KUCHING: Hitmenten, an off-shoot of badminton, has launched its first tournament here since its recognition as a sport in January 2012.
The mini-meet kicked off yesterday with a participation of 22 racqueteers competing in doubles events at Dewan Sri Astana in Petra Jaya.
The event was organised by Petra Jaya Hitmenten Club (PJ Hitmenten) and Astana Lot Sports and Recreation Club (Kastalo).
“It’s been a long wait,” enthused PJ Hitmenten president and game inventor Abdul Rahman Hassan (pic), adding that the participants had been undergoing intensive training for the tournament.
Hitmenten has its roots from badminton but is blended with elements of six other sports namely sepak takraw, tennis, golf, volleyball, baseball and basketball. At best, it can be categorised as an extreme sport as the methods of striking the ball are focused towards the Ace spot, which carries double points.
Abdul Rahman is a former Sarawak shuttler and is in Sarawak Badminton Association coaching panel.
He said it took him more than two years to go through the rules and experiments in order to “perfect” the game.
“All the rules have been refined to make the game really interesting. Also with the new rules, the game is dynamic and challenging for everyone,” said Abdul Rahman, whose last coaching stint was about 20 years ago when he was in charge of the state’s 1992 Malaysia Games squad. The veteran also wanted to ensure that hitmenten could “excite” people, believing that it was a good alternative to badminton.
Mohd Fadzillah Kamis and his partner Mohd. Faisal together with fellow finallists Azizol Osman and Malai Asmafry emerged as the tournament’s top two pairs.