MALACCA: Malaysia and Hong Kong shared the glory spoils emerging as men’s and women’s champions in the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) Open Waterpolo Championships held at the Hang Jebat Aquatic Centre in Krubong, Malacca recently.
To add more cheer, Hong Kong garnered the silver in the men’s competition while the national side was second best in the women’s division.
Hosts Malacca, also stood proudly in the medal standings picking up a bronze in the men’s division.
In all ten teams — Penang, Malacca, Sabah, Terengganu, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, Negeri Sembilan, the Armed Forces and the national side, heading for November’s Jakarta-Palembang SEA Games were in the men’s competitive fray.
The national side, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur made it a three-team affair in the women’s division.
In the men’s session and following the preliminary round group fixtures, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Malacca and Indonesia qualified for the knockout semifinal stage. Hong Kong maintained an unbeaten streak in Group A beating Terengganu 21-4, Penang 7-4, Sabah 21-6 and Malacca 7-5. Malacca with a three wins, one loss was second in the group.
Malaysia also kept up an impressive unbeaten run in Group B beating Kuala Lumpur 25-1, Indonesia 17-8, Negeri Sembilan 23-5 and the Armed Forces 17-2. Indonesia occupied second spot in the group with three wins posted over Negeri Sembilan (14-5), Kuala Lumpur (20-3) and Armed Forces (17-6).
In the semifinals, Malaysia and Hong Kong were in a class of their own ousting Malacca and Indonesia 20-2 and 11-6 respectively. Hitting the goal trail for Malaysia were Rodney Tan and Fam Jia Yi (four goals each), Fam Jia Shin and Tan Hun Sen (three goals a peice), Daryl Khoo (two) with Kelvin Lim, Timothy Heng, Thomas Lee and Sung Jun Hao netting a goal each. Malacca replied though Anderson Wong and Gan Yu Jie.
In the other play-off to decide a shot into the final, Hong Kong warded off determined and gritty Indonesia to prevail 11-6 victors. To Tou was tops on the island state’s scoring chart with six goals while Lau Ching Ming netted thrice with Cheng Hoi Yeung and Ku Yat Wa each netting a goal to secure the hard fought win. Indonesia replied through Reza Desda and Walad Wirawan (two each) with Hendry Jaya and Ismayana Taufan registering a goal each.
In the final, Malaysia pulled out all stops to inflict a thumping 19-8 victory over Hong Kong. Thomas Lee and Goh Kah Yi impressed with five and four goals respectively while Tan Hun Sen, Sung Jun Hao and Daryl Khoo each netting twice. Others who inflated the national side’s score were Rodney Tan, Kelvin Lim, Fam Jia Shin and Timothy Heng with a goal each.
Hong Kong down 3-6 at the halfway mark got their goals through Ku Yat Wa (four), To Tou (two) with Koo Yu Fat and Fung Kong Ching scoring once each.
In the women’s division adopting a one round league with the top two finishers squaring off in the gold medal play-off, Hong Kong stamped their superiority from the onset. They beat Kuala Lumpur 22-3 and Malaysia 5-3 while the national side downed the city outfit 24-2.
In the final tussle, Hong Kong again proved best notching a 9-6 win over Malaysia. Captain Joanne Shum Ying was the toast for the visitors netting five goals with Ng Chan Yu (two goals) and one each from Chan Sze Ting and Wu Ka Wing rounded up Hong Kong’s tally. Malaysia replid through Chan Su Jie (two) and one each from Shirleen Khoo, Woo Yi Wen, Aileen Lim and Low Jia Yee.
Malacca’s Fam Kow Jan who handled both the national men’s and women’s in the recent invitational meet and currently supervising centralised training in preparation for the SEA Games, disclosed that both sides are shaping up well and are now displaying more cohesion in both the attack and defence departments.
“As for the SEA Games,it is going to be very tough even to secure a bronze medal in either division. We have young teams on hand to carry the challenge for the upcoming November Games. The games will spell more of an exposure and gaining of regional competitive experience.
Still, we are not throwing in the towel. We aim to give fancied Thailand, Singapore and hosts Indonesia currently in training in China, a run for their money,” he added.