Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sea Games: Team determined to end jinx

MALAYSIA have been targeting a gold medal in petanque since the 2001 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur without success. The squad, led by Faiza Mohamad, want to end the jinx at the Jakabaring Complex in Palembang.
Petanque Federation of Malaysia (PFM) has always pledged to win gold but has managed only four silver medals in the last five editions and this means the petanque athletes will be travelling under Category B again.

However, Malaysian team official Nik Badrul Hisham Kamal said there is a good chance Malaysia can finally win a gold medal and the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Faiza in the men's shooting event.

"We have set a one-gold target although Thailand will be the favourites.
"We bagged two silver in Laos two years ago but we are looking forward to gold this time," said Badrul.

"Faiza has competed in the last three Sea Games and has been playing in the men's pairs but we decided to make a change.

"He has switched to the shooting category and we are eyeing gold through him.

"Thailand had denied us on the last few occasions but Faiza has improved and we hope he will withstand the pressure and deliver."

Badrul added: "Besides Thailand, the other countries who can threaten our hopes are Laos and Vietnam."

MPF has plenty to prove as the petanque squad were initially banned from competing in Palembang after failing to settle some outstanding bills accumulated during the team's stay in Laos as they had gone there also under Category B.

However, the matter has since been solved and the Olympic Council of Malaysia had granted them permission to compete under Category B again.

Read more: NST

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