Thursday, May 29, 2008

Govt Always Gives Emphasis To Sporting Culture, Says PM

KUALA TERENGGANU, May 29 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government always gives emphasis on cultivating a strong sporting culture in achieving excellence at the international level.

As such, the Prime Minister said, it was important to scout for young talents in sports.

"I observe that the Malaysia Games (Sukma) has become one of the important platforms to do so.

"In this arena, the potentials and skills of the youngsters can be identified for development so that they can achieve greater success in sports," he said in his message in the souvenir book of the 12th Sukma from May 31 until June 9.

Abdullah said he was aware that competition in sports was very keen and challenging but this did not mean that Malaysian athletes were incapable of competing at the international level.

"The fact is that we have all the characteristics required to be excellent. We must inculcate a strong fighting spirit so that we don't easily surrender," he said.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the Terengganu state government for being the host of the 12th edition of Sukma.


Stadium Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin To Be Ready By Thursday

A view of the new 50,000-seat Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu. The stadium will be ready in time for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) athletics competition beginning June 4 to 7. Pix: Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU, May 29 (Bernama) -- The new 50,000-seat Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu, will be ready in time for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) athletics competition beginning June 4 to 7.

The athletics technical delegate for Terengganu Sukma, S. Chinetamby said although it was a rushed job, it would be completed by Thursday with only the marking of lanes for the athletics track left to be done.

"I can see that all the work has been done and yesterday we checked all the technical parts of the stadium which include the photo-finish, digital score board and electronic devise measurement (EDM)," he told Bernama when contacted here Thursday.

He said the stadium, the largest in the East Coast, will be checked by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

"The IAAF delegates will be here in the next few days and approve the "A" certificate for the Stadium of International standard," he said.

The stadium was officially opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on May 10.

However, Chinetamby said all the officials will hold a dry run on May 3 to ensure everything was fine before the competition day.

Sukma, a platform to unearth new talents for the country, will be hosted by Terengganu for the first time from May 31 to June 9.

The Games will have a change in format in deciding the overall champions this time. Instead of the total points collected, the gold medal count will decide the champions.

After barring the national athletes from competing at the last Sukma in Kedah two years ago, the Sukma Supreme Council have agreed to allow the nations stars to make a return to this years Under-23 tournament.

And for the first time, top national athletes who are not eligible to compete for Sukma would also be invited to compete in selected sports to add glamour to the 12th edition of the Games.


Just three minutes to provide the results, say Sukma organisers

THE organisers of the 12th Sukma have given an assurance that results from all competition venues in Terengganu will be delivered quickly.

The state's executive committee chairman for Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Rahin Mohd Said (pic), said that the results and also updates could be accessed on their website.

“With the advanced IT services in the country, we should be able to provide the results within three minutes after the completion of events,” said Abdul Rahin at a press conference at the Gong Badak Sports Complex to update the media on their final preparations of the Games, which will be officially open by the King tomorrow.

However, until yesterday, the broadband wireless service at the Main Press Centre (MPC) in the complex was still not up yet. The MPC is well-equipped for 200 media members and personal computers have been installed.

On the venues of competitions in seven districts of Terengganu, Abdul Rahin ensured that there would be smooth operations for all 34 sports, including the three demonstration events – kabaddi, Formula Future and silambam.

“This is the first Sukma where each district will host at least an event to mark the celebration of the Malaysia Games. As such, we will ensure smooth operations,” he said.

He said that after months of preparations, all venues were now ready except for women's hockey and athletics at the vicinity of the Gong Badak Sports Complex, which required final touch-ups.

“Only the final touches are being done now, such as painting the walls and cleaning the floors. Everything else is in place,” he said.

A total of 404 gold medals will be at stake in the Sukma. The first of medal events will be held on Sunday and 19 will be at stake – eight in swimming, four in karate, two each in cycling-cross country and fencing and one each in equestrian, gymnastics and bowling.

Competitions on June 4 offer the most gold medals – 68.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Selangor cyclist has to fend off Azizol in bid for Sukma gold


Technical glitch: A training crew assisting Azizi (left) to change his front tyre.

IT is going to be tougher for Selangor cyclist Mohd Akmal Amrun to defend his gold medal in the men's 1km time trial at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu from May 31 to June 9.

Selangor Cycling Association (SCA) secretary Amrun Misnoh admitted Akmal would face a stiff test going up against Olympic-bound cyclist Azizol Hasni Awang in the sprint event.

“Akmal contributed three gold medals for Selangor at the previous Games held in Kedah two years ago. Then, he took the 1km individual time trial, 40km individual time trial and 80km criterium point race,” he added.

However, the SCA is aiming to repeat the feat and match the three gold medal achievement at the upcoming biennial Games.

The team comprising 12 men and eight women cyclists went through the paces in the centralised training for three weeks under the guidance of three coaches – Valentine Sotnikov, Nazali Talib and former national cyclist Shahrulneeza Razali.

The 21-year-old Akmal said he had a thorough preparation as a build up for his final appearance at Sukma.

“I am confident that I will be among the medal contenders for both the 1km and 45km individual time trial. I will also be featuring in the team time trial. But, I am still not sure whether I will get to ride in the team road race,” added Akmal, who is pursuing his pre-university education at Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).

Besides Akmal, Selangor will also have the service of national cyclist Rauf Nur Misbah to fight for the top spot on the podium in the men's individual road race.

In addition, the quartet of Uracca Leow, Nurul Ahmar Badrul Zaman, Nurul Shafinaz Moklas and Muslihah Salim are also expected to spearhead the Selangor challenge to bag the gold medal in the women's team time trial.

Selangor has also included rookie Hamdan Hamidon in the men's line-up.

On the move: Selangor cyclists going through the paces in training.

The 14-year-old, making his debut at the Games, will take part in the men's criterium and mountain bike cross-country events.

“Training with the seniors in the Sukma squad has been a good learning experience. For each ride, we register up to 150km. It has always been tough to keep up with the pace set by the more established riders,” said Hamdan, a SMK Seksyen 11, Shah Alam student.

Meanwhile, Hamdan and newcomer Malek Marcus Abd Tariq confirmed their places for an international junior tour at St Petersburg, Russia in July.

“This will be our fourth time taking part in the tour. Although we did not do well in the first two editions, we have been making steady progress over the past two years. We accomplished our best outing last year and we are going all out to maintain our good run in the tour,” added Amrun.

Last season, the pint-sized Hamdan took the final two stages to emerge the team's best performer.


Hui Lin aims to make up for two forgettable outings in Sukma


PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Ng Hui Lin limped out of Sukma in Kedah two years ago with a torn ligament.

This time in Terengganu, Hui Lin will be teaming up with younger sister Hui Ern to make her third outing in the Games for Selangor a memorable one.

The badminton competitions will be played at the Berlian Utama Hall in Kemaman from June 1-8.

Besides Hui Lin, Selangor have two other national players in their girls team – fellow Uber Cuppers Sabrina Chong and Woon Khe Wei. The others are Yang Lilian, Yap Harn Xin, S. Premalatha and Kwan Suk Lee. All the players except for Lilian have competed in previous Games.

Good show: At the recent Uber Cup Finals in Jakarta, Ng Hui Lin (front) gave creditable performances partnering seasoned campaigner Lim Pek Siah.

The 17-year-old Hui Lin, who has shown great improvement in her game since training with the elite squad under the charge of Rexy Mainaky this year, is determined to make an impact in the Games.

At the recent Uber Cup Finals in Jakarta, she gave creditable performances partnering seasoned campaigner Lim Pek Siah.

“I don't have anything good to remember from the previous two outings in Sukma. I did not fare well in my debut in Seremban,” said Hui Lin.

“It was worse in Alor Star. I tore a ligament and had to pull out of the competition. It was a painful episode. I had to go for surgery and was out for six months. I am glad that my badminton career is back on the right track again. I want to give my best and hope to win a gold medal for Selangor.”

Hui Lin is relishing the prospect of playing together with her younger sister.

“We have a strong team this time. My sister also did well recently in the doubles event. She has beaten several top players (at the national schools championships) and that will be the extra motivation for her in Sukma.”

The other states with the ability to spoil the party for Selangor are Penang, powered by Tee Jing Yee; Malacca, led by Julia Wong; and Kuala Lumpur, headed by Lydia Cheah.

A total of seven gold medals are at stake and Selangor are aiming to nail three of them.

National players can only feature in two events – one individual and the team competition.

In the men's competitions, Selangor have Sharizal Latif, Shawal Ismail, S. Naresh, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Chong Zhen Wei, Chang Jian Shiang, Haqim Ayub and Rumli Ali in their ranks.


Golfers prepare for Sukma through intensive training


UNITED STATES based golfers Ainil Johani Abu Bakar and Mohammad Iszaimi Ismail have returned to spearhead Selangor's challenge in the Sukma in Kuala Terengganu on May 31-June 9.

Ainil Johani and Mohammad Iszaimi are members of the Selangor training squad of five men and four women.

Sharing tips: Coach Harris Zainal (in white T-shirt) giving some pointers to Mohammad Iylia Jamil while the other players watch.

Besides Ainil Johani, the other women in the squad are Khairunhanisah Azlan, Isza Fariza Ismail and Nurain Nabeela Abdul Ghani.

The five men training squad comprises Mohammad Iszaimi, Daniel Azuan Suhaimee, Muhammad Iylia Jamil, Gavin Kyle Green and Wilson Choo.

Ainil Johani was the bronze medallist in the SEA Games in Korat last year; Muhammad Iylia is a former national player while Choo and Green are members of the National squad.

Selangor coach Harris Zainal said they would name their final squad of four men and three women before departure to Kuala Terengganu.

The golf event in the Sukma will be held at the Tuanku Mirzan Golf and Country Club on June 3-5. Four gold medals are stake in the golf event. Selangor had dominated the golf event in the last two Games in Negri Sembilan and Kedah.

Naturally, Selangor are eager to continue their supremacy in the golf event in Sukma. Harris said they had a wealth of talents in the team.

Monitoring: Harris watches Isza Fariza Ismail putting during a training session.

“But more importantly, the players must be in the right frame of mind to battle the golf course. The prevailing wind conditions at the course are quite challenging. The course is very straightforward. If our players can overcome the wind conditions, then we are on course for glory,'' said Harris after a training session at the Kelab Golf Negara Subang.

The players had the opportunity to test the course when they took part in the Terengganu Amateur Open championships early this month.

Selangor's preparation started in November last year. According to Harris, they had identified the nine players based on their results in local and international competitions and the national trials.

“We have been monitoring their performance in the competitions. We also get together for training sessions every month. During the sessions we have the chance to exchange ideas as well as listen to the players' comments. We are pleased with the players' enthusiasm,'' said Harris.

In Kuala Terengganu, the women will be involved in two rounds while the men will play three rounds. The team gold medal will be determined with the two best scores for women and three best scores for men.

The Selangor team will leave for Kuala Terengganu on Saturday. Before the competition begins on June 3, the players will get the opportunity to evaluate their progress during the practice rounds.


Shaharudin eyeing Sukma gold to win ticket to world meet

KUALA LUMPUR: The stakes are higher for karate exponent Shaharudin Jamaludin in his second appearance in Sukma.

Shaharudin bagged the below 70kg (kumite) gold medal at the last Games in Alor Star two years ago and subsequently earned a call-up to the national elite team. But this time, the pressure will be greater on the youngest member of the national men's team to live up to his billing again in the competition in Marang.

The 20-year-old is eyeing a place in the squad for the Asian Juniors in Kota Kinabalu and also the World Championships in Japan at the end of the year.

While his chances of making it to the Asian Juniors should not be in doubt, it is the selection for the world meet that is on his mind.

“The national coach (P. Arivalagan) has decided on a few names but he has kept the selection open in my category. He wants to look at our current form,” said Shaharudin.

“I was just a newcomer when I won in Sukma two years ago. There is more reason for me to make sure that I bag the gold for Federal Territories in my second outing. There is pressure because everyone will be gunning for me but it motivates me to live up to expectations.”

In his SEA Games debut in Korat last year, Shaharudin was in the silver medal-winning team and he took bronze in his individual event.

Shaharudin has a sister, Jamaliah, in the national team. Jamaliah was a gold medallist at the SEA Games last year but she is not eligible to defend the Sukma title. The competitions in Sukma are for Under-23 exponents.

However, Federal Territories can also count on the services of other national team members, among them G. Yugneswary and K. Jayaseelan.

Federal Territories, featuring exponents from Kuala Lumpur, emerged as the overall champions at the last Games, bagging four gold medals and Arivalagan, who is the team manager, is looking at his exponents doubling the count this time.

“National exponents have been allowed to compete and we can expect strong challenges from Selangor, Perak and Kedah. Besides the three national team members, we also have a few national back-up exponents and we are confident they will not let us down,” he said.


Malaysian games / Athletics: Organisers: Stadium will be ready on time

IT’S been a rushed job but the Malaysia Games athletics competition will not be affected by delays in completion of work at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak.

Venue coordinator Rajemah Sheikh Ahmad said the stadium management had promised that the lining of lanes for the athletics track would be completed by today with half the work already done yesterday, while technical equipment for the athletics competition are already prepared.

“I don’t foresee a problem, but of course right now everything is being rushed.

“The Malaysian AAU (MAAU) has already sent its technical delegation down earlier to be prepared for any glitches, so we are all working to make sure everything is in place,” said Rajemah.

The new Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, while looking good to be among the better sporting facilities in the country, was found to be lagging as far as construction work was concerned.
With two days to the opening ceremony, the venue was still not fully prepared, prompting fears that the athletics competition would be affected.

“On the stadium side, things have been delayed, but on the technical side for the athletics competition we’re well-prepared.

“We’re already fine-tuning the photo-finish equipment and we were testing the interfacing today (yesterday).

“We hope that the track lining will be completed by tomorrow (today) so we can have some tests prior to the competition,” said Rajemah.

“We still have some time before the athletics competition is scheduled to start on June 4 (next Wednesday), so after the stadium is used for the opening ceremony on Saturday, everything should be ready on time so the athletes can try out the track prior to the start of competition.”


Malaysian games / Sailing: Sabah still confident without Rufina

THE absence of Doha Asian Games winner Rufina Tan and the presence of a plethora of national sailors at the Malaysia Games poses a formidable challenge to a young Sabah sailing team hoping to repeat their three-gold haul of 2006.

Rufina opted to skip the Malaysia Games in Terengganu having sacrificed her studies in the lead up to the 2006 Doha Asian Games, where she won gold in the optimist, thus forcing her to play catch up with her schoolwork.

Added to that, Sabah’s three gold medals in the last Games in Kedah all came in the optimist categories, for which their sailors are now overaged.

Josephine Tan and Mabel Lim who finished 1-2 in the girls’ optimist in Kedah have graduated to the International 420 but face an uphill struggle against the sister combination from Kedah of Siti Noorbaidurah and Khairunnisa Mohd Afendy, who start as favourites.

Similarly Sabah’s boys’ optimist champion of 2006, Adrian Brian Chang, has moved up to the laser radial where another of Kedah’s Mohd Afendy siblings, Khairulnizam, is the favourite.
“Our sailors who won in 2006 are all sailing in different classes this time so it is very difficult to assess their chances,” said Sabah team manager Shoon Yun Chin yesterday in a telephone interview from Setiu, where the sailing events will be held from Tuesday.

“The sailing fleet is also a lot stronger than the last time with the national sailors all competing here.

“We are hopeful of giving our best and are looking at medals of any colour.”

In Rufina’s absence, Perak’s Nurul Elia Anuar, the Asian Games bronze medallist in the women’s laser 4.7, is the main attraction in Setiu when she takes to the sea in the laser radial event.

Seven gold medals are on offer in sailing in the men’s and women’s optimist, laser radial and International 420 and the mixed team optimist event.


Malaysian games / Swimming: Hosts looking to Carmen

Terengganu’s swimming squad pose at the State Aquatics Centre in Pantai Batu Buruk yesterday.
Terengganu’s swimming squad pose at the State Aquatics Centre in Pantai Batu Buruk yesterday.

JUST a few medals of any colour from the pool in the Malaysia Games they host will do Terengganu swimming a world of good.

Like a few other sports, organised swimming in the State had to start almost from scratch and this began just over a year ago with the formation of the Terengganu Amateur Swimming Association (TAFA), in view mainly of hosting the Malaysia Games.

Prior to this, Terengganu did not even have a body in charge of the sport in the State, but with the completion of the compact yet impressive facilities at the newly-refurbished State Aquatics Centre in Pantai Batu Buruk, Kuala Terengganu, it looks like the state is taking the sport very seriously.

“We have mostly young swimmers, the oldest in our development programme is Tengku Mohd Firdaus Adli Naqib, who is 16, while the youngest, Amy Tan, is just 11,” said former national swimmer Wong Tuck Kar, who took charge as coach of the Terengganu team just four months ago.

“We are looking at the future with a very young batch of swimmers, but we also hope for some medals and the swimmer with the responsibility to do that is Carmen Ooi.”
Carmen, 18, is based in New Zealand and will return to represent the state for the first time. She is slotted for nine events, but is likely to deliver in the 100m and 200m backstroke, which are her specialties.

“Frankly, we don’t know what the level here will be like against the level Carmen has been used to in New Zealand as she’s not competed in Malaysia for a long time.

“But we do need some medals, of any colour, to drive the interest in the sport over here,” added Tuck Kar, who has 15 swimmers, nine boys and six girls, under his charge for the Malaysia Games.


Malaysian games / karate: Perak boosted by Guna’s return

PERAK’S karate squad received a boost when it was confirmed that their national exponent L. Gunaseelan is back in the team for the Terengganu Malaysia Games.

Gunaseelan won a gold medal in the 60kg and below at the 2004 Games in Seremban but was barred from the following edition in Kedah two years later after being named to the national team.

Perak chief coach K. Ananthan said his exponents are determined to improve the one gold, one silver and one bronze they picked up in Kedah, and their target this year is three gold and more silver and bronze.

Ananthan said that apart from Gunaseelan, Perak’s other medal prospects are Mohamed Hatta, gold medallist in 2004 in the 75kg category, L.Thiagu Pillai in the 55kg and A. Kathiresan in the 70kg and below.


Terengganu kejar masa siapkan kemudahan

TUAN rumah Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII, Terengganu kini mengejar masa untuk menyiapkan beberapa kemudahan seperti pusat media, balapan Stadium Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin serta kebersihan di dalam dan luar Kompleks Sukan Gong Badak (KSGB).

Sehingga semalam, pekerja masih bertungkus lumus untuk menyiapkan beberapa kerja kecil termasuk Pusat Media di Stadium Sultan Mizan, yang masih belum beroperasi walaupun pertandingan bola sepak sudah bermula, semalam.

Malah, petugas pusat media juga tidak dapat memberikan jaminan pusat itu akan dapat digunakan hari ini, walaupun kumpulan wartawan sudah mula tiba di Kuala Terengganu.

Begitu juga dengan balapan stadium utama bagi acara olahraga yang menyaksikan kerja-kerja membuat garisan baru dilakukan semalam, oleh pegawai teknikal Persekutuan Olahraga Antarabangsa (IAAF) dari British yang memberi jaminan semua garisan, warna-warna berlainan serta nombor-nombor akan siap sepenuhnya sebelum upacara pembukaan rasmi, Sabtu ini.

Pada masa sama, keadaan dalam stadium yang tidak begitu bersih serta berhabuk, memerlukan pertugas untuk bekerja lebih masa bagi memastikan semuanya dalam keadaan elok sebelum temasya bermula.

Malah, kawasan sekeliling KSGB perlu lebih diperindahkan dengan tanaman-tanaman, yang ketika ini tampak begitu kurang dan agak berhabuk.

Bagaimanapun, tuan rumah masih mempunyai tiga hari untuk memastikan semua kerja-kerja kecil itu dapat disiapkan sebelum temasya nasional berkenaan dibuka secara rasmi Sabtu ini.

Berita Harian

Mohd Arif galas cabaran badminton NS

Oleh Mohd Amin Jalil

SKUAD badminton Negeri Sembilan menagih sumbangan naib juara remaja Asia 2007, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif untuk merealisasikan sasaran meraih sekurang-kurangnya dua pingat emas pada temasya Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII di Terengganu.

Pemain remaja kebangsaan itu yang turut bersama dalam skuad Piala Thomas negara di Jakarta baru-baru ini, akan beraksi dalam acara perseorangan dan beregu campuran bersama kakaknya, Nairul Syuhada Abdul Latif.

Pengurus pasukan, Shabaruddin Ali, berkata skuad Negeri Sembilan membariskan 16 pemain untuk menggalas cabaran pada temasya kali ini, yang kebanyakannya pemain berpengalaman kerana sering bertanding pada kejohanan remaja kebangsaan termasuk peringkat Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM).

Beliau berkata, pihaknya yakin dengan barisan pemain terutama Mohd Arif yang sudah membuktikan kredibilitinya selaku pemain perseorangan berbakat besar selepas menerima bimbingan sempurna kendalian Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), malah Sukma ini adalah penyertaan keduanya.

"Mohd Arif adalah sandaran utama kami menerusi acara perseorangan dan beregu campuran berpasangan dengan Nairul Syuhada, yang tidak kurang hebatnya kerana sering menyertai kejohanan peringkat negeri, sirkit remaja kebangsaan dan jemputan luar negara.

"Bagaimanapun, mereka yang lain yang turut berada dalam kelompok 16 pemain ini juga berkemampuan mencipta kejutan untuk meraih emas sekali pun reputasi mereka tidak sehebat Mohd Arif," katanya.

Pemain lain yang menganggotai skuad berkenaan antaranya ialah Nairul Athirah Abdul Latif, Nairul Nabilah Abdul Latif, Aliff Esro Mohd Romzi, Low Wei Seng, Goh Sze Boon, R Dinesh, P Patmanathan, S Thaswani dan Eng Loo Heng.

Acara badminton yang menawarkan tujuh emas akan bermula Ahad ini bagi kategori berpasukan.

Menurut Shabaruddin, prestasi semua pemain amat memberangsangkan selepas menjalani latihan intensif di bawah bimbingan jurulatih Zainal Nasir dan kini mereka sudah sedia untuk memulakan aksi cemerlang seperti yang diharapkan.

"Kami yakin dapat melakukan yang terbaik pada temasya kali ini berbanding di Kedah dua tahun lalu apabila berjaya membawa pulang satu emas, dua perak dan dua gangsa," katanya yang menegaskan antara pencabar utama mereka ialah Sabah, Selangor dan Kedah.

Berita Harian

Terengganu, Kedah dipaksa kerja keras

Oleh Lukman Salleh, Harris Rajahdin dan Hamid Salleh

CABAR pemain Terengganu, Ahmad Nordin Alias (kanan) cuba merampas bola daripada pemain Perak, Mohd Asrul Shafie di Stadium Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, semalam.

Juara dan naib juara lalu diberi saingan sengit

JUARA dan naib juara Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) dua tahun lalu, Terengganu dan Kedah, masing-masing bergelut untuk melakarkan kemenangan ke atas lawan masing-masing apabila acara bola sepak memulakan aksinya, semalam.

Terengganu, tuan rumah Sukma XII terpaksa berhempas pulas menundukkan Perak 3-2 dalam perlawanan Kumpulan A di Stadium Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, manakala Kedah, juga bergelut untuk mengatasi Sabah dengan jaringan yang sama di Padang A, Kompleks Sukan Gong Badak (KSGB), semalam.

Bagi Kedah, yang membariskan ramai pemain Liga Super dan Liga Perdana, tampak belum dapat mencapai keserasian, dengan gerakan yang agak tumpul serta pertahanan lemah, yang menyaksikan Sabah, hampir lagi berjaya mencuri mata.

Namun jaringan pemain muda berbakat Mohd Bunyamin Omar, yang meledakkan dua gol pada minit ke-25 dan 56 melalui sepakan penalti, serta jaringan Mohd Hazwan Zainun, cukup memastikan kemenangan Kedah.

"Memang perlawanan pertama agak sukar tetapi saya gembira dapat menyumbang dua gol untuk membantu kemenangan Kedah," kata Bunyamin, antara dua pemain yang mendapat peluang menjalani latihan singkat dua minggu di kelab Liga Perdana Inggeris, Chelsea, bulan lalu.

"Tetapi masih ada ruang untuk kami meningkat kerana perlawanan yang kami tunjukkan hari ini tidaklah memuaskan.

"Saya percaya perlawanan berikutnya (menentang Kelantan), kami akan dapat meningkatkan permainan sebelum turun bertemu Selangor," katanya.

Sabah, yang ketinggalan 2-0 pada separuh masa bangkit merapatkan jurang melalui sepakan penalti yang disempurnakan Azrul Ejati pada minit ke-51 tetapi kemudian mendapati diri mereka ketinggalan 3-1 apabila Bunyamin pula menyempurnakan penalti lima minit kemudian.

Sabah tidak berputus asa dan pada minit ke-85 berjaya menyumbatkan gol kedua melalui Muhd Ibnu Kassim selepas menerima hantaran lintang sebelah kiri.

"Memang ada kekurangan dalam perlawanan kami hari ini terutama sekali dalam membentuk keserasian antara pemain Liga Super dan Liga Perdana dalam skuad Kedah," kata jurulatihnya, Muhamad Ramlee.

"Tetapi ia tidak membimbangkan saya kerana masih ada masa untuk kami memperbaiki segala kesilapan dan mencari keserasian."

Sementara itu, dalam satu lagi perlawanan Kumpulan B, Selangor dengan mudah menudukkan Kelantan, 3-0.

Selangor mendahului 1-0 pada separuh masa melalui jaringan Mohd Fitri Shazwan Riduwan pada minit ke-40, sebelum menambah dua gol lagi selepas perlawanan bersambung semula melalui Mohd Zaiza Zainal Abidin (m-51) dan Mohd Alifi Mahmud (m-65).

Berita Harian

Selangor buka langkah kanan

PERTEMUAN sulung antara Selangor dengan Kelantan dalam acara bola sepak Sukma XII semalam.

SELANGOR memulakan langkah kanan apabila mencatatkan kemenangan 3-0 ke atas Kelantan pada saingan Kumpulan B acara bola sepak temasya Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII di Padang B, Kompleks Sukan Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu semalam.

Skuad bimbingan bekas pemain kebangsaan yang juga jurulatih skuad senior Selangor, Dollah Salleh itu berada pada kelas tersendiri dengan corak permainan bertenaga sepanjang 90 minit permainan itu berlangsung.

Selangor yang bertekad untuk mengulangi kejayaan meraih pingat emas pada edisi 1998 memperoleh gol menerusi Mohd. Fitri Shazwan Raduwan pada minit ke-40, Zaiza Zainal Abidin (minit ke-51) dan Alafi Mahmud (minit ke-65).

Bagi Dollah, kejayaan yang dilakar anak buahnya pada perlawanan pertama ini banyak dibantu dengan kehadiran pemain berpengalaman yang beraksi dalam saingan Liga Super dan Liga Perdana.

Menurutnya, barisan serangan berjaya melakukan beberapa serangan merbahaya sambil dibantu posisi pertahanan yang banyak menangkis serangan lawan.

"Saya dapat merasakan persembahan pertama kami agak mantap. Kami mengharapkan ia dapat dikekalkan pada perlawanan seterusnya," katanya.

Antara pemain Liga Super Selangor yang beraksi dalam skuad Sukma kali ini termasuklah penjaga gol, Nuraizat Aziz, Zaiza, Fadzirul Zakaria, Asraruddin Putra Omar, Safiq Rahim, Fazilidin Khalid, Nasriq Baharom dan Wan Hoesne Wan Hussain.

Selain itu, beberapa pemain dari skuad Liga Perdana PKNS turut diserapkan dalam skuad ini seperti Alafi, Fairul Nizwan Nasir, Aizul Ridzwan Razali, Adib Azuddin Latif serta Sazali Suwandi dan Fazli Baharuddin.

Begitupun, Dollah masih enggan mendabik dada mengenai kemenangan yang diraih anak buahnya itu, sebaliknya mengingatkan mereka agar memberi fokus penuh dalam setiap perlawanan yang bakal diharungi selepas ini.

"Pemain diminta lebih fokus pada temasya kali ini kerana cabaran akan lebih sukar lebih-lebih lagi dengan keadaan cuaca panas di Terengganu," tambahnya.

Untuk rekod, kali terakhir Selangor meraih emas acara bola sepak adalah ketika mereka menjadi tuan rumah pada edisi Sukma 1998.

Sementara pada edisi 2006 di Kedah lalu, Selangor tersingkir pada saingan peringkat kumpulan.

Selangor yang diundi dalam Kumpulan B akan menentang Sabah Jumaat ini diikuti menentang naib juara 2006, Kedah pada hari Ahad.


Cai Lin tetap mahu emas Sukma


KHOO CAI LIN yang terpilih mewakili negara bagi acara renang pada Sukan Olimpik Beijing Ogos depan, berazam memenangi pingat emas bagi Selangor pada Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII yang bermula di Kompleks Akuatik Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu Ahad ini.

Perenang berusia 19 tahun yang memegang rekod kebangsaan bagi acara 200m gaya bebas dan 800m gaya bebas ini juga dijangka mengambil bahagian dalam dua acara berganti-ganti.

Selain Cai Lin, perenang lain yang akan beraksi pada temasya kali ini termasuk tiga lagi wakil negara ke Sukan Olimpik iaitu Daniel Bego dari Sarawak (200m gaya bebas, 100m dan 200m kupu-kupu), Lew Yih Wei dari Negri Sembilan (400m rampaian individu) dan Leung Chii Lin dari Sabah (50m gaya bebas).

Yih Wei, 17, mencatat kejayaan cemerlang pada Sukma 2006 apabila memenangi pingat emas bagi acara 200m kuak lentang, kuak dada dan kupu-kupu; 200m, 400m dan 800m gaya bebas; dan 200m dan 400m rampaian individu.

Dia juga mencipta rekod baru Sukma bagi tujuh daripada sembilan acara yang dimenanginya, termasuk rekod kebangsaan bagi acara 200m kuak lentang.

Sukma kali ini akan mengubah format dalam menentukan juara keseluruhan.

Berbanding jumlah mata yang dijadikan penentu dalam menetapkan juara keseluruhan sebelum ini, Sukma Terengganu 2008 akan menobatkan juara keseluruhan berdasarkan jumlah pingat emas yang diraih oleh sesebuah kontinjen.


Sukma belum bermula tapi sudah kecoh

SEBAHAGIAN peniaga menunjukkan notis yang akan diberikan kepada sekreteriat Sukma XII mengenai gerai mereka yang tidak memiliki kemudahan lengkap di Kompleks Sukan Negeri Gong Badak.

SUKAN Malaysia edisi ke-12 belum bermula secara rasminya, tetapi kekecohan sudah berlaku.

Perkara seperti ini tidak elok untuk disajikan kepada pengunjung sempena Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII kerana bak kata pepatah, 'kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga.'

Kekecohan itu berlaku disebabkan salah faham yang tercetus di tapak acara temasya itu di Stadium Utama, Kompleks Sukan Negeri, Gong Badak.

Semuanya gara-gara penganjuran satu karnival di tapak A perkarangan stadium itu yang statusnya mengelirukan sehingga menimbulkan rasa tidak puas hati banyak pihak.

Penganjuran karnival itu dikatakan tidak mendapat kelulusan permit daripada pihak Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu (MBKT), sedangkan pada awalnya peserta telah dijanjikan oleh pihak Sekretariat Sukma XII untuk menguruskan permit tersebut.

Apa yang berlaku adalah sebaliknya di mana permit tidak diuruskan seperti yang telah dijanjikan sebelum ini.

Keadaan itu disedari setelah pihak MBKT datang ke tapak karnival itu untuk menghalang penganjuran karnival berkenaan.

"Kami rasa teraniaya dan amat kecewa atas segala yang berlaku itu," luah penganjur karnival itu, Andri Abdul Hadi pada satu sidang media di perkarangan stadium berkenaan.

Lebih memeranjatkan mereka apabila janji-janji yang ditaburkan pihak sekretariat untuk menguruskan permit mereka tidak dikotakan.

Malah, dia bersama 30 peniaga lain terpaksa menanggung segala kerugian termasuk kos bekalan elektrik dan air dan bayaran artis untuk konsert, yang mencecah hampir RM850, 000.

"Dulu kami dijanjikan dengan kemudahan bekalan air dan elektrik, malah mereka juga memberitahu akan menguruskan permit penganjuran karnival ini.

"Tetapi apabila semuanya sudah siap dipasang, lain pula yang jadi," jelasnya.

Sementara itu, Pengurus Tajaan, Promosi dan Publisiti Sukma, Khairol Azmei berkata, sebenarnya perjanjian yang dibuat adalah untuk karnival Pra Sukma, bukannya Sukma.

"Karnival itu sepatutnya diadakan pada Pra Sukma lalu, tetapi disebabkan beberapa masalah ia ditunda untuk Sukma.

"Tetapi surat yang kami keluarkan hanya untuk Pra-Sukma dan tiada kaitan langsung dengan Sukma.

"Yang boleh kami katakan bahawa kami tidak pernah menghalang mereka untuk berniaga," jelasnya.

Tambahnya, pihaknya juga tidak akan bertanggungjawab dalam masalah tersebut kerana pihak sekretariat tidak pernah menghalang penganjuran karnival tersebut.

Ketika ditanya mengapa pihaknya tidak mengeluarkan surat perjanjian untuk penganjuran karnival Sukma itu, Khairol berkata: "Mungkin kami terlepas pandang."


Harimau Selatan mahu 40 emas

ATLET Johor bersemangat memburu kejayaan pada Sukma XII di Terengganu.

SASARAN 40 pingat emas.
Itulah impian kontinjen Johor pada Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) XII yang akan berlangsung di Terengganu bermula Sabtu hingga 9 Jun depan.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Belia dan Sukan negeri, Md. Jais Sarday berkata, dia yakin kontinjen Johor yang mendapat jolokan Harimau Selatan itu dapat mencapai sasaran tersebut.

Menurutnya, sasaran tersebut adalah berdasarkan kepada beberapa faktor termasuk penyertaan semula beberapa jenis sukan yang dikuasai Johor seperti kayak dan judo.

"Selain itu, peningkatan had umur daripada 21 kepada 23 tahun dalam beberapa cara sukan juga memberi kelebihan kepada kita.

"Ia ditambah dengan kelonggaran untuk membenarkan atlet yang mewakili negara untuk beraksi pada Sukma 2008 nanti," katanya pada majlis penyerahan bendera negeri kepada kontinjen Johor di Teluk Danga, semalam.

Majlis tersebut disempurnakan oleh Menteri Besar, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

Menurut Md. Jais lagi, pada temasya kali ini Johor menghantar seramai 466 atlet dan 269 daripadanya adalah atlet lelaki.

Sebagai persediaan menghadapi Sukma XII, Johor turut menghantar atletnya berlatih di luar negara bagi memantapkan lagi prestasi mereka.

Antara pasukan yang menjalani latihan di luar negara termasuk skuad lawan pedang di Makati, Filipina, silat (Batam, Indonesia) dan judo (Surabaya, Indonesia).

Sementara itu, dalam ucapan ringkasnya, Abd. Ghani menekankan agar atlet Johor memelihara disiplin selain mempamerkan semangat berpasukan yang tinggi.

"Ini adalah untuk menjaga nama baik negeri Johor.

"Selain itu, apa yang diharapkan adalah mereka boleh mencapai sasaran 40 pingat emas," ujarnya.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Malaysian games: Terengganu in rush to get things going

 Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium is yet to be dusted down with finishing touches still being put into place.
Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium is yet to be dusted down with finishing touches still being put into place.

TERENGGANU is in a frantic race to be ready to host the 12th edition of the Malaysia Games which opens officially in two days.

The spanking new 49,000-seater Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium is yet to be dusted down with finishing touches still being put into place. Even the athletics track is yet to be lined and work on that was still going on yesterday.

Many of the venues have not been able to hold test events and will jump straight into action after being completed. For the spectators, finding these venues within the main complex is also difficult as signages have yet to be put up.

Refurbishment works at the State Aquatics Complex also seemed just completed without any sign of having been tested, while the Kuala Terengganu City Council Hockey Stadium next to it was also still undergoing refurbishment.

The signs are that the general elections and the Terengganu Menteri Besar crisis that followed, resulting in Datuk Ahmad Said taking over from Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh two months ago, has taken its toll on the event. Everything is said to have been left hanging with uncertainty over the leader of the state government.
But Malaysia Games 2008 chief executive officer Arpin Draman refused to blame those circumstances.

"There's no doubt that we're in a race against time. But the target date is not May 28, but May 31. There won't be any activity in the main stadium until the 31st (of May), which is the opening ceremony and athletics only begins competion on June 4," said Arpin.

Officials stated that signages within the main stadium complex will be up today.


Malaysian games / Football: Dollah sees no favourites

  Perak’s football  players  undergoing training  at the  Universiti Malaysia Terengganu  yesterday. Perak  will meet Terengganu today in  their Group A match. Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM.
Perak’s football players undergoing training at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu yesterday. Perak will meet Terengganu today in their Group A match. Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM.

SELANGOR coach Dollah Salleh believes it is premature to install anyone as the favourite for the football gold medal at the Malaysia Games when play begins today in Kuala Terengganu.

Being an age-group event (under-23), Dollah feels the field is wide open with the potential for surprises greatly enhanced.

"People think of us as one of the favourites as we have players from the Super League side. The names may make us look good on paper but you must bear in mind that most of them were actually reserves and President's Cup players," Dollah said at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu training ground in Gong Badak yesterday.

Selangor open their Group D campaign with an evening clash against Kelantan while Kedah, another of the early favourites, meet Sabah in the same group.

Defending champions Terengganu, who are looking to reach the final for the third successive Games, hope to get off to a winning start against Perak in Group A, while Negri Sembilan face Malacca in their quest for gold in Group C.
Dollah does not want his players to get carried away with the favourites tag and is looking no further than the opening match.

"We cannot look too far ahead. We must be focused on our first opponents. We've got a tough group, including Kedah, so we have to tread with caution," added Dollah, who also handles the senior side.

The football tournament kicks off two days ahead of the opening ceremony but has already run into trouble.

One football pitch at the Gong Badak Sports Complex is not ready and has forced the re-scheduling of some matches.

Only the final will be held at the main stadium, the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak on June 8, with all other matches being held at the open fields in Gong Badak and the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

With the preliminary matches scheduled for the early morning and early evening, the weather, which has been hot and humid in recent days in Kuala Terengganu, could also have a bearing on the matches.

FIXTURES -- Today: Group A: Terengganu v Perak (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 4.45pm); Group B: Kedah v Sabah (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field A, 4.45pm); Selangor v Kelantan (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field B, 4.45pm); Group C: Negri Sembilan v Malacca (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field A, 8am); Perlis v Federal Territories (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field B, 8am); Group D: Brunei v Johor (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 8.45pm); Sarawak v Penang (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 8am).


Malaysian games / Fencing: TAFA has point to prove

   Kamarul   (left) and   Tengku Dzulkifli  make last-minute checks to the scoring equipment at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium yesterday.
Kamarul (left) and Tengku Dzulkifli make last-minute checks to the scoring equipment at the Gong Badak Indoor Stadium yesterday.

IF there was a need to identify the spirit of the Malaysia Games in this 12th edition of the biennial event, then it would be about the spreading of the sporting culture, the emergence of facilities in host States and, like what the Terengganu Amateur Fencing Association (TAFA) has gone through, the combination of both which results in the beginning of better things to come.

Never in Terengganu's sporting history has fencing ever even been mentioned. Not until a year ago when the need to hold the sport brought about a sudden uprising of the sport in the State.

Within just 14 months after TAFA was formed, it had indentified and produced young fencers, beefed up facilities in the State, got a development programme running and won its first gold medal in an international event. It seemed like a breeze.

Not only that, the association was tasked with preparing the venue and all facilities for the Malaysia Games, something that had never been done in Terengganu before.

"This was made easier thanks to funds made available for the purpose by the Malaysia Games secretariat.
"We were asked by the Terengganu Sports Council to look into the sport and get things going. Then we quickly got things going.

"We set up a protem committee, chaired by Datuk Mohd Rozi Abdul Rahman (Terengganu State executive committee chairman for sports) and got moving," said TAFA development committee chairman Ahmad Kamarul Idrus.

"We brought in some fencers from other States and started to groom our own home-grown talent just for the Malaysia Games."

The State Sports Council was the main backer of the development programme, which also saw them bringing in Indonesian coach Badrul Alam to take charge of the fencers.

"Most of our fencers are based at the Bandar Penawar Sports School right now, but, hopefully, in the future when our own Bukit Nenas Sports School is up and running, they can be based there," said Ahmad Kamarul.

And the programme has seen early success in the Danga Bay International Games in February when the Terengganu women's team epee squad of Che Ku Nur Aida Che Ku Rahim, Nazirah Mohd Adzeman and Nor Fazlin Atan bagged the gold medal, beating other teams from around South East Asia.

Terengganu also bagged two silver and two bronze medals in that Games.

"We're happy to say that in such a short time, we've managed to put up a full squad to compete in all 12 events at the Malaysia Games.

"We have targeted one gold medal from the women's team epee which would be the icing on the cake for all the hard work and the great support from the Terengganu Sports Council," said Ahmad Kamarul.


Hui Lin aims to make up for two forgettable outings in Sukma

PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Ng Hui Lin limped out of Sukma in Kedah two years ago with a torn ligament.

This time in Terengganu, Hui Lin will be teaming up with younger sister Hui Ern to make her third outing in the Games for Selangor a memorable one.

The badminton competitions will be played at the Berlian Utama Hall in Kemaman from June 1-8.

Besides Hui Lin, Selangor have two other national players in their girls team – fellow Uber Cuppers Sabrina Chong and Woon Khe Wei. The others are Yang Lilian, Yap Harn Xin, S. Premalatha and Kwan Suk Lee. All the players except for Lilian have competed in previous Games.

The 17-year-old Hui Lin, who has shown great improvement in her game since training with the elite squad under the charge of Rexy Mainaky this year, is determined to make an impact in the Games.

At the recent Uber Cup Finals in Jakarta, she gave creditable performances partnering seasoned campaigner Lim Pek Siah.

“I don't have anything good to remember from the previous two outings in Sukma. I did not fare well in my debut in Seremban,” said Hui Lin.

“It was worse in Alor Star. I tore a ligament and had to pull out of the competition. It was a painful episode. I had to go for surgery and was out for six months. I am glad that my badminton career is back on the right track again. I want to give my best and hope to win a gold medal for Selangor.”

Hui Lin is relishing the prospect of playing together with her younger sister.

“We have a strong team this time. My sister also did well recently in the doubles event. She has beaten several top players (at the national schools championships) and that will be the extra motivation for her in Sukma.”

The other states with the ability to spoil the party for Selangor are Penang, powered by Tee Jing Yee; Malacca, led by Julia Wong; and Kuala Lumpur, headed by Lydia Cheah.

A total of seven gold medals are at stake and Selangor are aiming to nail three of them.

National players can only feature in two events – one individual and the team competition.

In the men's competitions, Selangor have Sharizal Latif, Shawal Ismail, S. Naresh, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Chong Zhen Wei, Chang Jian Shiang, Haqim Ayub and Rumli Ali in their ranks.

The Star

Sarawak out to end Selangor’s 12-year domination

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak have in their Sukma contingent several prominent national athletes and they are looking at ending Selangor's 12-year domination at the 12th edition of the biennial Games in Terengganu.

Selangor have topped the standings since 1996 when they ended Sarawak's reign. Sarawak were the champions for three consecutive editions since 1990 when they were the hosts.

The champions of the Games in Terengganu will be decided by the gold medal count instead of points as in previous editions. Sarawak finished second in the standings at the last Games in Kedah and they had a medal haul of 36-42-55. Selangor had a tally of 53-44-56.

The Games in Terengganu are offering 404 gold medals, Sarawak have a contingent of 605 athletes and they will compete in 29 of the 31 sports in the programme.

The Sarawakians, who will not be represented in equestrian and petanque, are strong in athletics and aquatics – the two sports offering many gold medals. There are 45 gold medals at stake in athletics while aquatics offer 48 (38 in swimming and 10 in diving).

A national athlete can compete in a maximum of two individual event and Sarawak have Beijing Olympics-bound Daniel Bego to get gold medals in the men's 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly races. And his presence should help Sarawak challenge strongly for three relay gold medals.

In the women's swimming competitions, Sarawak can bank on two promising youngsters – Erika Kong and Hii Siew Siew in the breaststroke races and 200m butterfly respectively.

Sarawak have in their ranks Beijing-bound diver Bryan Nickson. They also have Elizabeth Jimie and Pandelela Rinong and are odds on favourites to grab the lion's share of the gold medals at stake.

Wushu offers 20 gold medals and this is another sport where Sarawak will be banking on to add to the golden count.

Leading their charge are World Championships silver medallist and Korat SEA Games champion Diana Bong and Loh Jack Chang, who took silver in the Asian Championships in Macau last week.

Sarawak earned four gold medals in Alor Star two years ago but their wushu chief coach James Ting said they were hopeful of a much better haul in Terengganu.

“While the competition now is equally spread out because most of the other states also have Chinese coaches, we will be happy if we can secure a repeat of our performance in 2004 in Kedah where we took home seven gold medals,” he said.

Sarawak athletes have traditionally excelled in field events of the athletics programme and this is expected to continue in Kuala Terengganu while national paddler Chai Kian Beng will lead their charge to extend domination in table tennis.

Other national athletes expected to shine are recurve archer Noor Aziera Taip and golfer Michelle Ting.

Sarawak also have national triathlete and two-time SEA Games champion Kimbeley Yap to help their cause and she will also compete in the women's road cycling time trial.

The Star

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sukma: Hosts Terengganu announce rewards for medallists

PETALING JAYA: Sukma are not only getting bigger with each edition but so are the cash incentives for medal winners.

Hosts Terengganu have dangled a big carrot for their athletes to go for gold in the 12th national Games scheduled for May 31-June 9.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said dropped a pleasant surprise for the athletes at the flag handing over ceremony in Kuala Terengganu on Sunday night, announcing that a gold medal was worth RM3,000, a silver RM1,500 and a bronze RM750.

He added that an individual winner and a team winner would enjoy the same rewards.

“I am proud to say that Terengganu are the first to do this. There will be no discrimination in the amount of reward for individual and team winners,” he said.

“We are taking the initiative in recognising sportsmen and sportswomen. The incentives we are handing out are just rewards for the sacrifices made by the athletes and we must recognise them.”

There were more cheers when Ahmad announced that an athlete who set a championship record would get an additional RM1,000.

To drive their athletes even more, Terengganu will give a further RM200 on the spot for a gold medal, RM130 for a silver and RM70 for a bronze in individual events. For a team gold winner, the amount is RM150.

And Terengganu are not stopping at that in handing out goodies as they play host to the biennial Games for the first time.

Ahmad announced that they were contemplating taking gold medallists for an overseas holiday and study tour.

“After discussions between the state government, the state sports council and the parents of the athletes, they will continue to get the RM300 per month for excellence. The allowance for the months of May and June will be paid by the end of this month,” he said.

“I hope that these lucrative incentives will spur the athletes to achieve a best-ever outing for Terengganu in Sukma. The target is 40 gold medals and a top five finish in the overall standings.”

The flag handing over ceremony was held at the Al-Muktafi Billah Shah Hall in University Darul Iman, Gong Badak. Ahmad handed the Terengganu flag to chef-de-mission Wan Ahmad Nizam Abdul Hamid.

Footballer Ahmad Shahril Zakaria then received the flag on behalf of the athletes.

Terengganu’s best outing in Sukma since the Games' inception in 1986 was in 1998 in Selangor with a haul of 11-14-15 for sixth places.

For this edition, Terengganu have a 608-strong contingent of 513 athletes and 95 officials.

Terengganu athletes will compete in all 31 sports in the programme, including the two demonstration sports – kabbadi and Formula future.

Among the stars of the Terengganu contingent are cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustafa.

The Star

Habuan lumayan nanti atlit tuan rumah

KONTINJEN Terengganu di Sukma 2008 bakal mencipta lembaran baru apabila ditawarkan habuan wang tunai tinggi sebagai ganjaran jika berjaya memperoleh pingat.

Atlit negeri tuan rumah itu bakal menerima habuan bernilai RM3,000 jika memenangi emas, RM1,500 untuk perak dan RM750 untuk gangsa dan insentif lumayan itu diumumkan sendiri Menteri Besar Terengganu, Datuk Ahmad Said ketika majlis penyerahan bendera kelmarin.

Lebih menarik, Ahmad Said turut mengumumkan tidak akan ada diskriminasi antara pemenang individu dan berpasukan kerana setiap atlit akan menerima jumlah ganjaran yang sama.

“Saya bangga untuk mengatakan Terengganu adalah negeri pertama melakukannya, tiada diskriminasi dalam pemberian jumlah kemenangan kepada pemenang pingat emas individu atau berpasukan.

“Tidak ada negeri lain yang melakukannya, kami mengambil inisiatif ini untuk mengiktiraf atlit lelaki dan wanita. Insentif ini adalah ganjaran kepada pengorbanan yang dilakukan atlit, ” kata Ahmad Said.

Kontinjen Terengganu terus diberi galakkan apabila Ahmad Said mengumumkan mana-mana atlit yang berjaya mencatat rekod baru kejohanan akan diberi tambahan RM1,000.

Selain itu, setiap atlit akan terus diberi RM200 selepas memenangi emas, RM130 untuk perak dan RM70 untuk gangsa dalam acara individu manakala bagi pemenang emas berpasukan pula mereka akan menerima RM150.

Pemenang-pemenang pingat emas juga dijanjikan percutian sambil belajar di luar negara dan Ahmad Said berharap ganjaran lumayan itu akan meningkatkan moral atlit bagi mencatat kejayaan terbaik Terengganu di Sukma.


Sasaran Kata: Penganjur bukan ukuran Sukma

Norbakti Alias

Kejayaan temasya dwi-tahunan itu bukan pada percikan bunga api, aksi atlit paling penting

SABTU ini bermulalah edisi terbaru Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) di Terengganu yang akan berlanjutan sehingga 9 Jun ini.

Sama seperti edisi-edisi sebelum ini, penulis ternanti-nantikan siapa bakal menjadi bintang kali ini dan sejauh mana kemampuan atlit muda ini apabila didedahkan di pentas antarabangsa.

Seperti yang diketahui, Sukma adalah medan atlit muda mencari peluang mencipta nama dan penulis harap matlamat ini akan benar-benar tercapai.

Pada masa sama, penulis juga berharap Terengganu tidak akan jadi seperti tuan rumah-tuan rumah sebelum ini yang terlalu ghairah mengejar status penganjur terbaik yang jelas dimulakan oleh Sarawak pada 1990.

Bukannya apa. Buat apa setakat menang sorak. Mungkin ramai yang akan terpegun dengan program menarik bagi acara pembukaan atau penutup, tapi apa kena mengena semua itu dengan sukan.

Dalam sukan, ketinggian mana sekali pun formasi percikan bunga api, tetap tidak ada maknanya tapi ukuran sebenar adalah pencapaian atlit di gelanggang.

Mungkin percikan bunga api yang menghiasi langit itu cukup indah tapi ia setakat untuk 10 atau 15 minit dan selepas itu, semua orang sudah melupakannya.

Ia hanya sekadar hiasan kosmetik luaran. Bagi media yang akan membuat liputan itu nanti, semua itu tidak penting kerana ia langsung tidak ada dalam senarai pungutan pingat.

Sebaliknya, bagi pihak media, kelancaran dalam mendapatkan keputusan serta persembahan baik daripada atlit menjadi idaman kerana itulah tarikan sebenar temasya sukan, bukan acara yang setakat menguntungkan pihak tertentu sahaja.

Sememangnya ia amat menyedihkan untuk melihat penganjur lebih ghairah menjadi penganjur terbaik. Kenapa status jadi penganjur terbaik terus menjadi buruan?

Penulis faham, mungkin ada negeri yang menjadi tuan rumah berasa ‘malu’ jika tidak mengadakan upacara pembukaan secara besar-besaran tapi adakah itu benar-benar penting. Bukan penulis mahu acara pembukaan diadakan seperti sukan tahunan peringkat sekolah tapi salahkah jika diadakan secara sederhana atau lebih baik sedikit daripada temasya sukan peringkat negeri?

Malaysia sudah terkenal di mata dunia sebagai penganjur sukan terbaik tapi buat apa setakat menang sorak jika aksi pasukan sendiri entah ke mana.

Apakah untungnya jika kos mengadakan pertunjukan bunga api dan acara lain untuk majlis pembukaan dan penutup mampu mencecah ratusan ribu ringgit. Bukankah lebih baik wang sebanyak itu digunakan untuk menyediakan atlit.

Penulis juga terkejut kerana masih ada keghairahan negeri tertentu yang mahukan atlit kebangsaan dibenarkan beraksi pada Sukma. Sudah terlalu tandus bakatkah negeri-negeri itu atau sekadar mahu menang sorak.

Antara atlit kebangsaan yang layak ke Sukan Olimpik Beijing, Ogos ini yang dikatakan akan mewakili negeri masing-masing pada Sukma ialah pelumba trek basikal, Azizulhasni Awang (Terengganu), perenang Daniel Bego (Sarawak), Lew Yih Wey (Negeri Sembilan), Khoo Cai Lin (Selangor) dan Leung Chii Lin (Sabah) serta jaguh lompat tinggi, Lee Hup Wei (Selangor).

Penulis tidak salahkan atlit ini kerana mereka perlu akur kepada permintaan negeri, lagipun ada ganjaran buat mereka jika menang, sedangkan di Olimpik, peluang untuk mendapatkan pingat sememangnya agak sukar.

Tapi, siapa yang akan bertanggungjawab jika atlit ini cedera di Sukma sehingga menjejaskan persiapan mereka ke Beijing sedangkan untuk layak beraksi di sukan terbesar dunia itu, bukan sesuatu yang mudah.

Siapa yang akan malu lebih besar jika atlit ini sekadar hadir untuk mencukupkan angka, bukannya melakukan catatan peribadi terbaik.

Sudah cukup jelaslah bahawa Konvensyen Sukma anjuran Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) pada 2006 yang mencapai resolusi tidak membenarkan atlit Sukan Olimpik, Sukan Asia, Sukan Komanwel, Kejohanan Dunia dan pemenang pingat Sukan Sea beraksi di Sukma, hanya sia-sia.

Segala perbelanjaan untuk konvensyen itu jelas satu pembaziran apabila negeri-negeri terus berlumba-lumba mahu menampilkan atlit terbaik mereka semata-mata demi meraih pingat emas sehingga mengenepikan kepentingan negara.

Mungkin selepas ini elok Sukma terbuka untuk semua atlit termasuk atlit kebangsaan supaya semua boleh menang sorak. Tapi, jangan terlalu cepat lega kerana selepas itu kita akan didedahkan dengan sandiwara tarik-tali merebutkan atlit pula. Percayalah.


MSN cadang rendahkan lagi had umur atlit Sukma

Oleh Lukman Salleh

MAJLIS Sukan Negara (MSN) bermain dengan idea untuk merendahkan had umur penyertaan atlit Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) daripada bawah-23 tahun ketika ini kepada bawah-21 ataupun 19 bagi mengelak kontroversi pembabitan atlit kebangsaan.

Selain memastikan bakat baru dapat dicungkil dan dibentuk pada usia yang lebih muda, MSN juga mahu memantapkan peraturan Sukma bagi memastikan ia tidak berubah-ubah seperti apa yang berlaku setiap kali kejohanan ini dilangsungkan dua tahun sekali.

“Secara peribadi saya berpendapat sistem pengurusan Sukma sekarang ini tersusun,” kata Ketua Pengarah MSN, Datuk Zolkples Embong (gambar) ketika ditemui di pejabatnya di Bukit Jalil, semalam. “Cuma kita perlu melihat kepada peraturan penyertaan atlit yang dihadkan kepada umur bawah-23 tahun.

“Bagi saya penyertaan yang dihadkan kepada peringkat umur ini adalah terlalu tua bagi seseorang atlit terutama sekali untuk pembangunan serta pembentukannya untuk menjadi atlit kebangsaan.

“Pada usia ini sepatutnya atlit terbabit sudah menjadi atlit kebangsaan dan bukannya baru hendak dicungkil bakat. Bagi saya, had umur bawah-21 adalah paling sesuai malah saya juga bersedia untuk mengurangkan kepada bawah-19 tahun.

“Selain dapat mencungkil bakat pada peringkat lebih muda serta tempoh yang mencukupi untuk membentuk mereka menjadi atlit kebangsaan, ia juga boleh menyelesaikan masalah yang sering berlaku setiap kali Sukma berlangsung iaitu pembabitan atlit kebangsaan,” kata Zolkples.

Sukma XII di Terengganu, bakal berlangsung Sabtu ini, turut menyaksikan permintaan supaya beberapa atlit elit kebangsaan dibenarkan bertanding tetapi dihadkan acara yang boleh disertai mereka, bagi memastikan lebih banyak penyertaan serta tidak menjadi penghalang atlit lain untuk bertanding.

Walaupun majoriti sukan yang dipertandingkan membabitkan peringkat umur bawah-23 tetapi ada beberapa sukan turut mengenakan had umur lebih rendah iaitu bawah-21 seperti renang, badminton hoki.

Bagi Zolkples, apa yang penting ialah mencari peraturan terbaik, dipersetujui semua pihak dan tidak akan berubah setiap kali berlangsung temasya ini.

“Kita sudah membuat keputusan mengenai peraturan Sukma, tetapi apa saja keputusan yang kita buat, ada sahaja pihak yang tidak bersetuju,” kata Zolkples, “Oleh itu, kita perlu mencari langkah terbaik agar peraturan Sukma tidak akan berubah-ubah setiap kali pertandingan dilangsungkan.

“Masalahnya, ada pihak yang berkata setuju dengan keputusan yang kita buat mengenai peraturan Sukma, tetapi lepas itu, orang yang sama mengkritik keputusan kita selepas itu.

“Oleh itu, kita perlu mencari peraturan yang terbaik supaya ia kekal konsisten dengan setiap pengelolaan.

“Jangan pada setiap Sukma kita tukar peraturan... bagi saya ia bukan keputusan yang bagus,” katanya.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

SUKMA - No qualms being the underdogs

IT is going to be one rollercoaster ride for Federal Territories soccer coach Razip Ismail. Razip and his squad left for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu with a mission to prove their critics wrong.

“We’re comfortable being the underdogs,” said Razip.

“We have not been given any targets but many believe in us and I’m looking forward to a memorable outing.” The former KL and national player admitted an uphill task awaits him since he has only coached the team for two weeks.

“Most of the players are from KL’s Premier League team, newly promoted Super League’s KL Plus and Felda United,” he said.

“We don’t have any notable stars but the boys are motivated.” Federal Territories, who failed to advance from the group stages of the Kedah 2006 Games, are grouped with Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Perlis.

“It will be tough as it’s an Under-23 meet and most teams are fielding their Super League and national players.” “My target is the quarter finals,” said Razip.

Meanwhile, teams involved in the Malaysia Cup, which starts on June 11, question the poor scheduling as the Sukma finalists will have 48 hours of rest before the tournament starts.

KL are in Group B of the Malaysia Cup with Super League and FA Cup champions Kedah, Johor FC, Penang, Police and Sabah.

Razip dropped 11 players, including former international Ivan Yusoff as the depleted KL prepare for the Malaysia Cup.

KL were second from bottom in the just concluded Premier League

FT to pay RM2,500 for each Sukma gold

KUALA LUMPUR: A Sukma gold medal will be worth RM2,500 to an athlete in the Federal Territories (FT) contingent.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique hoped that the money would be a good incentive for the athletes to deliver gold after failing to hit their 50-gold target in the 2006 Sukma in Alor Star.

He was speaking to reporters after the flag handing-over ceremony to chef-de-mission Datuk Bakaruddin Othman here yesterday.

At the 2006 Games, FT had a haul of 25-31-35 for seventh place in the standings.

Zulhasnan said that for the upcoming Games, they would have a contingent of 743 athletes and officials and the target was to win 45 gold medals.

“We did not meet the target in the previous Sukma and I would like to make sure that we make it this time,” he said, adding that the FT Sports Council were in discussion on cash incentives for athletes who win gold medals in team events.

Bakaruddin said that the athletes were well-prepared and that the 45 gold medal-target was realistic.

“We believe most of our gold medals will come from aquatics, shooting, athletics, netball and sepaktakraw. Our athletes are physically and mentally ready for the challenges and I hope they can deliver.” – Bernama

Gymnast out of Sukma squad due to back injury


NATIONAL junior rhythmic gymnast Elaine Koon has been ruled out of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu from May 31 to June 9.

Earlier, the Selangor Gymnastics Association (SAGA) considered Koon as their brightest hope to challenge for a gold medal especially in the individual ribbon event.

SAGA president Kula Chelliah confirmed Koon is down with a back injury and would not feature for Selangor.

Kwan: Made it into the squad.

“We will definitely miss her service. Although she is not carrying a serious injury, the doctor has advised her not to compete in Sukma. For the time being, she is just undergoing light training,” he added.

After facing a minor setback to announce their top four gymnasts, another national junior gymnast Low Joon Mae requested for exemption from the control testing conducted at Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur last week. SAGA then named the top three performers from the recent assessment to shoulder their challenge at the biennial Games.

The trio are Au Wei Ran, Amy Kwan Dict Weng and Loh Chooi Shawn.

Au, who is the youngest in the pack, took the top spot in the individual all-around which was decided over four events.

However, Low still has a chance to make the squad.

Au: The youngest gymnast in the squad.

Following the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to determine Low's condition on Thursday, the medical experts have suggested that she is fit to compete.

“She (Low) has to go through a series of tests to earn her place in the team,” said Kula. At the previous Sukma in Kedah two years ago, Selangor swept five of the six gold medals at stake.

Then, Yap Li Ya emerged as the Selangor's best performer claiming the individual all-around and team titles.

Two other Selangor gymnasts – Nurhidayah Abdul Wahid and Yong Soo Yee – were also instrumental in achieving the feat.

Elaine Tan of Kuala Lumpur spoilt Selangor's party and prevented their domination with her win in the individual rope event.

However, Selangor realised they will be facing a stiffer competition against more established gymnasts from Kuala Lumpur to repeat a good run at the upcoming Games.

“In the worst case scenario, we will just field the three gymnasts for the Games. Even without Elaine (Koon), we are hoping to do well. The best gymnasts available are still good enough to be among the medal contenders,” Kula added.

Sukma: Last chance for juniors to earn places for Europe tour

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sukma hockey competition in Kuala Terengganu from May 30-June 9 will be the final selection ground for players in the national junior side for a tour of Europe beginning on June 10.

National junior coach V. Muralidharan said that he would pick his final squad of 18 for the tour, which includes a four-nation meet in Poland, based on the players’ performances in Sukma.

“We really have no choice as the team will depart on June 9 for Poland. We have 30 players in our training squad and only one player, who is nursing an injury, will not be allowed to compete in Sukma,” he said.

Pahang midfielder Mohamed Nor Zakhwan is nursing a leg injury and he will also not be considered for selection for the tour.

Two other players have recovered from their injuries and they have been given the clearance to play in Sukma. They are Penang’s Azrin Rizal and Selangor’s Wong Kee Hoon.

Another player, Perak’s Khairul Rizal, is required to get the nod from the National Institute of Sports (NSI) doctors to play in the Games. The CIMB Bank employee did not undergo a medical check-up last week.

The national juniors are preparing for the Junior Asia Cup, which will be held in India from July 11-19.

The tournament is also a qualifying event for the 2009 Junior World Cup. But the results will have no bearing on Malaysia’s qualification.

Malaysia are automatic qualifiers by virtue of being the joint hosts of the Finals with Singapore.

In the four-nation tournament in Poland, Malaysia will play against the hosts, India and France. The team will then go to Germany for three matches before completing the tour with two matches against Belgium.

Muralidharan said he hoped that the players would tread with caution in Sukma and not risk themselves to injuries.

“They will also have to work on their fitness when training with the state teams. Our main worry is injuries.

“I will monitor the players closely and also talk to the state coaches to get their feedback as well,” he said.

The Star

Sukan Malaysia 1986 - 2006


diadakan dari 9 hb sehingga 16 hb April 1986.Tuan rumah SUKMA I merupakan Kuala Lumpur. Seramai 17 kontingen dan 4552 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 9 hb sehingga 12 hb November 1988. Tuan rumah SUKMA II merupakan Kuala Lumpur. Bilangan jenis sukan dalam SUKMA II ialah 18 jenis. Seramai 17 kontijen dan 4995 atlet yang menyerati sukan ini.


diadakan dari 18 hb sehingga 27 hb Julai 1990. Tuan rumah SUKMA III merupakan Sarawak. Seramai 16 jenis kontijen dan 3426 atlet menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 2 hb sehingga 12 hb Julai 1992. Tuan rumah SUKMA IV merupakan Johor. Seramai 17 kontingen dan 5151 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 9 hb sehingga 18 hb Jun 1994. Tuan rumah SUKMA V merupakan Perak. Seramai 17 kontingen dan 5664 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 1 hb sehingga 10 hb Jun 1996. Tuan rumah SUKMA VI merupakan Pahang. Seramai 19 kontingen dan 6495 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 17 hb sehingga 26 hb April 1998. Tuan rumah SUKMA VII merupakan Selangor. Bilangan jenis sukan dalam SUKMA VII ialah 24 jenis. Seramai 16 kontingen dan 5028 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.


diadakan dari 25 hb Mei sehingga 4 hb Jun 2000. Tuan rumah SUKMA VIII merupakan Pulau Pinang. Seramai 19 kontingen dan 5875 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini.

Majlis Sukan Negara Malaysia telah menggunakan SUKMA V, VI dan VII ini sebagai gelanggang untuk mengenal pasti atlet-atlet muda yang berpotensi untuk diasuh sebagai persiapan Negara untuk menghadapi Sukan Komanwel 1998 di Kuala Lumpur.

SUKMA VIII Tahun 2000 di Pulau Pinang, merupakan system secara 'Bidding' yang terakhir dalam penganjuran SUKMA


diadakan dari 7 hb September sehingga 14 hb September 2002. Tuan rumah SUKMA XI merupakan Sabah. Seramai 20 kontingen dan 5000 atlet yang menyertai sukan ini. SUKMA IX Tahun 2002 di Negeri Sabah adalah yang pertama dipilih dalam penganjuran SUKMA secara sistem 'Zoning'. Negeri Sabah diletakkan dalam Zon I yang juga mengandungi negeri Sarawak dan Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan.


Berlangsung pada 28hb Mei – 6hb Jun 2004 di Negeri Sembilan dengan penyertaan lebih 7000 atlet dari 17 kontinjen yang bertanding di dalam 30 jenis sukan.


Berlangsung dari 26hb Mei – 4hb Jun 2006 di Kedah dengan 26 jenis sukan dipertandingkan dan disertai oleh 16 kontinjen dengan atlet seramai 6500 orang