Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It's back to business for Malaysia's successful sailors

The Malaysian sailors celebrate their successful outing at the Singapore SEA Games. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR
The Malaysian sailors celebrate their successful outing at the Singapore SEA Games. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR

SINGAPORE: Apparently, there’s no rest for the winners too.

The national sailors had a dream outing at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore with seven golds, five silvers and two bronzes for their biggest haul in the biennial Games.

But there’s no time for celebration as the sailors will now head to their training centre in Langkawi to prepare for several championships, including collecting qualification points for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The team will leave Singapore to Johor Baru at 7am on Tuesday to meet Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA) president Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim for a function before proceeding to Langkawi.

MSA general manager Mohd Affendy Abdullah was ecstatic with the team’s sterling show.

“We exceeded the expectations set by the association. I’m so happy as we won medals in all the events. And we could have actually won more,” said Affendy, who is also the dinghy team coach at the Games.

“We had a comprehensive training programme before the Games. The sailors will continue their programmes as we want them to continue their good form.

“We have several international competitions after these Games and I expect our sailors to do well too.

“We can’t be satisfied with this success. We need to continue the build-up for the next SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 and the other competitions like the Rio Olympics and the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018,” added Affendy.

Mohd Khairulnizam Mohd Affendy will be looking to seal his spot in the Olympics at the Laser World Championships in Kingston, Jamaica, from June 29-July 8. He competed at the London Olympics in 2012.

As for Muhammad Uzair Amin Mohd Yusof-Naquib Eiman Shahrin, they will compete in the 420 Class World Championships at Castle Bay Karatsu in Japan from July 17-25.

The 470 class sailors will be heading to Europe for training and competitions before participating in the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Qingdao, China, from Sept 14- 20.

“Our sailors need to be on top of their game at all times. They have the potential to be successful,” said Affendy.

“Khairulnizam has a good chance to qualify to the Olympics, while the other athletes in the 470 class will be focusing on the Qingdao World Cup to collect points for the Olympics.

“They will miss Hari Raya (which is expected to fall on July 17) in Malaysia this year, but it doesn’t matter. They are now hungry for more success at the world level,” added Affendy.

The Star Online

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