Waterskier Aaliyah itching to jump into the lake

  • Other Sports
  • Thursday, 11 Jun 2020

Eager for action: Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah won the gold and two silvers at the Junior Moomba in Melbourne in early March.

PETALING JAYA: If all goes well, teenage waterskier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah and the rest of the national waterskiing team can get back into water as early as next week.

All swimming and pool activities remain barred but the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) are lucky that they fall under the outdoor sport category. And outdoor water activities, like swimming in rivers and lakes, are allowed after June 15.

The waterskiing team, based at the Putrajaya Lake, have complied with the movement control order (MCO) in order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic for the past three months.

Aaliyah, who has been out of the water since winning a gold and two silvers at the Junior Moomba in Melbourne in early March, is eager to get back into the mix after Monday.

“I’ve been itching to ski since the MCO started and I’m definitely very excited to get back on the water,” said the 16-year-old.

“It’s been a tough period but I kept myself busy doing schoolwork since I still have classes online. I’ve also kept myself relatively fit by working out and by skateboarding.

“Skateboarding did help compensate for the lack of waterskiing as there are some aspects of it, such as balancing, that could be applied to waterskiing.

“But nothing beats getting back into the water and making up for lost time,” said the multiple SEA Games gold medallist.

Her father, MWWF head coach Hanifah Yoong, voiced his gratitude to the authorities for allowing waterski to commence operations and training once again.

“The last three months have been devastating to our sport. Our ski site in Putrajaya was closed even before the MCO was announced as we did not want to risk our participants being infected.

“But now our national team, especially Aaliyah, can’t wait to resume training as they have two major world championships – the World Junior Championships and the World Under-21 championship – to prepare for next year.

“There is also the Asian Championships in South Korea in September that may proceed as planned.”

The world juniors which was initially scheduled to be held in Florida from Aug 18-23 have been postponed to Aug 14-21 next year while the Asian meet will take place in Chuncheon, South Korea, from Sept 1-6.

“We’re just waiting for Putrajaya Corporation (PPJ) to approve our standard operating procedures so that we can start training,” added Hanifah.

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waterski , malaysia , Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah


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