HER name may sound Indonesian but Djajalie Klaudia is, in fact, a Malaysian who will be making her international debut at the Indonesia Sea Games. Djajalie has spent many years in Indonesia plying her trade in the sport and has won many titles.
Djajalie Klaudia will be making her international debut at the Sea Games.
The 22-year-old was first spotted by Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) secretary Melvin Chia, who in turn doubled up as her coach about four years ago before she left for Jakarta.
Djajalie will play the eight- and nine-ball pool disciplines along with season campaigner Suhana Dewi Sabtu.
She was selected following Esther Kwan's decision to retire temporarily to concentrate on her manicure and pedicure business in Kuala Lumpur.
The internal wrangling in MSBF also prompted Esther, a former silver medallist at the Doha Asian Games, to forego pool as the federation failed to put in place a proper training programme for the team.
"Djajalie has won a few club and local circuit titles in Jakarta.
"I spotted her potential during a local tournament in Kuala Lumpur before offering to coach her," said Melvin when contacted in KL yesterday.
"She left for Jakarta to work but also play pool in her free time and despite limited practice and guidance, she made a huge impact. Her forte is eight-ball and I believe she will make an impact in Palembang."
Djajalie is expected to breeze past Indonesia's Amanda Rohayu in her opening race-to-seven eight-ball match but faces a tough hurdle against defending champion Rubilen Amit of the Philippines in the quarter-finals.
"Djajalie will need something special to pull off a win over Rubilen, a fierce competitor in the women's game," admitted Melvin.
On the medal target in pool, Melvin said the federation was expecting a few medals through its four-member squad.
Guangzhou Asian Games silver medallist Ibrahim Amir and Patrick Ooi make up the men's team.
Patrick, a former national champion, is competing in his first Sea Games since Manila in 2005.
"Ibrahim is our best hope but he will have to raise his game to win a medal.
"In terms of form, he has not been doing too well due to lack of international exposure," said Melvin.