Aaliyah out to challenge top skiers

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian waterski golden child Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah was ready to provide stiff competition to other top contenders in the 2019 IWWF Water Ski World Championships at the Putrajaya Water Sports Complex at Precinct 6, here, starting yesterday. Despite suffering a minor injury on her left ear during training recently, Aaliyah, 16, said she was extremely excited to put in a commendable performance before the home crowd at the biennial tournament, slated to be held until Aug 18.

AAliyAh Yoong Hanifah at the Putrajaya Water Sports Complex.

“I met the specialist, recently and he told me to take at least two weeks rest, but I’m really excited for the world meet because this is the waters that I’ve been skiing on since I was young,” she told a pre-tournament press conference at the tournament venue, here, on Monday. Malaysia’s French-born coach Marian Malaquin also expressed confidence that his young charges would put up a splendid performance at the meet despite facing an uphill  battle against the world’s top water skiers.

Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) brought in the 38-year-old Frenchman to guide the national squad for the competition. Other members of the national squad for the tournament are Aaliyah’s two younger brothers – Aiden and Adam, as well as Nadiah Nasir. A total of 168 participants from 39 countries are taking part in the tournament which features six events. The preliminary round started from yesterday until Aug 16, followed by the finals on Aug 17 and 18. – Bernama