Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ultimatum for our fencers: Deliver or go bust

PETALING JAYA: The national fencing team to In-donesia are facing a stark ultimatum: Either they deliver a gold medal or risk going bust.

Failure to bring back at least a gold medal may see their training programme being scrapped by the National Sports Council (NSC).

Team manager Riduan Abdul said the fencers are under great pressure to deliver gold after being in the doldrums in recent years.

“We must land at least one gold medal to ensure the future of our sport,” said Riduan.
“I don’t know what will happen to the sport if the programme is scrapped. We may not even be able to go for the next SEA Games under Category A,” he said.

The Malaysian fencers face a daunting task in Jakarta.
The last time they won a gold medal was back in the 1989 KL Games. Their last outing at the 2007 Korat Games saw them return with just two bronze medals.

Their hopes rest on the men’s sabre team of Yu Peng Kean, Muhammad Radhi Hashim, Nurul Ariezzat Nazreen and Liong Ming Chang. Peng Kean and Ariezzat will also feature in the individual event.
The quartet, together with woman sabre exponent Filzah Syabila Jamaluddin, are currently undergoing intensive training in China.

Peng Kean, their top medal prospect, is carrying knee and ankle injuries sustained at the world championships in Italy last month.

“He is recovering well and training as usual. He is receiving painkiller shots to facilitate his training and should be good for the Games,” said Riduan.

The fencing competition is from Nov 13-18 in Jakarta.


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