Wednesday, March 4, 2015

National Sportsboy Welson Eyes Golden Splash in SEA Games

National swimmer Welsom Sim is all smiles after receiving the National Sportsboy trophy during the Ministry of Education (MOE)-Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM)-Milo Sports Awards ceremony on Tuesday.

PUTRAJAYA: A buoyant Welson Sim has set his sights on bagging two gold medals at the upcoming SEA Games after being crowned the National Sportsboy at the Ministry of Education (MOE)-Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM)-Milo Sports Awards 2014.

The 17-year-old swimmer, who has been in sensational form since joining the national team in 2013, was rewarded for his outstanding performances in local and overseas competitions.

Welson bagged three gold medals during last year’s Perlis Sukma (Malaysia Games) and at the Asean Schools Games in Palembang.

He now aims to improve his tally of two silvers (4x100m and 4x200m freestyle) and one bronze (1,500m freestyle) during his SEA Games debut in Myanmar in 2013.

Welson, who specialises in the freestyle, is targeting a personal glory in the 400m freestyle and hopes to make it a grand double by teaming up with his team-mates to snatch the 4x200m freestyle relay title from hosts and arch-rivals Singapore.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better start this year ... a great outing in my first competition of the year at the New South Wales State Open Championships (ended on Sunday) and today, I received this prestigious award, arguably the biggest recognition you could earn at junior level,” said the jubilant Welson after receiving the award from the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday.

“This award will certainly boost my confidence as I prepare for the Games in June.

“It will be my second Games appearance and I believe two golds are within reach.

“I’m feeling really good and confident with my pace at the moment, particularly, in the 200m and 400m distance where I qualified for two ‘B finals’ in Australia last week.

And it will be a matter of time before Welson dips below 1:51 for the 200m which will set him closer to Daniel Bego’s 1:49.22 national mark.

At the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last week, Welson posted a personal best of 1:51.10, beating his previous record of 1:51.90.

Diving prodigy Nur Dhabitah Sabri made it a memorable day for aquatics by scooping the National Sportsgirl award, thus making it yet another clean sweep for aquatics in the second successive year.

Diver Mohd Nazreen Abdullah and swimmer Yap Siew Hui won the Sportsboy and Sportsgirl awards respectively in 2013.

Dhabitah, however, was not present at the ceremony as she is currently undergoing centralised training with the diving team in China. Her mother Fazidah Jaafar, who is an officer with the MOE received the award on her behalf.

Dhabitah’s fine season in 2014 was highlighted by a third placed finish in the 10m platform synchro with Pandelela Rinong at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and claiming the 3m springboard synchro title with Wendy Ng in the Kuala Lumpur leg of the FINA World Grand Prix.



Sportsboy: Welson Sim Wee Sheng (swimming)

Sportsgirl: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (diving)


Boy: Kiven Shanmugam (squash)

Girl: Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi (squash)


Boy: Muhd Syamil Hafiy Md Adnan (taekwondo)

Girl: Loh Ying Ting (wushu)


Boy: Abdul Latif Romly (Paragames track and field)

Girl: Felicia Mikat (Paragames track and field)


Datuk Mazlan Ahmad


Ting Siew Nguong (track and field)

Chang Siang Cheng (track and field)


Mustafa Kamal Ali (track and field)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

DIVING: Happy With New Partner

AFTER their exploits at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games recently, up and coming diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri is keen on continuing her winning ways with Pandelela Rinong at the Incheon Asian Games next month.

Nur Dhabitah said she has not been told of what plans national coach Yang Zhuliang has in mind for her in South Korea but is hoping to strengthen her combination with the Olympic bronze medallist.

She was unexpectedly selected to partner Pandelela, ahead of veteran Leong Mun Yee, in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event in Scotland.

Despite Nur Dhabitah carrying a hip injury and Pandelela troubled by a nagging knee injury, the duo clinched a respectable third place finish.

“I did not expect to be partnered with Pandelela at the games and I did feel a considerable amount of pressure when I was told that I was paired with her,” said the 15-year-old, when met at an appreciation ceremony yesterday for Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) students that had competed in Glasgow.

“Pandelela is a star and it was somewhat intimidating for me at first as I was not ‘very close’ with her before this.

“But she has proved to be a very good mentor for me. She taught me a lot during our time together and we get along well.

“Although she is a lot more senior than me, she listens to what opinions I have and we discuss a lot about our dives.

“I would definitely like the opportunity to partner her again at the Asian Games but it is up to the coach (Zhuliang) to decide.”

Nur Dhabitah, who partnered Mun Yee to a gold at the Myanmar Sea Games last year, added that the Commonwealth Games was an eye opening experience which has given her the confidence that she can mature into a world class diver.

“My confidence levels were not really that high going into the games as the standard of competition in Glasgow was on a much higher level compared to the Sea Games.

“But our performance there has given me the belief that I can reach that kind of standard. My goal is to win a medal at the Asian Games. It does not matter if it comes in the platform or springboard events.”

The other BJSS students that competed in Glasgow were Yap Sean Yee, Iskandar Alwi (both athletics), Loh Zhiayi (diving), Amy Kwan Dict Weng, Fatin Zakirah Jalany Zain Zalany (both gymnastics), Fatin Shafika Mohd Sukri (hockey), Eddy Chew (shooting), Tern Jian Han, Welson Sim (both swimming) and Lee Rou You (table tennis).

Bukit Jalil Sports School students at the appreciation ceremony yesterday. Pic by Hasriyasyah Sabudin

Dhabitah Relishes Another Chance To Partner Pandelela

Dhabitah (right) will jump at another opportunity to partner Pandelela again. - GLENN GUAN/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri will jump at the chance to partner Pandelela Rinong again in the future.

The 15-year-old Dhabitah was thrust into the unknown when she was asked to partner 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela in the women’s 10m platform synchro at the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games. And they did not disappoint, winning a surprise bronze.

“Lela’s the star of our team ... I was never close to her before the Games. But in Glasgow, I learnt so much from her. She taught me a lot of things. I’d love to be paired with her again if given the chance,” said Dhabitah, who was one of the 11 student-athletes honoured by the Bukit Jalil Sports School at its appreciation ceremony in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The others were Yap Sean Yee and Iskandar Alwi (athletics), Loh Zhiayi (diving), Amy Kwan and Fatin Zakirah Jalany Zain Jalany (rhythmic gymnastics), Fatin Shafika Mohd Sukri (women’s hockey), Eddy Chew (shooting), Tern Jian Han and Welson Sim (swimming) and Lee Rou You (table tennis).

Apart from Dhabitah, the others who medalled at the Games were Rou You (silver in the women’s table tennis team event) and Amy and Fatin (team bronze in the rhythmic gymnastics competition).

Dhabitah has had a good run at multi-sport events.

She made a stellar debut at last year’s Myanmar SEA Games, winning the 10m platform synchro gold with Leong Mun Yee.

Now, she is working hard to make an impact at the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea from Sept 19-Oct 4.

She confessed that winning the bronze in Glasgow was more “special” compared to the SEA Games gold.

“Before going to Glasgow, I had doubts about my own ability. But after winning the bronze, my confidence level went up another level. I know can reach the highest level in world diving. I just have to keep working at it and hopefully come good in the Asiad,” said Dhabitah.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eid Mubarak 2014

28 - 29 July 2014

(Schools Break 26 Jul - 3 Aug 2014)

Local Athletes Face Up To Task Of Training During The Fasting Month

Asmalia warming up before a training session.
WHILE Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan, some Muslim athletes have the added challenge of training during this period while they observe their religious duty.

National gymnast Nur Eli Ellina Azmi, 19, who took up the sport as an eight-year-old, said there were not much changes in her diet during Ramadan.

“For sahur, I would eat rice with some protein, vegetables and fruit,” said Ellina, who became a national gymnast at the age of 12.

She added that her morning intake was usually adequate to ensure that she had enough energy to train during the day.

“During the fasting month, we (Muslim gymnasts) tend to ask our coach for morning training sessions instead,” Ellina said, adding that they usually had more energy in the morning.

“Our (non-Muslim) teammates have been very understanding and do not mind accommodating to our suggestions,” she said.

The third semester Sports Science student at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) said their training sessions sometimes varied because of ongoing classes.

Ellina said training while fasting has been tolerable, with thirst being more of an issue than hunger.

“It’s harder if weare training in a non air-conditioned environment,” she said.

Not unlike Ellina, swimmer Asmalia Filzati Redzuan, 15, ensures that her intake atsahur is enough to get her through training.

For sahur, she has dates, accompanied by rice, chicken and vegetables.

She also drinks a litre of water to stay hydrated.

Asmalia, who started swimming at the age of four and began competitive swimming at seven, trains five times a week at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil.

“It’s quite tough to train while fasting,” Asmalia said, adding that she was obviously slower during training.

“Before, I had two training sessions but now I only have one.”

Asmalia swims approximately four to five kilometres a session, while workouts and core exercises are also part of the training regime.

Asmalia, who specialises in freestyle and butterfly, drinks another litre of water when breaking fast to replenish fluids lost during training.

National squash player, Zulhijjah Azan, 24, cites thirst as the biggest challenge in training while fasting.

“I’m training with non-Muslims and they have more energy than me (during training),” she said.

Training can last between one-and-a-half to two hours per session and Zulhijjah takes it easy by not pushing herself too much.

They train in the afternoons, while the evening sessions are on alternative days and comprise gym work and running.

As with many Muslim athletes, Zulhijjah has tweaked her training regime to cope during Ramadan.

She usually trains six times a week but only once a day during the fasting month.

“Instead of training for two hours I train for one,” she said, adding that her coach and teammates have been understanding.