PETALING JAYA: Eleven-year-old water skiier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah is full of surprises.
Just one day after missing out on a gold medal at the Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Aaliyah made amends by breaking her own personal best in the women’s team tricks event on Friday.
Aaliyah went to Phuket with two goals in mind – win a gold medal and rewrite her personal record of 5,920 points.
Despite settling for silver in the women’s tricks event behind China’s Jiang Hui on Thursday, Aaliyah was back at her best once again – delivering an outstanding performance to rack up 6,130 points in the team preliminaries.
This is a new Asian Under-17 record for the pint-sized Aaliyah – and a huge achievement for someone so young.
Individual gold medallist and Asian champion Jiang Hui only managed 5,250 points to be placed second while Indonesia’s Nur Alimah Priambodo was a distant third with 3,420 points.
“It is almost better than winning a gold medal with a score under 6,000 points,” said Aaliyah.
Despite Aaliyah’s efforts, Malaysia stand a very slim chance of grabbing a medal as 13-year-old Arianna Chow was forced to miss the event after suffering an injury during training two weeks ago.
“In a team event, the final points are contributed by team members with the best three scores in tricks. It is very much an individual performance but the overall score will not be good enough without Arianna,” said Malaysian Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong.