20 September 2005

Zuber: Only gold will be just reward for my sacrifices

20 Nov 2005, MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur - Winning the SEA Games gold medal is of paramount importance to silat exponent Mohamed Zuber Ismail, given the sacrifices he had to make over the last one year.

Zuber decided to take a one-year break from helping his brother with his business to train full-time. And then in May he got married but had to leave his wife behind in Jitra to enable him to train without any distraction at Bukit Jalil.

Zuber said that winning the gold medal will be just reward and will also make a fine gift for his wife, Fauziah Mohamed Fadzil.

“This is the first time we are having full-time training and as such we all had to make some sacrifices. All of us want to do well and we all know we have put our personal obligations second to that of winning a medal for the nation.

“Since we got married I see my wife periodically and she understands my ambition to be a champion. So I want to win the gold medal for her as well,” said Zuber at the training centre in the NSC Gym at Bukit Jalil.

He also said that the team was so serious with their training that when he got married the team moved their training base to Jitra for 15 days so that he did not miss any of the sessions.

“So even as I was preparing for the bersanding ceremony and akad nikah the training sessions went on.”

Zuber is also one of the three world champions in the squad. He won the gold in the 2004 World Championships in category G (75-80kg). He also has a silver medal form the 2002 World Championships. He took part in the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam but lost in the quarter-finals.

Zuber said that he does not intend to slip up this time in Manila.

“I think I have learnt a good lesson from my outing in Vietnam and also in the various tournaments last year.

“It is important that I do not repeat those mistakes especially like being over confident and underestimating my opponents.

“I plan to take one match at a time but more importantly I have realised that I need to study my opponents well and change my style depending on whom I fight.

“The fulltime training has been a great help and I really believe that the team will do well as the coaches have paid a lot of attention to our trainings.”

Zuber, 24, hopes that the SEA Games will provide a new direction for the sport, which is slowly gaining popularity among youngsters.

Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2005/11/20/sports/12648237

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