KUALA LUMPUR: Natasha Ines Wah Idris is known for her singing talents, but she is now hoping to be remembered for her exploits on the equestrian arena at next month’s Singapore SEA Games.
Natasha, who was the voice behind the Tourism Malaysia jingle Malaysia Truly Asia penned by his composer father Datuk Wah Idris, is putting her career on hold as she makes a bid for glory in her second SEA Games appearance.
The 23-year-old will reunite with Nabil Fikri Ismail, Nurlin Saleh and Sharmini Christina Ratnasingham to fight for the showjumping team gold at the Singapore Turf Club from June 6-10. The trio were part of the team who clinched the bronze in the 2011 Indonesia Games.
The fourth member of the team in Singapore is Ahmad Imtaz Amir Hamzah. The top two finishers from the team event will qualify for the individual discipline and Natasha hopes to bolt to a good start with her horse Wachinta.
“I’ve been riding Wachinta since the 2011 Games. Having developed the familiarity, I’m ready for the challenge at SEA Games level.
“I did not join the team at the last Games in Myanmar because we could not use our own horse due to quarantine requirements.
“My horse is slowly building up his form. We’ve three of our members from the 2011 campaign together, so I hope we can bring home something,” she said.
Natasha graduated with a degree in politics and economics from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom last year, but she will only think of getting a job after the Games.
“I’ve been training and preparing since the start of the year. I love equestrian as this is something I’ve been doing since I was young,” said Natasha, who started riding when she was nine.
“My mother (Datin Sharifah Menjelara) used to ride and she introduced me to the sport,” added Natasha.
Natasha is not the only member of the Idris family at the Singapore Games. Younger sister Natalya Aira is competing in the team dressage with Muhd Shaiful Azwan and Mohd Izry Razali.
In Myanmar, equestrian contributed three gold medals. Praveen Nair bagged the individual dressage gold, but he’s not competing this time following an injury to his horse in training recently.
The other two golds came from the individual and team endurance events, but the two disciplines will not be contested in Singapore.
by Lim Teik Huat - The Star