08 November 2003


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 (Bernama) -- Despite the stiff competition expected from hosts Vietnam in the 22nd SEA Games, Malaysian silat exponents are hoping to repeat their gold medal haul achieved two years ago.

Then, Malaysia as hosts won five gold, one silver and four bronze medals.

National silat olahraga coach Ahmad Khushairi Ibrahim said the squad's target was a rather realistic one.

"The National Sports Council (NSC) have set a target of five gold medals for the silat squad, three may come from silat olahraga and two more from silat seni.

The 22nd SEA Games pencak silat competition will be held at the Police Academy Gymnasium in Hanoi. The sport offers 22 gold medals.

"Apart from traditional powerhouses Indonesia, competition from hosts Vietnam cannot be taken lightly. Their performance has improved and in subjective sports, the hosts usually have the advantage," he told reporters here today.

Ahmad Kushairi, who is a former world champion, said the pencak silat squad, made up of 11 silat olahraga and eight silat seni exponents, were banking on the 2001 SEA Games gold medallists to win their events.

He said Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek, Mastura Safuan and Mohd Khorarullah Abd Majid were hoped to strike gold in silat olahraga.

Meanwhile silat seni coach Othman Jupri was hoping for his charges to win in the Ganda Puteri and Ganda Putera competitions.

"In 2001, we won the gold medal through Ganda Puteri and Ganda Putera brought the silver.

"In Vietnam, I hope we will turn the colour of medal into gold in both events," he said.

In Hanoi, Shalina Abdul Ghaffar and Noorsyahidda Wati Abdullah Sani will be looking to win their Ganda Puteri gold medal, which the duo won in 2001.

As for Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal, they will be trying to win the Ganda Putera competition.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-19326039_ITM

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