13 November 2005

Gold on minds of world champ Ahmad and debutant Shuhairi

13 Nov 2005, MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur - One is a world champion and has been a national silat exponent for five years while the other is making his debut.

But Ahmad Shahril Zailudin and Shuhairi Chin will be sharing a common goal – winning their first ever SEA Games gold – in Manila.

Ahmad Shahril, 24, had won two world titles (in 2002 and 2004) and will be hoping to break the SEA Games duck in his third attempt. In his first outing in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, he was bundled out in the preliminary round. Then in 2003, he was beaten by a Thai exponent in the semi-finals.

“For me, missing out on a SEA Games gold medal is a big disappointment. I want to win it this time and I have been training very hard. In silat, the SEA Games and the World Championships are the two most important meets. Since I have won the world titles, the SEA Games gold medal is my priority now,” said Ahmad, who hails from Pekan, Pahang.

In contrast Shuhairi, 20 is making his debut in the national team and he views the SEA Games in Manila (Nov 27-Dec 5) as launch pad for a rewarding career.

“I only got a call-up to the national team in September. And although the training has been short I hope to use the SEA Games to prove my worth. Of course winning the gold medal will go a long way to ensure I get to remain in the national team for the world championships next year.

“This is a new experience for me. On one hand I want to gain experience through my participation but at the same time I want to put up a good show and win the matches and go as far as I can in the competition. Losing will not deter me in my ambition to win honours in the future,” said Shuhairi.

Penangite Shuhairi will fight in category B which is for those in the 50-55kg weight class.

There is also another reason why Shuhairi wants to win the gold medal in Manila.

He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his brother Suhardi, who won the gold medal in the 1999 Games in Brunei in the same category.

“It will be good to win it just like my elder brother did. In fact all my four brothers are involved in the sports. So it is not surprising that I also took up silat. Now it remains for me to make a success of it.”

Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2005/11/13/sports/12576854


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