THEY are of the same age, share the same dream and for Noor Syahida Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafar, sharing the same thoughts is even more important.
The duo will compete in the silat seni event at the Vietnam SEA Games and have to be able to time their moves perfectly in sync with each other.
Noor Syahida and Shalina, who have competed with each other since 1998, won the gold medal in the doubles event at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 2001 and they are now planning on maintaining their hold in the event in Vietnam.
Noor Syahida said they were confident of doing well and hope to spring a surprise by coming out with a new routine.
“We have been practising a new routine and hope to use it at the Games. The moves are not perfect yet but with more practice we are confident of getting it right,” she said.
Both the exponents believe that the Indonesians and the Vietnamese will again be their main threats in Hanoi.
“We can expect them to be close on our heels in Hanoi. For us, the important thing is to try and concentrate on what we are doing and not be overly concerned about the others,” Shalina said. “It is going to be tough but we feel that we are in the right frame of mind to win the gold,” she said.
Shalina is a trainee teacher at the Cheras Teachers Training College while Noor Syahida has completed her environmental studies course at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Both hail from Selangor and are of the same age – 23. They came together for the national championships in 1998 and were crowned the national champions in 2000. They are still the top doubles pair in the silat seni event.
They share the same dream, which is to ensure they stay at the top of the event while in the national team.
“We want to keep on winning whenever we compete. It takes a lot of hard work and we need to work on our own a lot. As we were both studying earlier this year, the only time we had to train was over the weekends.
“It was only over the last two months that we managed to go into full-time training,” said Shalina.