Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Post-Rio analysis

WEIGHTLIFTING MOHD HAFIFI MANSOR (69kg) AGE: 25 years, 10 months EVENT: 69kg PERFORMANCE: Snatch 140kg, Clean and jerk 176kg, total 316kg, national record, 12th of 20 participants EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Shi Ziyong (China) 352kg RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Shi Ziyong (China) 352kg BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Triyatno (Indonesia) 317kg BADMINTON DATUK LEE CHONG WEI AGE: 33 years, 10 months EVENT: Men’s singles PERFORMANCE: Silver medal EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Chen Long (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Chen Long (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) TAN WEE KIONG-GOH V SHEM AGE: 27 years, 3 months/27 years, 3 months EVENT: Men’s doubles PERFORMANCE: Silver medal EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Zhang Nan-Fu Haifeng (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Zhang Nan-Fu Haifeng (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Wee Kiong-V Shem TEE JING YI AGE: 25 years, 6 months EVENT: Women’s singles PERFORMANCE: Group stage EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Carolina Marin (Spain) BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Pusarla V Sindhu (India) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Thailand) quarterfinals VIVIAN HOO-WOON KHE WEI AGE: 26 years, 5 months/27 years, 5 months EVENT: Women’s doubles PERFORMANCE: Quarterfinals, losing to eventual gold medallists EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayashi Takahashi (Japan) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: Joint 4th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Misaki Matsutomo-Ayashi Takahashi (Japan) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Hoo-Khe Wei/Greysia Polii-Nitya Krishinda Maheshwari (Indonesia) CHAN PENG SOON-GOH LIU YING AGE: 28 years, 4 months/27 years, 3 months EVENT: Mixed doubles PERFORMANCE: Silver medal EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) GOLF DANNY CHIA AGE: 43 years, 9 months EVENT: Men’s Individual Stroke Play PERFORMANCE: 48th of 60 golfers, 73, 70, 76, 69 (288) EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Justin Rose (GBR) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 9th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) GAVIN KYLE GREEN AGE: 22 years, 8 months EVENT: Men’s Individual Stroke Play PERFORMANCE: 47th of 60 golfers, 74, 75, 72, 68 (287) EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Justin Rose (GBR) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 7th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) KELLY TAN AGE: 22 years, 10 months EVENT: Women’s Individual Stroke Play PERFORMANCE: 51st of 59 golfers, 78, 70, 76, 73 (297) EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Park In Bee (Korea) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 13th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Park In Bee (Korea) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Pornanong Phatlum (Thailand) MICHELLE KOH AGE: 25 years, 11 months EVENT: Women’s Individual Stroke Play PERFORMANCE: 58th from 59 golfers, 79, 71, 76, 82 (308) EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Park In Bee (Korea) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 14th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Park In Bee (Korea) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Pornanong Phatlum (Thailand) CYCLING AZIZULHASNI AWANG AGE: 28 years, 1 month EVENT: Men’s keirin PERFORMANCE: Bronze medal EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Jason Kenny (GBR) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 1st BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) FATEHAH MUSTAPA AGE: 27 years, 5 months EVENT: Women’s sprint PERFORMANCE: 21st of 27 cyclists, 11.207s, top 18 qualified for heats EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Kristina Vogel (Germany) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 4th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Zhong Tianshi (China) in final standings, Lee Wai Sze (Hong Kong) fastest qualifiers BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia) ARCHERY KHAIRUL ANUAR MOHAMAD AGE: 24 years, 11 months EVENT: Men’s individual and team PERFORMANCE: 22nd in ranking round, lost to Florian Floto (Germany) in second round/lost to France in last 16 EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 9th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Khairul Anuar Mohamad (Malaysia)/Indonesia (quarterfinals) HAZIQ KAMARUDDIN AGE: 23 years, 1 month EVENT: Men’s individual/team event PERFORMANCE: First round defeat to Zach Garrett (US)/first round defeat to France EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 18th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Khairul Anuar Mohamad (Malaysia)/Indonesia (quarterfinals) AKMAL NOR NASRIN AGE: 21 years, 1 month EVENT: Men’s individual/team event PERFORMANCE: First round defeat to Juan Ignacio Rodriguez (Spain)/first round defeat to France RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 19th EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ku Bonchan (Korea)/South Korea (team) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Khairul Anuar Mohamad (Malaysia)/Indonesia (quarterfinals) SHOOTING JOHNATHAN WONG AGE: 24 years EVENT: Men’s 10m air pistol, 50m air pistol PERFORMANCE: 28th of 46 shooters in 10m air pistol, 37th of 41 shooters in 50m air pistol EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam)/Jin Jongoh (Korea) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 13th in 10m, 15th in 50m BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam)/Jin Jongoh (Korea) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam)/Hoang Xuan Vinh (Vietnam) silver ATHLETICS NAURAJ SINGH AGE: 24 years, 7 months EVENT: Men’s high jump PERFORMANCE: 2.26m from Group B, did not make the cut to final on countback RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Derek Drouin (Canada) 2.38m BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.36m) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Nauraj Singh (Malaysia) ZAIDATUL HUSNIAH ZULKIFLI AGE: 23 years EVENT: Women’s 100m PERFORMANCE: 12.12 sec in qualifying, 12.62s in preliminary EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) 10.71s RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 11th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Wei Yongli (Chn) 11.48s, Round 1, Heat 1 BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli (Malaysia) SAILING KHAIRULNIZAM AFFENDY AGE: 23 years, 3 months EVENT: Laser Men PERFORMANCE: 35th of 46 sailors EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Tom Burton (Australia) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ha Jeemin (Korea) 12th BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Khairulnizam Affendy (Malaysia) NUR SHAZRIN LATIF AGE: 18 years, 6 months EVENT: Radial female PERFORMANCE: 33rd from 37 sailors EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 5th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Xu Lijia (China) 18th BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Elizabeth Yin (Singapore) 26th SWIMMING WELSON SIM AGE: 19 years, 5 months EVENT: Men’s 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle PERFORMANCE: 1.47.67m (26th of 37 swimmers), 3.51.57 (34th of 50), 15.32.63 (39th of 45) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd, 5th and 3rd EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Sun Yang (China)/Mack Horton (Australia)/Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Sun Yang (China)/Sun Yang (China) silver/Sun Yang (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Welson Sim (Malaysia) PHEE JINQ EE AGE: 18 years, 9 months EVENT: Women’s 100m breastroke PERFORMANCE: 1.10.22, 33rd of 44 swimmers EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Lilia King (US) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 6th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Shi Jinglin (China) 4th final, 1.06.37 BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) HEIDI GAN AGE: 27 years, 10 months EVENT: Women’s 10km marathon PERFORMANCE: 21st of 25 swimmers, 1.59.07 EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Xin Xin (China) 4th, 1.57.14 BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Heidi Gan (Malaysia) DIVING OOI TZE LIANG AGE: 22 years, 9 months EVENT: Men’s 10m platform PERFORMANCE: 22nd in preliminary, out of 26 participants EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Chen Aisen (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 4th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Chen Aisen (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Ooi Tze Liang (Malaysia) AHMAD AMSYAR AZMAN AGE: 24 years EVENT: Men’s 3m springboard PERFORMANCE: 29th out of 29 participants EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Cao Yuan (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 6th BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Cao Yuan (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Ahmad Amsyar Azman (Malaysia) PANDELELA RINONG AGE: 23 years, 5 months EVENT: 10m platform, 10m platform synchro PERFORMANCE: 11th, silver medal EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Ren Qian (China)/Chen Ruolin-Liu Xuixia (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 6th, 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ren Qian (China)/Chen Ruolin-Liu Xuixia (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (Malaysia)/Jun Hoong-Pandelela (Malaysia) CHENG JUN HOONG AGE: 26 years, 4 months EVENT: 10m platform synchro, 3m springboard synchro, 3m springboard individual PERFORMANCE: silver medal with Pandelela, 5th with Nur Dhabitah, 21st out of 29 divers EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Chen Ruolin-Liu Xuixia (China)/Wu Minxia-Shi Tingmao (China)/Shi Tingmao (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 2nd, 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Chen Ruolin-Liu Xuixia (China)/Wu Minxia-Shi Tingmao (China)/Shi Tingmao (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Jun Hoong-Pandelela (Malaysia)/Nur Dhabitah Sabri-Cheng Jun Hoong (Malaysia)/Ng Yan Yee (Malaysia) NG YAN YEE AGE: 23 years, 1 month EVENT: Women’s 3m springboard PERFORMANCE: 10th in final, EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Shi Tingmao (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 3rd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Shi TIngmao (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Ng Yan Yee (Malaysia) NUR DHABITAH SABRI AGE: 17 years, 1 month EVENT: 10m platform individual, 3m springboard synchro PERFORMANCE: 9th, 5th EVENTUAL GOLD MEDALLIST: Ren Qian (China)/Wu Minxia-Shi Tingmao (China) RANKING AMONG ASIANS: 5th, 2nd BEST ASIAN PERFORMER: Ren Qian (China)/Wu Minxia-Shi Tingmao (China) BEST ASEAN PERFORMER: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (Malaysia)/NurDhabitah-Jun Hoong (Malaysia)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

For the record - how our athletes fared in Athens 2004

For future reference. From the media centre in Athens, loose cannon scoured for details in order to share these information with The Malay Mail readers those days.

FROM the following comparative study involving the Malaysian representatives against the best, internationally, continentally and regionally, only Josiah Ng emerged with some credit from the 28th Olympic Games in Athens.

Individual analysis

Mon Redee Sut Txi (Archery)
Age: 22
Event: Individual
Performance: First round, lost to Russia's Natalia Bolotova
44th out of 51 archers
Eventual gold medallist: Park Sung-hyun (Korea)
Best Asian performer: Park Sung-hyun (Korea)
Best Asean performer: Jasmin Figueora (Philippines) second round, ranked 27th

Nazmizan Muhammad (athletics)
Age: 23
Event: Men's 200m
Performance: 7th in Heat 6, 45th out of 53 sprinters
Eventual gold medallist: Shawn Crawford (US), 19.79s
Best Asian performer: Yang Yaozu (Chn) 20.59s, 13th
Best Asean performer: Nazmizan Muhammad (Mas)

Yuan Yufang (athletics)
Age: 28
Event: Women's 20km race walk
Performance: 35th out of 52 walkers
Eventual gold medallist: Athanasia Tsoumeleka (Gre) 1:29.12
Best Asian performer: Wang Liping (Chn) 1:30.16
Best Asean performer: Yuan Yufang (Mas) 1:36.34


Wong Choong Hann
Age: 27
Event: Men's singles
Performance: Second round, lost to Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat
Eventual gold medallist: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asian performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asean performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)

Muhammad Roslin Hashim
Age: 29
Event: Men's singles
Performance: First round, lost to Sony Dwi Kuncoro
Eventual gold medallist: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asian performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asean performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)

Lee Chong Wei
Age: 22
Event: Men's singles
Performance: Second round, lost to Chen Hong (Chn)
Eventual gold medallist: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asian performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)
Best Asean performer: Taufik Hidayat (Ina)

Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah
Age: 28/29
Event: Men's doubles
Performance: Quarter-finals, lost to Korean pair Lee Dong Soo-Yoo Yong Sung
Eventual gold medallist: Kim Dong Moon-Ha Tae Kwon (Kor)
Best Asian performer: Kim Dong Moon-Ha Tae Kwon (Kor)
Best Asean performer: Eng Hian-Flandy Limpele (Ina), bronze medallist

Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng
Age: 24/28
Event: Men's doubles
Performance: Second round, lost to Zheng Bo-Sang Yang (Chn)
Eventual gold medallist: Kim Dong Moon-Ha Tae Kwon (Kor)
Best Asian performer: Kim Dong Moon-Ha Tae Kwon (Kor)
Best Asean performer: Eng Hian-Flandy Limpele (Ina) bronze medallist

Wong Pei Tty-Chin Ee Hui
Age: 23/22
Event: Women's doubles
Performance: Second round, lost to Huang Sui-Gao Ling (Chn)
Eventual gold medallist: Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn)
Best Asian performer: Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn)
Best Asean performer: Saralee T-Satanee C (Tha) quarterfinals

Josiah Ng (cycling)
Age: 24
Event: Sprint, keirin
Performance: 11th in sprint, 6th and finalist in keirin
Eventual gold medallist: Ryan Bayley (Aus) sprint, keirin
Best Asian performer: Josiah Ng (Mas)
Best Asean performer: Josiah Ng (Mas)

Leong Mun Yee (diving)
Age: 20
Event: 10m platform, 3m springboard
Performance: 26th out of 33 divers (3m), 21st out of 34 divers (10m)
Eventual gold medallist: Chantelle Newby (Aus) 10m, Guo Jingjing (Chn) 3m
Best Asian performer: Lao Lishi (Chn) 2nd in 10m, Guo Jingjing (Chn) 1st in 3m
Best Asean performer: Leong Mun Yee (Mas)

Gracie Junita Terry Pega
Age: 14
Event: 3m springboard
Performance: 27th out of 33 divers (3m)
Eventual gold medallist: Guo Jingjing (Chn)
Best Asian performer: Guo Jingjing (Chn)
Best Asean performer: Leong Mun Yee (Mas)

Bryan Nickson Lomas
Age: 14
Event: 10m platform
Performance: 19th out of 33 divers
Eventual gold medallist:
Best Asian performer:
Best Asean performer: Bryan Nickson Lomas (Mas)

Ng Shu Wai (gymnastics)
Age: 19
Event: Individual
Performance: 38th overall
Eventual gold medallist: Paul Hamm (US)
Best Asian performer: Kim Dae-un (Kor)
Best Asean performer: Ng Shu Wai (Mas)

Kevin Lim (sailing)
Age: 29
Event: Laser class
Performance: Best Asean performer
Eventual gold medallist: Robert Scheidt (Bra)
Best Asian performer: Kim Ho Kon (Kor)

Ricky Teh (shooting)
Age: 41
Event: Skeet
Performance: Ranked 40th overall of 41 participants, score of 113
Eventual gold medallist: Andrea Benelli (Ita)
Best Asian performer: Nasser Al-Attiya (Qatar) 4th
Best Asean performer: Ricky Teh (Malaysia)

Bernard Yeoh (shooting)
Age: 35
Event: Trap
Performance: 34th out of 35 shooters, score of 107
Eventual gold medallist: Alexei Alipov (Rus)
Best Asian performer: Ahmad Al-Maktoum (UAE) 4th
Best Asean performer: Lee Wung Yew (Sin) 21st, 115

Alex Lim Keng Liat (swimming)
Age: 23
Event: 100m, 200m backstroke
Performance: Semi-finalist in 100m back, 56.08s, first round 200m
Eventual gold medallist: Aaron Peirsol (US)
Best Asian performer: Tomomi Morita (Jpn)
Best Asean performer: Alex Lim Keng Liat (Mas)

Allen Ong
Age: 25
Event: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle
Performance: 46th out of 83 swimmers (50m), 50th out of 69 swimmers (100m)
Eventual gold medallist: Gary Hall (US) (50m), Pieter  van den Hoogenband (Netherlands) (100m)
Best Asian performer: Lee Chung Hee, 35th (50m), Yoshihiro Okumura (27th)
Best Asean performer: Allen Ong (both events)

Siow Yi Ting
Age: 22
Event: 200m breaststroke
Performance: 21st out of 31 (200m)
Eventual gold medallist: Amanda Beard (US)
Best Asian performer: Masami Tanaka (Jpn) 4th
Best Asean performer: Jaclyn Pangilinan (Phil) 20th in heats

Saw Yi Khy
Age: 22
Event: 1,500m
Performance: 3rd in heat 1, 32nd out of 34 swimmers
Eventual gold medallist: Grant Hackett (Aus)
Best Asian performer: Takeshi Matsuda (Jpn) 13th
Best Asean performer: Charnvudth Saengsri (Thailand) 27th

Elaine Teo (taekwondo)
Age: 23
Event: 49kg
Performance: First round, lost to Guatemala's Euda Carias
Eventual gold medallist: Park Sung-hyun (Korea)
Best Asian performer: Chen Shih Hsin (Taiwan)
Best Asean performer: Yaowapa Boorapachul (Tha) bronze medallist

Muhammad Faizal Baharom (weightlifting)
Age: 22
Event: 56kg
Performance: Did not finish, 110kg (snatch)
Eventual gold medallist: Halil Mutlu (Turkey) 295kg
Best Asian performer: Wu Meijin (Chn) 287.5kg
Best Asean performer: Jadi Setiadi (Ina) 8th, 262.5kg

Monday, August 22, 2016

Covering the Olympics

The Olympics is the pinnacle of a sports journalist's career. Some of us are very fortunate indeed to be part of the extravaganza. Since I spent most of my adult years hitting the keyboard under the warm roof of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) Berhad, the loose cannon shall take you down memory lane and highlight the elite group of sportswriters on NSTP's payroll who had been handed the privilege to cover THE Games.

Norman Siebel was perhaps the only print journalist to have enjoyed covering four successive Olympics - Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964 and Mesico 1968. Following Siebel's passing in 1969, taking turns to cover the Games were Conrad Ng in Munich 1972 and Mansoor Rahman in 1976 and 1984.

Siebel, a legend, an opinion-shaper who called a spade, a spade. I wonder how today's keyboard warriors would react to his comment pieces

Conrad Ng (seated, second from right) and Mansoor (seated, left) covered the Olympics for the New Straits Times

Rosmanizam Abdullah was dispatched to Los Angeles to cover the Olympics in 1984, thus earning the distinction of being Berita Harian's first ever representative to the Games. The previous practice was for BH to translate New Straits Times' best pieces into Bahasa. Rosmanizam earned another feather to his cap decades later. As an office-bearer of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), he became the media attache to the Malaysian contingent to the Olympics on two occasions - in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. 

Due to the distance, two journalists from BH - Amat Mat Top and Khairul Anuar Mokhtar - were picked to cover the 1988 Olympics. And...

Khairul (left) and Hj Amat, 28 years on...

The print journos in 1988 - from left Khoo Kay Soon (The Malay Mail), Amat Mat Top (BH), Nasir Ahmad (Utusan Malaysia), Khairul Anuar (BH), Fauzi Omar (Datuk) (New Straits Times), A. Subramaniam (The Star) and Mustakim Aminuddin (Datuk) (Utusan Malaysia). Fauzi was the Malay Mail Editor when I made the move from BH to the tabloid paper in September 1996. Subramaniam served as the media officer of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) when it was still located at the OCM

The BH sports editor Zian Johari covered the Barcelona Games in 1992. One of my duties was to pick up the call from Barcelona and check whether or not his stories were in the system. I translated several pieces on track and field for Jaguh. Zian was fortunate enough with the rest of the media corp for Razif-Jalani Sidek created history with the bronze in the men's doubles. A historic moment indeed.

Zian's successor, Hishamuddin Aun (Datuk) went to Atlanta to cover the centennial Games in 1996. The Kampar-born Hishamuddin, now a consultant at Astro Arena, was one of 5,695 accredited print journalists who covered the Games which was best remembered for Michael Johnson's pair of golden shoes as he cruised to the 200m and 400m gold. I enjoyed the Games from afar, as I was coping with the pressure of being a journo at the news desk, covering political and national news. The contingent performed one better this time, with Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock picking up the silver, having lost narrowly to Ricky Subagja-Rexy Mainaky, while Rashid Sidek won the bronze in men's singles.

Radzi Wahab, fondly known as Ron, went to Sydney. By then, I was already into my fourth year at the Malay Mail. To help fill up the pages, we surfed the Net for stories written by Australian newspapers online without relying entirely on news agencies The contingent, unfortunately, returned home empty-handed. For Ron, he would go on to cover the 2008 and 2012 Games for Harian Metro! Sydney was the last time the hockey team qualified for the Olympics!

Badrulhisham Othman, fondly known as Buddy, now Datuk. The whole NSTP media corp were housed under one roof, in an apartment rented out by the Morous. First one to leave the apartment and usually the last to come back, due to the five-hour difference. Imagine waking up at 6am in Athens with KL, at 11am, already expecting a few stories to be in the system by then.

Norbakti Alias as the BH sports editor, witnessed the one-sided final between Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. We exchanged messages over the phone to discuss many issues as I was no longer in the mainstream media. One silver was the only medal the contingent had to show.

V Ashok was the BH sports editor when he covered the Games in London. Ashok and I joined the BH sports desk on the same day, in December 1991. He was transferred from the Berita Minggu desk, while I was then attached to the news desk. Lucky him that he was able to report on Chong Wei's silver medal and diver Pandelela Rinong's bronze in the 10m platform individual

Azahar Md Taib moved from Utusan Malaysia to Harian Metro and became only the second representative from the latter to cover the Games, after Abdul Rahim Md Zain's Sydney adventure in 2000

NST sports editor Tony Francis and seasoned photographer Khalid Redza formed the quartet from NSTP in 1992, alongside Zian and Khoo Kay Soon of the Malay Mail. Loose cannon was truly inspired by the reports carried by the Malay Mail in the 80s, when Tony Francis was the sports editor. Loose cannon did not get to work under him, but was on the receiving end of his anger instead when I picked on Malaysia Today in 2005...Khalid and I were together in Jakarta for the Thomas Cup in 1994, the Jakarta SEA Games in 1997, the Thomas Cup in 1998, the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and Athens 2004.

Dan Guen Chin, the ghost-writer for the widely-read Mokhtar Dahari column in the NST in the 80s, covered the Sydney Games for the New Straits Times. Loose cannon had the good fortune of covering the 1995 SEA Games in Chiangmai and the 2003 Asian Track and Field championship in Manila with Dan, who is now undergoing treatment for stomach cancer in Johor

Athens 2004 was the second time Lazarus Rokk covered the Games, having been to the Atlanta Games eight years earlier.

Rokk, as a reporter, in 1996. He claims that he looked better in 2004.

Vijesh Rai, who boarded the plane to Beijing 2008, London 2012 and the ongoing Rio de Janeiro 2016, could be eyeing the chance of emulating Siebel in Tokyo 2020. Vijesh was a silver medallist in taekwondo in the 1987 SEA Games in Jakarta.

Khoo Kay Soon covered the 1988 and 1992 Olympics as the Malay Mail sports editor. When I made the move to the Malay Mail in 1996, Kay Soon was helming the Football magazine. I was humbled when he invited to write for the Euro edition of the magazine while I was still with Berita Harian

Tony was not yet the sports editor when he covered the Sydney Games, a precedent set by Johnson Fernandez in Atlanta. Sixteen years on, Tony was made the media attache of the contingent to Rio.

Had I stayed at BH, I might not have the opportunity to go to the Olympics, as tradition dictates the sports editor gets to cover the Games. Into my eighth year at the Malay Mail, the then sports editor, Rajan Etickan, nominated me for the Games in mid-2003, insisting that I was versatile enough to go for having been covering football, track and field, shooting, weightlifting, badminton and the National Sports Council (NSC) and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) beat over the years. It was a natural progression for I had gone to the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002. Since I was the most junior among the NSTP group, I was tasked to arrange for accommodation with the designated and official travel agency Read Azahar Taib's column here. Two-time Olympic champion, Lin Dan, three-time silver medallist Lee Chong Wei and 9-time gold medallist Usain Bolt have one thing in common - they made their Olympic debut in Athens. Like the Malaysian contingent, the trio returned home empty-handed. Read my memoirs in Athens here

For the Rio Games, BH was represented by Hussain Said, while Metro sent Hamdan Saaid, who went as a Bernama reporter to Athens in 2004. Graig Nunis is the first writer to cover for the Malay Mail (under the new management) after an eight-year absence (loose cannon was the fifth and last under the NSTP management).

Another Olympics has come to an end. The gold, sadly, has remained elusive. Till Tokyo 2020!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pakej Olimpik Rio daripada Astro



1 OGOS 2016 – Rakyat Malaysia kini boleh menonton liputan paling komprehensif Sukan Olimpik Rio 2016 menerusi 12 saluran khusus Berdefinisi Tinggi atau HD (Saluran 780-791) dan saluran Berdefinisi Standard atau SD (Saluran 760-771) di Astro TV dan aplikasi Astro on the Go.

Kepada semua pelanggan Astro Sports Pack, Sports Lite Pack dan juga pengguna yang telah membeli Pas Sukan untuk UEFA EURO 2016, anda turut berpeluang mendapatkan akses di 12 saluran Olimpik yang ditetapkan ini.

Menurut Naib Presiden Bahagian Perniagaan Sukan Astro, Lee Choong Khay, “Memegang peranan sebagai rakan usaha sama penyiar rasmi bagi Rio 2016, Astro sangat teruja untuk membawakan detikdetik sukan yang terbaik dari Rio 2016 menerusi 12 saluran khusus di kaca televisyen dan peranti mudah alih.

"Liputan eksklusif para atlet Malaysia di Rio 2016 Astro Arena akan terus memainkan peranannya sebagai satu-satunya medium sukan tempatan Malaysia dengan menyediakan segala liputan yang tidak dapat ditandingi oleh barisan kontinjen Malaysia di Rio 2016.

"Astro Arena telah menghantar 36 wakilnya ke Rio bagi membuat liputan selama 15 jam sehari secara langsung untuk melaporkan perkembangan atlet-atlet negara yang bertanding di sana.

Bersempena dengan Sukan Olimpik ini, Astro Arena juga boleh ditonton menerusi saluran khusus HD (Saluran 802) dan SD (Saluran 801).

"Saya juga berasa gembira untuk berkongsi di sini bahawa pelanggan bukan Astro turut berpeluang mengakses Astro Arena menerusi aplikasi Astro on the Go.

Justeru itu, kami dengan ini ingin menyeru kepada rakyat Malaysia agar sentiasa memberikan sokongan kepada jaguh-jaguh sukan negara dengan menyertai kempen anjuran kami, #AyuhMalaysiaKu," jelas Lee lagi.

Lee (belakang, dua dari kiri) bersama Asmawi Bakiri, Hasnizam Uzir dan Pekan Ramli (belakang) serta Hakim Amir Nazri, Mirnawan Nawawi dan Rizal Hashim

Senarai Program Sukan Olimpik di Astro Arena

Di Ambang Rio
Program di sebalik tabir ini menampilkan perjalanan atlet Malaysia membuat persiapan sempena Sukan Olimpik
(5 Ogos, 9.00 malam)

Liputan Sukan Olimpik oleh hos yang bersiaran dari Arena
(3 - 21 Ogos, 8.00 malam – 11.00 malam)

Dari kiri Rizal Hashim, Hakim Amir Nazri, Dayang Zainatull Aqma Abang Zulkarnain, Burn, Intan Nor Saina dan Mirnawan Nawawi terbabit dalam laporan dari Wisma Ali Bawal

Tiga wajah Astro Arena di Rio de Janeiro - budak Larkin, budak Kulim dan budak Kuala Pilah #tanyaje

Dari Rio
Liputan Sukan Olimpik secara langsung dari Rio
(Isnin- Ahad, 11.30 malam – 9.00 pagi)

Penolong penerbit Nadi Arena, Yeoh Li Ying, memantau siaran dari Rio de Janeiro

Rancangan pagi harian yang mempaparkan analisis mengenai perkembangan para atlet Malaysia Isnin – Ahad, 9.00 pagi – 10.00 pagi

Akbar Sahari menemu bual ketua kontinjen, Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid, di studio Astro Arena di Rio

Memori Rio
Rancangan 2 jam yang merakamkan detik-detik bermakna sempena Rio 2016

Pasca Rio
Imbas semula kejayaan atlet Malaysia di Rio
(22 Ogos, 8.00 malam)

Astro juga menawar banyak pilihan kepada orang ramai untuk melanggan pek kandungan sukan. Untuk mendapatkan saluran Sukan Olimpik, para pelanggan Astro boleh mendapatkan Pakej Sports Lite Pack, dengan harga RM12.75* sahaja sebulan. Pakej Sports Lite Pack turut merangkumi Astro SuperSport 1 dan 2, Fox Sports 3 dan saluran HD Arena.

 Pas Sukan untuk saluran Sukan Olimpik juga disediakan menerusi perkhidmatan NJOI dan kepada pelanggan bukan Astro dengan harga RM104.94*.

Selepas 28 tahun...

Baru-baru ini, aku dipelawa menjamu selera di perjumpaan semula skuad bola sepak Selangor 1988. Majlis pot luck diadakan sempena kedatangan Syawal, serentak dengan perjumpaan semula selepas 28 tahun skuad itu menjuarai Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) 1988 yang juga saingan Piala Presiden. Kebetulan ia diadakan ketika Sukma di Sarawak sedang menuju kemuncaknya.

Keterangan gambar? Baca bawah

Kapten skuad 1988, Azaruddin Hamzah, mewakili pasukan memberi sumbangan kepada jurulatih, Kamaruddin Harun

Santai dan mesra, ibarat keluarga lama tidak berjumpa

Isteri dan anak-anak menemani suami memutar semula jam ke 1988

Berdiri dari belakang, dari kiri Abdul Razak Abu Hassan, Abdul Ghani Ali, Sairudin Noordin, Mohd Salimy Idris, Norhisham Burhan, Rosli Omar. Depan dari kiri Muhammad Buang, Ahmad Firdaus Marjan, Faizal Abdul Rahman, Kamaruddin Harun, Azaruddin Hamzah, Malek Rahman, Amir Hakim Haron

Ingatkan dapat jersi, rupanya sekadar tayang aje. Ini jersi skuad 1988. Warna hijau ek. Belakang tu orang Johor yang berhijrah ke Selangor, bekas penjaga gol, Faizal Abdul Rahman

Diapit kapten dan penyerang. Azaruddin mewakili skuad Bawah 19 negara ke Kejohanan Remaja Asia, yang turut dianggotai Khairul Azman Mohammad, Soh Chor Len dan Zahasmi Ismail. Azaruddin yang dari asal dibimbing mejadi seorang bek tengah, melupakan karier dalam bola sepak selepas melanjutkan pelajaran ke United Kingdom. Muhammad pula bekas pelari pecut dan pemain sepak takraw sekolah yang kemudian menyarung jersi Belia Sinaran. 

Nampak tak Amir Hakim, Malek, Faizal dan Ghani? Empat serangkai ini menyelitkan diri ke dalam skuad glamour Selangor pada 1989. Bukan senang wohhh time tu...

Lama tak jumpa Malek. Last jumpa masa Dengan Izin. Lepas tu dia selaku kutuk aku dalam facebook. Hehehe. Hadiah beg setiap yang hadir ihsan Norhisham

Sambil aku melangkah ke kereta, aku terfikir bahawa melalui bola sepak, skuad ini menjalin persahabatan sejati. Mereka ibarat satu extended family. Tidak cemburu dengan penonjolan yang lain. Sekalipun kebanyakan mereka tidak meneruskan kerjaya dalam bola sepak, lebih penting mereka menjadi manusia yang berjaya. Inilah generasi yang tidak memerlukan media sosial untuk hidup atau merendahkan/menghina orang lain. Mereka bermain bola di waktu bola sepak Malaysia amatur dan separuh profesional dari semua sudut.

Terima kasih Kosmo! memberi penghormatan sewajarnya buat mereka

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kerjasama Astro Arena dengan Kinslager

Kuala Lumpur, 21 Julai 2016 – Astro Arena dan Kinslager Boutique Tailor menjalin kerjasama melalui perjanjian persefahaman tajaan pakaian rekaan korporat dan profesional selama dua tahun.

Menerusi kerjasama ini, Kinslager menaja pakaian buat 20 personaliti Astro Arena tampil dengan imej baharu yang lebih dinamik dan segar sempena temasya sukan terbesar dunia, Olimpik Rio 2016 yang akan bermula pada 3 hingga 21 Ogos ini nanti.

Sepanjang tempoh tajaan, Kinslager bukan hanya menaja pakaian seperti blazer, jaket, skirt yang selesa dan berkualiti tinggi direka mengikut bentuk badan personaliti masing-masing, malah turut memberikan khidmat nasihat serta perunding imej.

Selain untuk Rio 2016, penampilan dan imej kemas penyampai-penyampai ini akan turut dilihat di dalam program-program majalah TV Arena yang lain termasuk liputan temasya Sukan SEA, Kuala Lumpur pada tahun hadapan.

Ketua Perniagaan Sukan Astro, Lee Choong Khay berkata ini adalah satu perkembangan positif dimana syarikat korporat seperti Kinslager sudi memberi tajaan pakaian mereka.

Ini membuktikan industri penyiaran sukan juga mempunyai nilai komersial yang tinggi di dalam dunia fesyen tempatan. Selain itu, tajaan ini juga bertepatan dengan kehadiran temasya sukan terbesar dunia Olimpik, Rio 2016.

“Kami berbesar hati dan sentiasa terbuka untuk berkerjasama dengan syarikat korporat seperti Kinslager demi meningkatkan lagi imej penyiaran sukan tempatan. Kami percaya dengan tajaan yang diberikan ini mampu meningkatkan lagi semangat dan profesionalisme penyampai sukan Arena. Konsep rundingan imej juga adalah penjenamaan diri yang mampu membentuk keyakinan diri dalam penampilan dan penyampaian mereka di hadapan kamera,” kata Choong Kay.

 Sementara itu, Pengasas dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) Kinslager, Niels Strohkirch, berkata koloborasi bersama Astro Arena telah bermula dengan tajaan pakaian buat penyampai Arena pada temasya Sukan SEA ke-28, Singapura tahun lalu.

“Jalinan kerjasama ini adalah sesuatu yang sangat membanggakan memandangkan Astro Arena seperti yang umum sedia maklum adalah sebuah nama besar dalam arena sukan negara serta memainkan peranan penting dalam usaha meningkatkan imej sukan dan juga personaliti sukan Malaysia.

 “Fesyen dan sukan yang dahulunya dilihat satu cabang berbeza dan sukar diadun bersama, kini segalanya berubah. Kedua-dua bidang ini semakin saling berkait. Malah, sebilangan atlet terutama di luar negara gemar bergaya biarpun ketika sedang beraksi cergas di lapangan masing-masing. dan menjadi ikutan peminat. Perkembangan baik ini mendorong kami untuk berkoloborasi bersama Astro Arena sekali gus memperkenalkan jenama Kinslager kepada warga sukan tanah air.”

 Kinslager ialah butik pakaian dari pakar Jerman yang berpangkalan di Malaysia - ditubuhkan pada tahun 2007. Keistimewaaan pakaian unik yang ditempah dan direka khas ini boleh didapati di butik yang beroperasi di ibu kota, Kuala Lumpur. Reka bentuk warisan Jerman ini terserlah menerusi gabungan gaya barat dengan disatukan dalam ciptaan pakaian tradisional Asia. Matlamat Kinslager adalah untuk memenuhi setiap permintaan dari harga yang rendah sehingga tempahan pakaian jahitan mewah. Reka bentuknya yang anggun selesa dipakai ini terdiri daripada sut, kemeja, seluar panjang, jaket, tali leher serta bowties untuk pakaian kasual mahupun untuk pakaian sukan golf. Anda juga boleh mendapat rekaan seperti Tuxedos, Cutaway Coats, Morning Coats, White Tie atau German “Frack” yang ditawarkan. Sudah tentu pakaian ini bukan hanya untuk golongan lelaki sahaja malah disediakan untuk wanita juga. Rekaan Kinslager menampilkan jahitan berkualiti dengan lubang butang buatan tangan, jahitan kemas dan jahitan dalaman sutera. Jaket kanvas juga direka bersesuaian dengan buatan cara tradisional di Kinslager. Selain gaya formal atau kasual, Kinslager juga menerima tempahan untuk pakaian tradisional Malaysia/Asia seperti Baju Kurung, Baju Batik, Cheongsam atau pakaian Eropah tradisional sepeti Dirndl, Lederhosen dan Scotland Kilts. Untuk pelanggan korporatnya, Kinslager menawarkan reka bentuk yang disesuaikan untuk keperluan kerja seharian atau untuk majlis-majlis tertentu yang memerlukan penampilan yang istimewa.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I am right, the rest of the world is wrong!

Revisiting my Four-Four Two column. Edition April 2015.

The game, according to the fans

FOOTBALL fans have many ways to manifest their feelings. Football stadia offer escapism and the space for them to express their frustration and anger, usually directed at the coach, players and referees.

Technological advances allied with creative juices flowing freely in the minds of the young ensure a seamless transition of expletives uttered online that would spill over onto the pitch. 

Spitting, though, remains the game’s ultimate insult, the most contemptuous gesture that a fan can throw at his target of abuse.

I bore witness to an incident exactly two decades ago, when interest in local football was waning, no thanks to the bribery scandal that rocked the nation in late 1994. 

Walking up the terraces of Stadium Merdeka after watching his charges held to a scoreless draw by fierce rivals Singapore in the pre-Olympics in July 1995, Claude Le Roy braved for the crowd’s heckles, ridicule and jeers

Suddenly out of nowhere a fan approached Le Roy and spat at his face. Much to my surprise, Le Roy’s reaction was cool personified.

He simply took out his handkerchief from the top left pocket of his navy blue FA of Malaysia blazer and wiped his saliva-infested cheek before walking away.

Le Roy arrived on our shores a year earlier with a reputation to protect. He was after all the coach who led Cameroon to the African Nations Cup title in 1988. The Indomitable Lions were not the only beneficiaries of Le Roy’s expert lenses. He is widely credited as the individual who discovered George Weah, the Liberian legend who moved to Arsene Wenger’s Monaco after Le Roy had opened the doors.

But the timing of Le Roy’s arrival in Kuala Lumpur in February 1994 came months before the authorities’ clampdown on match fixing.

While he was cracking his brain in forming a decent side, the game was played before empty terraces. A match between Selangor and Kedah would command a decent turnout but the national team enjoyed little support.

Such was the scenario that official merchandising and memorabilia of the various participating teams in the M-League were sold, or left unsold, at the lobby of Wisma FAM at Kelana Jaya.

It was normal for the likes of Idris Karim, Hasnizam Uzir, Azmin Azram Aziz, Faizal Zainal, Ahmad Shaharuddin Rosdi, Ching Hong Aik and S. Ragesh to be playing in front of less than 100 fans.

Twenty years on, success registered by the Under-23 and the senior teams between 2009 and 2011 raised the profile of local football. Fans have started to flock back to the stadium. And with it, the freedom of speech in the virtual world is transported onto the terraces.

Thinking that as fans who pay their way through the turnstiles, they are free to behave as they like, as enjoyed by their predecessors and of course the man who spat at Le Roy.

Certain sections of the crowd come to the stadium feeling entitled to make chaos, throw flares and make statements such as unfurling a giant banner depicting a dog in an FAM suit as a broadside at the governing body. 

ans in general see the game from their personal perspectives. Their beliefs of right and wrong are based on how the events impact their lives.

Fans are naturally biased. The fans, it appears, are always right. They believe they are entitled to be so. In their blinkered point of view, the rest of the world, like Le Roy, is always wrong.