PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s youngest ever SEA Games gold medal winner Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah, who turns nine this month, is stepping up her international competition schedule by taking part in two championships in France this month.
She will compete in the Coup De Meuzac in Meuzac this weekend and the Wake & Gliss Passion Waterski Festival in Roquebrune on July 14-15.
Aaliyah left for Paris on Monday accompanied by her father Hanifah Yoong, who is also her coach.
“Aaliyah has now reached a level where one or two international events a year is inadequate in her development towards an international waterski career,” said Hanifah.
“She needs at least five international competitions a year to move up the world rankings.
“She is on track to becoming Malaysia’s first ever Asian Open women’s trick champion before she turns 11 in 2014 and she will be in the Singapore SEA Games to defend her women’s tricks gold in 2015.”
In France, Aaliyah has also been invited to train with the French national skiers for five days.
The two-week training and competition stint in France was made possible by Malaysia Airlines, who are sponsoring the air tickets, and the partial funding from the National Sports Council (NSC) and Putrajaya Corporation.