PETALING JAYA: Siblings Aaliyah and Aiden Yoong Hanifah showed just why they are rated as the best young prospects on the world stage for waterski.
The duo got off to a smashing start to the season after securing podium finishes at the Oceania Waterski Championships in Latrobe, Melbourne, yesterday.
The 15-year-old Aaliyah continued to make her mark as a three-event skier after finishing with one gold and two silvers.
The 2017 SEA Games triple gold medallist snatched gold in her pet event tricks – despite falling way off her personal best overall score of 7,600 points for trying to incorporate new tricks into her run.
She scored 4,340 in the final while Australians Sade Ferguson (3,940) and Layne Moroney (3,930) bagged silver and bronze respectively.
She played bridesmaid to Ferguson in both the slalom and jump for silvers. She ramped up a run of 0.5/55/12 in slalom just behind Ferguson’s run of 4.5/55/12 and in jump – she had a distance of 37.8m to the Aussie’s 41.5m.
En route to the medals in jump, Aaliyah broke her own national record when she flew a distance of 38.9m to erase the previous record of 35.6m.
“This weekend’s performance was fulfilling for two events – slalom and jump – but a bummer in the tricks for me,” said Aaliyah.
“It’s my first time doing a new flip sequence in a tournament that starts off with a big trick.
“It’s probably not the best trick to start off with and I’ll go with a smaller point flip in the future.
“Fortunately, this tournament is just a practice before the Moomba Masters event here next week, which is my main objective,” she said.
Her younger brother Aiden, 13, was grinning from ear to ear after a top-notch showing in men’s tricks when he went on a record breaking run, not once but twice.
He posted a score of 5,520 during the first round on Saturday to erase his brother Adam’s national record score of 4,750 points.
Not contented, Aiden came back out during the final to put up a run of 5,680 points, rewriting the record for the second time in as many days to finish with a bronze medal behind Australians Archie Davis (8,680) and Patrick Crisp (7,030).
“I’ve waited more than 18 months for this. It’s sweet to finally beat Adam’s national record in open men’s tricks,” said Aiden.