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Tuesday October 29, 2013 MYT 6:57:00 PM
Tuesday October 29, 2013 MYT 6:58:54 PM
by ashreena pillai
Tekong Noor Azman Abdul Hamid is glad to be representing the national team again. He will be banking on an old partnership with Mohd Hanafiah Dolah (left) to help the team win at the Istaf SuperSeries in Kota Kinabalu.
PETALING JAYA: Tekong Noor Azman Abdul Hamid is relishing the prospect of lining up once again for Malaysia when the third leg of the Istaf SuperSeries gets underway in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Thursday.
Malaysia, seeded first in Group A, will open their campaign against Iran and India on Thursday at the Likas Sports Complex and they are set to take on Indonesia on Friday.
Thailand, world champions and winners of the Bangkok Series last month, are seeded second in Group B together with Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Germany.
Noor Azman, who first represented Malaysia in 2003, called time on his international career after winning the bronze medal in the men’s regu in the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. However, he never fully left the sport and went on to play for PKNS on the local circuit.
Noor Azman, who returned to play for the national team last month, is eager to get the first match over and done with.
“It’s not so much nerves or the pressure of competing on home ground. I’m just keen to get the first match out of the way. I think we’re all looking forward to that, to find our rhythm,” said Noor Azman, who arrived in Kota Kinabalu Tuesday afternoon together with the Malaysian team.
“Playing for Malaysia feels very natural to me and I’m confident we can do well,” he added.
Also in the team for this leg of the Series are tekong Mohd Fazil Mohd Asri, killers Mohd Hanafiah Dolah and Mohd Kamal Al-Fiza and feeder Mohd Syazreen Qamar Salehan.
“I’m very comfortable with Hanafiah. We’ve played together before during my previous tenure with the national team and so it was quite easy to rekindle that partnership and understanding,” said aid Noor Azman, who won two silvers in the men’s regu and team events at the 2010 Asian Games.
“As for the others, we’re working on our combinations ... there might not be years of understanding and familiarity, but we’ve been working on it and I’m confident we can pull it off,” he added.
With New Delhi Series winners South Korea pulling out of the tournament, this makes it easier for Malaysia to make the finals yet again.
Malaysia made the final in both the New Delhi and Bangkok legs of the Series, before losing to South Korea and Thailand respectively in straight sets (3-0).
“Each leg has its own challenges but I think at the end of the day, the team that concedes fewer mistakes will be the victor, and so that will be key – minimising our mistakes.”
Tags / Keywords:
sepak takraw, takraw, Istaf SuperSeries, Noor Azman Abdul Hamid, Mohd Hanafiah Dolah
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