Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Asian Games and I

Only into my 15th year as a journalist that I got the chance to cover the Asian Games. That happened in 2006 in Doha. It remains special to me for the Doha trip was my last with the Malay Mail. It also enabled me to complete the sports journalists' Grand Slam, so to speak, having covered the SEA Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. The two biggie that eluded me remain elusive - the FIFA World Cup and the Euros.

Wanting to be cheeky, I proposed to sports editor Moose "Our Sheikh in Doha" picture byline prior to my departure. And he agreed! Later on it became the talk of the town...among sports journos la...

My preview - I predicted that the contingent would return with a 10 gold haul

This picture was taken shortly after Nicol David's press conference in would have thought I was an athlete myself...

My review

Suffering from Athlete's foot, I was a walking wounded, with my right foot looking like an elephant's leg. Hailing a taxi in the midnight hour in Doha was next to impossible. Eventually I was taken to the Hamad Medical Centre 4.20am Malaysian time by RTM's Hafizal Hamad. I was treated by an Iraqi surgeon, Dr Mohammad Darwish. "You have cellulitis, your feet is swollen." Hafizal later named his first son Ilham Darwish...

Chai Fong Yin's golden choreograph was inspired by Jet Li's The One, not Michelle Yeoh's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon...

I named my column Dunes of Doha, because I expected a bumpy ride for the contingent through the sand dunes of day I decided to write about meeting champion hurdler Liu Xiang and how Kamarulzaman Pid and I missed the opportunity to snap a picture with him..

Was Josiah Ng a choker in major events? This poser followed Jo's defeat to his training mate Tsubasa Kitatsuru in the sprint semifinal

My Doha memories remained vivid as I chronicled Norfarhan Mohammad's own goal against Oman and Hardi Jaafar two superb goals, Rexy Mainaky quitting, crying and retracting his decision, the bowlers' excellent display, Roslinda Samsu's defeat in pole vault on countback, Quzandria Nur Mahamad Fathil receiving her medal on a wheelchair, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong's grand entrance into fame, hockey's sixth place and karate's hopes chopped to pieces. I too bore witness to the grilling handed by Ahmad Khawari Isa, my room mate throughout the Arabian adventure, to the then National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz after the contingent failed to meet the target of nine gold.

The real sheikhs of success

Four years on, I'm taking a different role, having been given a chance to offer my opinion on TV, thanks to Astro Arena.

Flanked by Edleen Ismail and BA of Malaysia general manager, Kenny Goh

Again Fong Yin has returned with the gold

Shaukei Kahar, Fong Yin and Arena producers, Slamet Sazly Yakub and Nasser Zainal


C-Dex said...

good luck to your WC dream..still have a time to get pray for you mr rizal.. said...

salam.. nak beriklan di blog ni boleh?

kalau boleh nak free je.. hehehe..

sy nak iklan review/blogpost..

email kpd sy

(sila remove [ ] )


dayah said...

saya ingin bertanyakan :

adakah pihak astro akan menayangkan aksi atlit-atlit mahasiswa n mahasiswi yg akan berjuang di SUKAN UNIVERSITI ASEAN bermula hari esok di ASTRO ARENA???