PETALING JAYA: Young Malaysian water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah created waves in the Coup De Meuzac in France last weekend.
She scored 3630 points in Round 2 and 3510 in the finals and, in the process, smashed her own national record of 3230 points set in Malaysia last year.
She finished first in the Under-14 girls’ tricks category – a creditable finish as she only turns nine on July 16.
“This is a great way to celebrate my birthday,” said Aaliyah, who is on a two-event tour of France.
She will compete against the world’s best, like world champion and world record holder Clementine Lucine, World Cup champion Iris Cambray and a host of world ranked skiers from Europe.
“I was very disturbed and tensed in Round 1 and I only scored 2430 points as the water was very cold and it was drizzling. But I was more relaxed for Round 2 after my coach and father, Hanifah Yoong, made me do a full hour of warm-up before the event,” said Aaliyah.
Her second event this weekend was supposed to be at Roquebrune, near Cote de Azur in southern France, but it has been cancelled due to lake algae problems.
She now moves on to her second world ranking list event in Orthez, near the city of Pau, in south western France, where she will participate in the Memorial Michel Naudinat Ch Lique Aqu from July 24-25.
“The purpose of Aaliyah participating in Europe is to get additional valuable international competition experience as well as to compete with world class skiers in her age groups and world ranking skiers,” said Hanifah.
“There aren’t enough world ranking waterski events in Asia to keep her toned for important continental competitions since training all year round can be quite boring.”