Captain Zahar believes battle is going to be close in Vietnam

FAST FACTSNAME: Zahar IsmailAGE: 32TEAM: Armed ForcesACHIEVEMENTS: Silver medal - 1999 Brunei SEA Games, gold medal - 2000 King's Cup 

ONE of Zahar Ismail’s biggest assets is his youthful good looks. He appears to be someone in his early 20s but he is actually 32. 

“I am with the Royal Malaysian Navy, the fresh ocean air and the workout you get while working keeps you trim and fit,” said the sailor. 

His other asset is his talent in sepaktakraw. 

Zahar has been representing the country for nearly seven years and is the captain of the team for next month’s Vietnam SEA Games. 

Among his notable achievements include a silver medal in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games and a gold medal in the King Cup’s competition in Thailand last month. 

On the prospects of delivering a gold medal in the Vietnam Games, Zahar said: “It’s going to be close. We have a very young team. We have set the target of reaching the finals of the inter-regu and team competitions. 

“The current batch of players is determined to win a medal and it is certainly a plus point.” 

Although he is already in his 30s, Zahar has no plan to quit the game. 

“I plan to play on as long as the team needs me,” said Zahar, who first represented the country in the King’s Cup competition in Thailand in 1997. 

“Even when I retire, I will still be involved in sepaktakraw. I plan to take up coaching. Hopefully, I will be able to coach the national team one day.” 

Zahar holds a Level 1 sports science certificate from the National Sports Council (NSC). 

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