PETALING JAYA: Malaysian water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah is looking forward to another good outing at the Moomba Masters – her first event of the year – which starts from March 4-9 at the Yarra River in Melbourne.
Last year, the pint-sized Aaliyah finished second in the girls’ tricks event – behind reigning world champion and world record-holder Erika Lang of the US.
Aaliyah, who was 10 then – the youngest competitor at the Moomba Masters – also made the semi-finals of the Open category in the tricks event, which featured several top-level elite skiers.
She went on to win the Asian Championships Under-17 title and take home a silver at the Asian Beach Games in the Open category last year.
She has also broken the 6,000-point barrier to set a new personal best of 6,130 points – just 230-point short of the 20-year Asian record of 6,360 set by China’s E Min in 1995.
Having received an invitation to compete at the Moomba meet for the second year running, 11-year-old Aaliyah is eyeing another podium finish in the girls’ category.
The Open category is certainly a daunting challenge for Aaliyah as several elite skiers – like Lang, Canada’s Whitney McClintock, Belarus’ Natalia Berdnikova, France’s Clementine Lucine and Australia’s Jacinta Carroll – are also in the fray.