Aaliyah is up to her old tricks again after surviving a scare


  • Other Sports
  • Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019

Our young challenge: (From left) Adam Yoong Hanifah, Aiden Yoong Hanifah, coach Marian Malaquin, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah and Nadiah Nasir.

PUTRAJAYA: An injury will not stop Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah from making a good impression against the world’s best waterskiers in her backyard.

Malaysia are hosting the Waterski World Championships for the first time and it will be the fourth appearance for the talented 16-year-old.

Aaliyah injured her left ear during a flip in training two weeks ago and was advised by doctors to rest for two weeks.

However, the reigning Asian tricks champion has made a speedy recovery and is eager to jump back into action.

“I wasn’t going to rest with the worlds so close. Fortunately, I’m feeling OK now and I’ve been preparing well, first under Larry Gisler and now Marian Malaquin.

“I’m really excited because this is the waters that I’ve been skiing in since I was young,” said Aaliyah, who burst onto the scene in 2011 when she won the SEA Games gold medal for tricks at the age of eight in Indonesia.

The other members of the Malaysian team are Aiden Yoong Hanifah, Adam Yoong Hanifah and Nadiah Nasir.

Aaliyah has garnered many achievements, which include becoming the Asian Oceanian champion in 2014 and being a nine-time Asian champion, not only in tricks but also in jump and overall.

She will be aiming for a top 20 overall finish this week, which will be a fine achievement considering she is competing against much older and experienced competitors.

She made her debut at the World Championships in Dubna, Russia, in 2011 and went on to compete in the 2013 edition in Santiago, Chile.

It was during her third attempt in Guadalajara, Mexico (2015), that she achieved her best result.

Aaliyah, then 13, came in 24th in tricks against a top-level field of adult open skiers.

Aaliyah gave the 2017 edition a miss to focus on the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Admission is free for all spectators with the preliminary rounds from today until Aug 16. The finals will be held on Aug 17-18.
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