cuong completed a middle-distance double by winning in 3:46.58.

    Jironi Riduan was again left with the silver medal after being overtaken in the home straight for the second time although he did clock a personal best of 3:47.34 while M. Vadivellan, who paced Jironi over the first two laps, earned bronze in 3:48.99.

    The women's 4x100m quartet finished fourth in 45.69 as Thailand won gold in 44.54 to finish top of the athletics medal tally with 13 gold, 20 silver and 14 bronze.

    Malaysia ended fifth with a haul of 6-6-4 behind Indonesia (7-7-7), Vietnam (7-4-10) and Philippines (7-2-4). NST

    Emotional win for Zafril

    TWO years ago, Zafril Zuslaini ran the opening leg of the gold medal-winning relay team just a month after the death of his mother.

    Yesterday, Zafril was able to savour the spoils of victory for his own, spurred on by the last wishes of a mother wanting her son to succeed.

    As Zafril dedicated his 400m gold to the memory of his mother Zainun Abidin, he also ended a 12-year drought for Malaysia in the one-lap race with Romzi Bakar the last winner in Jakarta.

    "I only ran the relay in Korat (in 2007) because I had not trained for a month after my mother's death from lung cancer. I helped the relay team to win, but it is this gold medal which I have been after the most.

    "My mother had prayed for me to win an individual gold medal and now it has been answered. I want to dedicate this to her memory," said Zafril, 24, who clocked a winning time of 47.11s, a personal best.

    Zafril's hard-running style saw him lead from start to finish and he had enough in reserve to see off the challenge of Indonesia's Heru Astriyanto, who began the closing the gap 30 metres from the finish line.

    Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini reacts after winning the 400m gold in Laos yesterday.
    Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini reacts after winning the 400m gold in Laos yesterday.

    Pei Tty and Eei Hui on cloud nine

    SHUTLLERS Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui ended their year on a high when they clinched the Sea Games women's doubles title for the second time while Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong dished out a pathetic performance to end up with the men's doubles silver at the National Sports Complex yesterday.

    Pei Tty-Eei Hui, the World No 5, played a relaxed game as they breezed past Singapore's Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei 21-12, 21-11 in less than 25 minutes.

    "We won the title easily as our opponents were poor. We knew, even before the match, that we would win the title, even if we played half-pace," said a confident Pei Tty.

    "Our strategy was simple ... play a normal and relaxed game. Nonetheless, this is our best Sea Games outing ever."

    Pei Tty-Eei Hui made their Sea Games debut in 2003 and won bronze. Two years later in Manila, the pair won the gold medal but they did not defend their title in Korat. Eei Hui was injured just before the 2007 Games.

    "We won two gold medals here but the one I cherish is the team gold as we won it after 34 years. Overall it has been a good year for us as we were No 1 for a few months and also managed to win a Super Series title in Jakarta.

    Chin Eei Hui (left) and Wong Pei Tty celebrate after beating Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei 21-12, 21-11 in the final yesterday.
    Chin Eei Hui (left) and Wong Pei Tty celebrate after beating Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei 21-12, 21-11 in the final yesterday.

    "We need to go home and get some rest before preparing for next year. Of course the target will be to win more titles," added Pei Tty.

    Kien Keat-Boon Heong were below-par as the World No 1 lost 21-17, 21-17 to Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

    Both players were inconsistent though they had their moments in the match.

    The Indonesian pair targeted Kien Keat in most of their play as the Malaysian was not himself.

    Overall, the Malaysian badminton squad won two gold (women's team, Pei Tty-Eei Hui), two silver (men's team, Kien Keat-Boon Heong) and five bronze (Wong Mew Choo, Lydia Cheah -- women's singles, Kien Keat-Pei Tty, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying -- mixed doubles, Fairuzizuan Tazari-Zakry Latif -- men's doubles) medals . NST

    Hanya Pei Tty-Eei Hui terus gah

    CHIN Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty mengulangi kejayaan di Manila empat tahun lalu, apabila meraih emas beregu wanita selepas mudah mengalahkan pasangan Singapura, Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei 21-12, 12-11, semalam.

    Namun beregu lelaki utama negara, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong kalah kepada juara Olimpik 2008, Hendra Setiawan-Markis Kido dari Indonesia dengan 21-17, 21-11.

    Bagi Pei Tty-Eei Hui, temasya kali ini paling berjaya sepanjang penyertaan mereka dengan masing-masing membawa pulang dua emas selepas membantu pasukan wanita negara menundukkan Indonesia 3-1, Ahad ini.

    "Ini boleh dianggap kejayaan paling baik buat kami dalam Sukan Sea," kata Pei Tty. "Dua emas yang diraih sudah cukup menggembirakan kami. Namun saya anggap ini adalah kejayaan skuad wanita terutama sekali dalam acara berpasukan.

    "Malangnya, kita tidak dapat menambah pingat emas dalam perseorangan wanita selepas kekalahan (Wong) Mew Choo di separuh akhir," katanya.

    Mengenai lawan mereka, Shinta-Yao, Eei Hui mengakui beregu dari Singapura itu bukan lawan mereka sehingga agak mudah melakar kemenangan.

    "Kami tahu kekuatan lawan dan mereka sememangnya tidak begitu handal jika dibandingkan dengan beregu lain," kata Pei Tty. "Tetapi itu tidak bermakna kami mengambil mudah perlawanan, sebaliknya sentiasa fokus untuk memastikan kemenangan."

    Di Manila, Pei Tty-Eei Hui mengalahkan pasangan Indonesia, Jo Novita-Greysia Poli untuk meraih emas.

    Bagi Kien Keat-Boon Heong pula, kedua-duanya menyajikan permainan di bawah kemampuan sebenar apabila kerap membuat kesilapan serta tidak dapat mengekang serangan pantas Markis-Hendra untuk tewas agak mudah.BH

    Prestasi skuad menembak hambar

    SKUAD negara menamatkan aksi di temasya kali ini dengan penampilan terburuk apabila buat pertama kalinya sejak 2001 di Kuala Lumpur, mereka gagal menyumbang sebarang pingat emas.


    Harapan terakhir semalam untuk memulihkan maruah skuad negara hanya tinggal sisa sahaja apabila trio 25m pistol - Bibiana Ng, Joseline Cheah dan Siti Nur Masitah Mohd - gagal memikul watak penyelamat apabila hanya menyumbangkan pingat perak dan gangsa, masing-masing dalam acara individu dan berpasukan.

    Walaupun ada sedikit rasa kurang puas hati dalam pasukan Malaysia apabila satu tembakan Joseline dikatakan tidak mengena sasaran - pada ketika mereka bersaing sengit dengan Thailand untuk tempat pertama - hingga membabitkan protes daripada pengurus pasukan, Datuk Musa Omar, ia tidak dapat menyelamatkan mereka daripada meninggalkan Vientiana tanpa emas.


    "Saya menyoal juri dan memprotes mengenai tembak Joseline yang tidak mendapat sebarang mata tetapi ia ditolak," kata Musa.

    Dengan satu tembakan tidak memberi sebarang mata, Bibiana, Joseline dan Masitah menamatkan saingan di tempat ketiga dengan 1,672 mata, dengan emas menjadi milik Thailand (1,693) dan perak diraih Vietnam (1,687).

    Dalam saingan individu, Bibiana, yang dalam acara berpasukan mendapat markah tertinggi, gagal, meneruskan rentak itu apabila hanya meraih perak dengan 778.90 mata. Emas dimenangi penembak Thailand, Tanyaporn P (782.20) dan gangsa Pham Thi Ha dari Vietnam (769.80).

    “Sungguh mengecewakan," kata Bibiana, yang memenangi emas individu acara itu pada 2003 di Hanoi. "Saya dan rakan sudah cuba bersungguh-sungguh dan dalam menembak ada hari-hari apabila kita gagal menampilkan aksi terbaik, tetapi kami sememangnya sudah mencuba."

    Keseluruhannya, Malaysia hanya meraih enam perak dan lima gangsa dari Vientiane.BH