HOSTS Malaysia and Hong Kong made their presence felt in Round One of the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard championships held at the Watersports Complex in Putrajaya recently.
Hong Kong swept both gold medals in the open events for slalom and wakeboard while Malaysia took three gold medals from the junior skiers in the Under-15 and Under-10 categories, demonstrating the country’s emerging strength.
Cheng Wai Nam from Hong Kong won the Open slalom for men and women in a keen tussle with Malaysia’s number one skier Phillipa Yoong, resulting in a tie of 7.5 buoys which had to be broken with a runoff which the former won, with Hong Kong’s Chau Tung Shin coming in third.
Cheng then got his double when he swept the field in the open wakeboard event for Men and Women with a score of 62.56 points, leaving Singapore’s Frankie Ng and 17-year-old Sasha Christian in second and third place respectively.
Malaysia’s Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah, six, won the Under-10 slalom event for boys and girls with 14 buoys while pre-event favourite Hadi Irfan Rahaizah managed only 13.
Last year, Aaliyah took the podium in an all-girls category but this year the diminutive girl had to compete in the open category due to lack of entry.
The open category was also not a difficult proposition as she went on to be the youngest winner in the championship.
Alisandra Ali, seven, scored her first career podium to finish third with eight buoys after older brother Anakin missed the entry gates and scored zero.
Shamal Norman won the slalom boys Under-15 event with 15.25 buoys, beating Ariff Alaudin and Syahir Nasir who finished second and third respectively.
Nadiah Nasir won the slalom girls Under-15 with a score of 21 buoys while 11-year-old Hanis Azemi surprised with silver with Syakirah Nasir completing the last podium spot.
Singapore took two gold medals with wins coming from Patricia Foo in the wakeboard novice women event and Styfany Foo in the wakeboard intermediate women event.
The remaining golds were won by New Zealand’s Tee Lim in the wakeboard novice men event, Sebastien Delnatte of France winning the slalom intermediate men event and Manual Reimer of Germany winning the wakeboard intermediate men event.
Malaysia made a clean sweep in the Slalom Novice Under-15 for boys and girls and in the Slalom Novice Under-10 for open categories.
Round 2 of the championship will take place at the same venue in Putrajaya from May 14-16.
Wakeboard Novice Women 1. Patricia Foo (Sin), 2.Nadya Sinaga (Ina), 3.Sophea Ayna Yien (Mas)
Wakeboard Novice Men: 1.Teo Lim (Nzl), 2.Tobias Sinaga (Ina), 3.Hadi Irfan (Mas)
Slalom Intermediate Men: 1.Sebastian Delnatte (Fra), 2.Danny Choo (Mas), 3.Haziq Zohari (Mas)
Slalom Novice Girls (U-15): 1. Nadiah Nasir (Mas), 2. Hanis Azemi (Mas), 3. Syakirah (Mas)
Slalom Novice Boys (U-15): 1. Shamal Norman (Mas), 2. Muhd Ariff Alaudin (Mas), 3. Syahir Nasir (Mas)
Wakeboard Intermediate Women: 1. Styfany Foo (Sin), 2. Kalya Kee (Sin), 3. Ruby Lee (Hkg)
Wakeboard Intermediate Men: 1. Manuel Reiner (Ger), 2. David Tan (SIN), 3. Joshua Tay (Sin)
Slalom Novice Boys/Girls (U-10): 1.Aaaliyah Yoong Hanifah (Mas), 2. Hadi Irfan Rahizah (Mas), 3, Alisandra Ali (Mas)
Slalom Open Men/Women: 1. Cheng Wai Nam (Hkg), 2. Phillipa Yoong (Mas), 3. Chau Tung Sing (Hkg)
Wakeboard Open Men/Women: 1. Cheng Wai Nam (Hkg), Franki Ng (Sin), 3. Sasha Christian (Sin)