AALIYAH FINISHES FORTH IN WORLD JUNIOR WATERSKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
August 05, 2018
Malaysia’s waterski sweetheart, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah put up a commendable performance to finish in fourth place in the tricks events in the 2018 World Junior Waterski Championships in Madrid, Spain on Sunday.
The 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games triple gold medallist accumulated 5,790 points to secure fourth place among 12 finalists in the event.
It was a major improvement for the 15-year-old teenager, who failed to make the cut in the 2016 edition in Santiago, Chile.
Neilly Ross of Canada led from start to finish to claim the gold with 9,570 points, Kennedy Hansen of the United States took the silver with 7,750 points while Daniela Verswyvel of Colombia settled for bronze after amassing 6,120 points.
Despite failing to score a podium finish, Aaliyah was still pleased with her performance at the meet.
“I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with my performance as I broke personal bests and records in the jump and slalom events,” said Aaliyah, who set a new national mark of 35.9m in the jump and a new Asian open record in slalom with 3.0 buoys/55kph/12m.
“It was basically the best I could have done in both those events. Tricks on the other hand didn’t go so well, but overall, I’m still happy with a fourth place finish in tricks and fifth overall,” added Aaliyah.
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong also praised Aaliyah’s incredible performance, adding that the latter would now be focusing to improve her tricks.
“Concentrating on jump and slalom in the last 12 months took a toll on her tricks. We’ve got to get back to basics in training in the tricks.We’ll be concentrating on tricks more now whilst also balancing slalom and jump but at a slower pace,” Hanifah said.
Hanifah on behalf of MWWF also thanked the National Sports Council Malaysia (NSC) for the financial support and also the Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) for providing excellent waterski training facilities in Putrajaya.
Meanwhile Aaliyah’s two younger brothers – Aiden, 12, and Adam, 10, also displayed a creditable outing in Madrid where Aiden finished overall 25th in tricks with a score of 3,520 while Adam, the national record holder and SEA Games gold medallist, placed 17th with a score of 4,410.
AALIYAH BAGS FIRST PODIUM FINISH AT US JUNIOR MASTERS
January 28, 2018
Hats off to teenager Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah. The 14-year-old added another feather to her growing list of achievements when she bagged a first-ever podium finish with a silver in the tricks event at the prestigious Nautique Waterski US Junior Masters at the Callaway Gardens in Atlanta.
Aaliyah, a triple gold medallist at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year, had taken second spot in the first round with a score of 6,530 points which was good enough for her to make the top-three skiers for the final on Saturday.
Aaliyah then stayed consistent when it mattered to produce a final score of 6,400 points, behind Canada’s Paige Rini who finished with 8,020.
It was just shy of her season best of 6,960 and her national record of 7,600 but it was enough to secure her a second-place finish after American Kristen Baldwin could only manage 5,570.
Aaliyah, who missed out on podium finishes in 2016 and 2017, was certainly pleased with her effort.
“I’m quite satisfied with my runs because I managed to stand up on my first pass, which is the toes tricks, in both the first and final rounds.
“I did fall on my last trick which was the fifth flip and it’s something that I’m still not so consistent enough yet.
“It was a bummer but I’m still so happy to even get into the final in the first place and finishing second was certainly a bonus for me.
“Overall it’s quite a motivating result as now, I just want to aim higher and higher.
“I also couldn’t do this alone and I want to thank Nautique, Cory Pickos with whom I’ve trained with the past month, my family, friends and my sponsors who have supported me and gotten me here,” added Aaliyah from the US.
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong was also stoked by Aaliyah’s showing.
“She is eligible for four more years in the junior masters and she may even qualify to be invited for three events (tricks, slalom and jump) next year,” said Hanifah.
“The target is for her to win the junior tricks next year so hopefully she can move up to the pro women’s level in two or three years time.”
The successful US Junior Masters outing concludes the national team’s month-long stint in the US.
They have been based at the Cory Pickos ski school since the end of April and also competed at the Florida Inboards Records tournament two weeks earlier.
Then 10-year-old Adam Yoong Hanifah had taken the limelight by winning the boys’ Under-13 tricks event with a new national men’s tricks record of 4,750 points.
AALIYAH WILL HAVE FIRST SHOT AT WORLD JUNIOR TITLE IN 2020
January 17, 2018
If all goes well, waterski could produce a world champion for Malaysia in Aaliyah Yoong in the next five years.
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach and chairman of development committee Hanifah Yoong predicted that Aaliyah would have her first shot for a world junior title in 2020 in the Under-17 category.
“Aaliyah turns 15 in July this year. She actually has a good shot for a podium spot in this year’s IWWF (International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation) Under-17 World Championship, which will be held in Madrid, Spain, in August,” said Hanifah.
“From then on, she’ll aim for the world open women’s title in 2021 and 2023 world championships. I believe she’ll achieve it by the 2023 edition,” he said.
Hanifah added Aaliyah thrived on pressure based on her ability to exceed targets.
“She has often re-adjusted targets set for herself since she turned 12. She always set higher goals,” said Hanifah. “Aaliyah seemed to relish on being under pressure as shown recently in the 2017 SEA Games. She delivered three gold medals although the target was only two.”
Meanwhile, Hanifah added that the IWWF were actively pushing for waterski and wakeboard to be included in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games programme.
“The MWWF development programme is supported by the National Sports Council and National Sports Institute and we thank them for their valuable contribution, without which we would not have progressed to this stage.
“We hope that the Olympic Council of Malaysia will also push for and support the initiative by IWWF to have waterski and wakeboard be included in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. We’ll have a gold medal potential from Aaliyah by then.”
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